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Painful sex during/ after pregnancy (vestibulitis)?

(8 Posts)
pendulum Tue 21-Aug-07 12:26:41

I am 35 weeks with my second child and interested to know if anyone has had the same experience as me. I am finding sex excruciatingly painful with a "burning" sensation (a kind of reverse ring of fire? and a dragging in my pelvis- in fact, am resigned to not doing it again for some time.

Following the birth of my DD 3 years ago I had exactly the same problem, despite having had an elective c-section and therefore no intervention or even examinations "down there". It lasted for around a year, during which I saw a number of doctors. Infections were ruled out and they talked about something called vestibulitis, which seems to be a little understood condition affecting the nerves. Thankfully it went away in the end, and I guess it will do again this time, but since I have never found anyone else in RL who has suffered this I wondered if anyone on here might have?


WigWamBam Tue 21-Aug-07 16:13:32

I had this several years ago - lasted for about three years (which was nice ). It was long before I had dd, so not tied in with pregnancy in my case.

It's a very frustrating problem because, as you say, many doctors don't have much understanding of the problem - to the extent that some think it's all in the mind. It took a long while, and lots of doctors, before I was correctly diagnosed, during which time I was variously told it was thrush, bruising, vaginismus, even all in my head.

I was given various gels and creams, none of which helped, and at one point was given anti-depressants which apparently can act as pain-killers and can numb the area - they didn't help either. I was offered surgery by one very over-enthusistic gynaecologist, but it wasn't something that I fancied - and the success rate is very poor.

Although the GPs said there was no sign of thrush, I found that the only thing which eased my symptoms was a completely yeast-free diet - which was tough going but helped. Eventually the problem just went away on it's own.

I couldn't have sex for almost three years - but there are other things you can do if you've a mind to, of course! Is your partner understanding? That helps a lot.

You've probably looked for websites yourself, but there is some information here which may be useful.

pendulum Tue 21-Aug-07 17:52:50

wigwambam- thank you so much for posting. It is so reassuring to hear from someone else who has experienced the same thing. Like you, I was given anaesthetic creams and some kind of tablets (can't remember what)- also lots of diet advice which basically ruled out almost everything and was totally impractical as a BF'ing mother of a tiny baby. Nothing worked.

At the time it did cause problems between me and DH- although he is generally very understanding our relationship was under the normal stresses of dealing with a first baby and it felt like nothing would ever be normal again. I think it will be more manageable this time because we know that it should eventually resolve itself. I will def try the yeast-free diet though.

Do you have any theories about what provoked it in your case?

TheQueenOfQuotes Tue 21-Aug-07 17:58:41

I didn't suffer from this - but I did suffer from Vaginismus which prevented us from having penetrative sex for several years (although incredibly we did manage it 2 times after I'd had too much to drink and was much more relaxed - and fell pg both times).

It seems to have gone now - but if I'm stressed it seems to get worse again.

As WWW says if you have a supportive and understanding partner it's a huge help.

studentmum1 Tue 21-Aug-07 18:09:13

i had vestibulitis, it began when i was 16 when i 1st had sex. It was extremely painful and was like burning constantly with stabbing pains.

I had load and loads of tests done, got passed around from doctor to gynoe and no one could help~! Fortunatly my ex was understanding but it took 2 years to get a proper diagnosis.

It cannot be cured but can be dealt with by gels and creams. i was even offered injections to numb the area which would last 3 months at a time.

I have now outgrown it but i am now 21, as far as i am aware its something that just happens, childbirth shouldn't affect it. I am in total sympathy with you because its really really painful xxx

WigWamBam Tue 21-Aug-07 19:24:34

I have no idea what triggered mine - just one of those things, I suppose.

There were various suggestions, all of which came to nothing - there was a suggestion that it might have been triggered by diabetes, but the tests all came back negative. Apparently the sugar in the urine which a diabetic may have can irritate the tissue and cause the soreness - maybe that would be worth investigating in your case?

It's just a matter of time and patience - although I know how hard it is to have patience. A positive attitude helps too; again, easier said than done when you feel as if you're on fire and nothing you do eases it.

pendulum Wed 22-Aug-07 17:48:30

thanks again for all replies, I'm really interested to hear that it's not nec pregnancy that triggers it since my own pet theory (unsupported by any medical evidence of course!) is that it is due to the increase in certain hormones around the time of delivery/ BF.

fingers crossed it will not last too long this time. Any MW who dares to attempt an internal exam during this labour may well get a punch!

faf Tue 22-Sep-09 01:10:11

What most of you describe does sound very vestibulitus related..

I had it bad for years, and then it went away. I thought it was because my hormones/menstrual cycle were finally normalized through healthier practices (nutrition/exercise). Then I got pregnant, and about half way through- all the pain came back! Not sure why... it certainly shouldn't be because my hormones are low (in pregnancy they're quite high right) and if are hormone related- maybe just an imbalance.
I'm looking on the internet hoping to meet other women who went through similar during pregnancy. I'd like to see if there are any new findings of what can/can't be done to help, and specifically if it persisted much after delivery/birth?


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