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Long term dryness - please, please any advice!(3 Posts)
Hi all. I don't think I am menopausal - I'm only 32 - but I'm hoping you ladies might be able to offer some advice. Sorry in advance for the long post...
For years I have suffered with dryness down there which I think was initially caused by an horrific bout of thrush when I was 18 which took months to shift. Since then sex has always been painful even with lube, especially around the entrance and just inside. I love my hubby and want to be intimate with him lots but the thought of the pain during and after puts me off so I kind of put it to the back of my mind and get on with everything else. Fortunately he's extremely understanding but I - me, myself - have reached the point where I think "dammit I just want a decent sex life"
I've been to a couple of different GPs about it but had very little sympathy/luck finding a suitable treatment. I had a mirena coil for 9yrs which stopped my periods completely and was eventually told that was the problem as the lack of periods might have caused some atrophy so I went on the pill instead. My periods never returned even though I take my 1 week break in every 4. I probably haven't bled "properly" in over 12yrs, which I know probably isn't normal but the docs don't seem phased by it now I'm on the pill despite claiming lack of periods was the problem with the coil. Ideally I'd like to come off hormonal contraception but we struggle with condoms (allergies, and I hate them anyway) and I was refused sterilisation because we don't have kids, even though we are adamant we do not want them. I can kind of understand the thinking there I suppose. So I'm stuck with the pill although I do get on with my current brand generally (lucette, generic form of Yasmin).
At one point I was referred to a gynae who removed some skin tags and prescribed pessaries for a month but these didn't seem to help much and my GP refused a further prescription because I was "far too young for them" (I was 29). The gynae refused to see me again because as far as he was concerned I was "cured" in that he couldn't see any reason for the dryness and associated pain.
So now I feel I'm at the stage of having to figure it out myself. Day to day I feel dry but not overly uncomfortable (I can ignore it) but sex is painful. I feel like I'm splitting in places! I understand that dryness is a big issue during menopause so I wondered if you ladies going through it might have any insight on how to manage it? Obviously a prescription is out of the question so are there any over the counter remedies you might recommend?
Basically I need help and advice and since the medical profession doesn't seem interested I don't know where else to turn Any advice would be really really appreciated!
Oh goodness, you poor thing
PLEASE request another referral to another gynae and although you really ought not to have to pay, a private initial appt is always an option if your GP won't cooperate.
There is a possibility from what you say that you could be having a premature menopause or have a hormonal problem.
Really, you should seriously think about coming off the Pill for 6 months at least and seeing if you have periods, and have blood tests to see what your hormone levels are.
If the dryness isn't hormonal, it could be something like vulvodynia.
As a by the way, pessaries are used every day for 14 days then 2-3 times a week forever in women who are menopausal. It's not a problem that gets better on its own so your month of use might have been too short.
Look at this ste www.menopausematters.co.uk for info on vaginal dryness and over the counter products.
I really feel for you. I have had this problem for the past three years, although for me it is definitely the menopause. I went to four GPs in my practice, paid for three different gynecologist and tried three medications (HRT, Vagifem, etc). I used to enjoy sex but the best I can say now is that I just endure it. It has hurt my relationship with my husband, for sure. The one positive thing I can say is that I finally pushed for my GP to refer me to the menopause specialists at Chelsea Westminster and they were very good. You may not be in menopause but you definitely need a gynecologist who understands this problem. Push for a referral. In my case I had to wait 4 months for the appointment but the nurse was really experienced and much better than any of the private consultants. Good luck!!
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