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Thank you for sharing those resources, Rah!

I’m the same, almost all the knowledge I have about the issue and the treatments I’ve tried have come from my own research. GPs only suggested steroid cream, like in your case, and the NHS gyno I went to see a few months ago (after being on the waiting list for over a year) literally just said to me “Well, I guess you’ve tried everything so I don’t know what to tell you” (!). I eventually got him to give me a prescription for oestrogen cream, but only after I’d suggested that lack of oestrogen might have something to do with it (again, as I’d found out through my own research). That was the only treatment I hadn’t been able to try on my own, due to needing a prescription for the cream.

Frustratingly, I haven’t been in a stable relationship (and having regular intercourse) for a few years now, so the only way to know if any of these treatments are really helping is to keep using the dilators every other day and I’m running out of energy to keep up with it. This might sound weird (and hope it’s not oversharing!) but I’m starting to mentally associate penetration with the dilator exercises, rather than sex, and I’m afraid when I’ll get the chance to be with someone intimately again, I will be put off by it.

In a couple of weeks I’ll be going travelling for a few months to North America and I’ve decided I’m just going to forget all about this issue until I come back. It’s quite possible I might get tearing again the next time I try to have intercourse or a smear test, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now I just need a break from worrying about it, as it can be really draining, especially going through this whole journey alone, as I’m sure you know too.