1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this link: http://go.tmswiki.org/newprogram
    Dismiss Notice

New symptom : vulvodynia

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Ludmilla, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I've not returned on these forums for some time now, because I wanted to stop obsessing about my many symptoms (to put it in a nutshell : diagnosed with fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, dust allergy...). Fibromyalgia I consider myself cured of, although I've not been very active these past few months, so no "physical activity" test as of today. Rarely get migraines now too, only if I've slept way too little the night before. IBS is trickier, but I've not been as good at ignoring symptomes as I've been with fibromyalgia.

    The thing is, I feel like my symptom imperative has gone crazy since I've been working on my TMS a year ago and I'm stuck in a loop. I've seen a psychotherapist open to the mind-body connection for 1,5 year, have stopped now because I got to a point where I didn't seem to gain any new perspective from it.

    I now seem to have developed vulvodynia. My gynecologist thinks it's just irritation from sexual intercourse (I started having sex last October) and didn't use the term "vulvodynia", she just prescribed a soothing cream. There's no thrush, just redness. The thing is, I didn't see my boyfriend for 3 weeks during the holiday, and instead of decreasing, the pain and irritation got a bit worse. Plus, I already had a little burning sensation when I was still a virgin and using tampons. I'm now at the point where I can't have sex, even with a ton of lube ; at the start it was a little painful, but still enjoyable, now penetration is impossible.

    This is really, really distressing to me, as I've had a lot of anxiety around physical intimacy (which is one of the reasons I think it's TMS) and I'm now afraid my boyfriend will end up leaving me if I take too long to get better (he said it wasn't a problem for him to wait as long as necessary, but I'm not sure he realizes it can take months, if not years...). To put it bluntly, I'm tired of this shit. I also have PCOS, which can for sure contributes to dryness down there since I lack estrogens, but hey... it worked at first, and now this ? TMS all the way for me.

    My question is : the TMS approach of ignoring the pain and pushing through (which I used successfully with other symptoms) seems pretty hard to use here. Should I push through, though ? I read about some doctors prescribing lidocaine to anesthesize the vulva... could it be a way to rewire my brain into thinking that sex = not painful ? I must say I'm at a loss here, and very tired of the symptom imperative.
  2. Patrisia

    Patrisia Peer Supporter

    I went through something similar many years ago, back when I did not know I had TMS. I would have symptoms of yeast infection, but no yeast infection was present. I would also have pain during intercourse AND bleeding! Very scary. It turned out the bleeding was from the contraception pills as they caused the cervix t0 have increased blood flow but this still did not explain the itching down there/pain during intercourse. What helped me get rid of it back then was stopping all treatment (including vaginal creams) and just not paying attention to it. In retrospect, I was treating it as TMS without knowing it was TMS.
    I got rid of it eventually (it took about a year).

    I thought about it later on when I found out about TMS and I figured out that GUILT may have triggered the symptoms as I was continually cheating on my boyfriend. My symptoms also made me paranoid about STDs, therefore what better way for symptoms to manifest than to make someone paranoid/fearful about a real disease. The body part where the symptoms manifested was symbolic for a lack of trust/dishonesty in a romantic relationship.

    You mentioned this: "I'm now afraid my boyfriend will end up leaving me if I take too long to get better (he said it wasn't a problem for him to wait as long as necessary, but I'm not sure he realizes it can take months, if not years...)." You need to work on the FEAR emotion. First of all, why are you worried that someone who truly loves you will leave you during hard times? You should re-evaluate why are you afraid of him leaving you. There may be more to it than the fear that lack of intimacy will cause it. Second of all, this will not last for years - it's up to you how long this will last. Work on the fear first and rest will follow.

    Good luck, you got this! :)
    TG957 likes this.
  3. Ludmilla

    Ludmilla New Member

    Thank you Patrisia, this is really helpful and encouraging :) ! You're right, I need to work on the fear...

    When you say you paid no attention to it, does it mean you just kept having sex even if it hurt like hell ? Or did you gradually increase the frequence and, uh, pressure ?
  4. Patrisia

    Patrisia Peer Supporter

    Yes, gentleness but also, at the same time, fearlessness - you eventually get tired of it ruling your life and realize you cannot go on fearing it.
  5. Kathryn858

    Kathryn858 New Member

    Hi Ludmilla,

    I suffered with vulvodynia and a host of other TMS symptoms for years. I got to the point where I had given up on ever being able to have sex let alone enjoy it. Thankfully I made a full recovery but it took time and I certainly was not able to take the push through the pain approach that many other TMS suffers are able to do.

    For me it was about addressing areas of my life and personal character traits (perfectionism, goodism etc) first to allow my symptoms to reduce. Then it was a case of rewiring my thinking about what was causing the symptoms. Finally it was a process of gradually reintroducing activities back into my life that I had stopped doing, including sex. At one point my symptoms were so bad that I was unable to walk for 3 years. If I can recover to a point where sex is not only possible but pleasurable too, I believe others can too. Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have or to send me a message directly to my inbox.

    I know living with vulvodynia is so so tough but keep hope alive that you will come through the other side of this. It is possible!

    Best wishes,

Share This Page