Adventures with my shiny new Vagina
July 4, 2018 at 12:40 am #23135
I have spent the better part of the past 2 years desperately seeking a cure for the vaginal atrophy that struck me down in 2015 and prompted me to attend marriage counseling with my then husband (not the only reason, but it was on the list). Six months after we stopped therapy I made up my mind to be proactive in my own way at my own pace. I am healthy and have a uterus, never had kids, hit menopause exactly at age 50 (2008). I was lucky I guess that the atrophy did not start sooner, but I am very sad about the toll it took on my already struggling marriage. Our last romp that year ended with me in tears trying to explain to him that it felt like he was pushing ground up glass around my insides. He was not sympathetic.
So in 2016, after talking a third time with my GYN, I began microdosing estrogen, just tiny amounts (I would buy the oval pills and cut them into quarters, so it was about .165 mg I took every day). I did not take Progesterone with it, I had read up on that and decided I was not a significant risk for problems. The dosage of estrogen was just enough to stimulate some sort of lubrication where I needed it. My last encounter that year with my husband was better, though not perfect, I still felt rather fragile. We naturally had to use lube as well, Astroglide is my fave. But it was just okay. So I kept my search going after the divorce was final end of 2016.
Spent most of 2017 reading and reading and adjusting to being single again and working out and looking for a new doctor and talking and reading….Bioidentical hormones had interested me for many years, but they were out of my budget 10 years ago. Then by accident in February 2018 I chose a new doctor who does the hormone implant versions for very reasonable rates. I studied up on that and went in for my first implantation the end of March 2018. I still don’t know what dosage of estrogen and testosterone I got (the progesterone was pills at 200 mg each). It kicked my butt immediately and after 3 weeks I was ready to throw in the towel. Bloated thighs, tender breasts, weight gain, acne…. not great at all. I stopped taking the progesterone after 27 days and the bloat got better. I did 2 weeks of a strict protein shake meal replacement diet and lost the 4 pounds I had gained. So by the time I went to London for vacay in May, I was feeling ready to take my shiny new vagina out for a test drive.
My last day in London, and just when I really didn’t think it would happen, at a social event I ran into the most gorgeous 40ish guy I had seen in a very very long time. 6 feet 7 inches tall, dark hair, blinding white smile, a stylish goatee that made him look even more raffish than he already was…. and one thing led to another. I was prepared for such a happy accident, and during our encounter I felt less fragile than I had in 2016. There was definitely more lubrication generated from me, thank you estrogen. And my libido was in rare form, thank you testosterone. In the end I thought it was a successful test. But the next day, while packing to fly back home, it began to feel more and more like someone had had sex with my *bladder*, not my vagina. Severe pain and burning upon urination ensued… cramping pelvic discomfort while sitting during the entire 7 hour flight… I required bed rest for 2 days when I got home. My internal organs felt shuffled up.
So now I think the obstacle to my future sexual adventures may be a displaced bladder. After all the money and effort I have spent to get this far, it’s quite disappointing. I would like to hear if anyone else has had this same obstacle come up and what you have learned or how you have approached it.July 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm #23150
60isthenewfifty – welcome to the forums! Unfortunately I can’t speak to the displaced bladder or vaginal atrophy issue, but I DID really want to throw some major props your way! It’s inspiring to see someone who, at 60, is still asserting her right to pleasure and sex when we live in a society that likes to erase older women, especially sexually (and can I say that I swooned at your description of this rakish 40something?) As someone who suffered from vaginismus from ages 15 to 25, I can say that vaginal pain is no fun and can really dampen the spirits – but you seem so plucky and brave!
I’m hoping the doctors in this forum can weigh in on the medical side of things, but I hope you keep looking for answers! I believe we deserve affection and pleasure at any age, and after going from believing I’d never have sex to being someone with a rich and lovely sex life, I have no doubts that anything is possible in life if you give it enough shots.July 8, 2018 at 11:16 pm #23151
Thank you so much for the encouragement! But you are quite the brave young lady yourself. I can’t imagine having the obstacles you suffered from such an early age and for so long… how dreadful. So happy for you that you have achieved fulfillment while you are still young enough to really enjoy it.
As for me, I am just happy to report that I was not suffering some sort of spontaneous UTI… which, given my past history, would not have been improbable. I had UTI’s constantly for most of my sexually active years until my 40’s when for some reason it stopped. Go figure. So after 18 months with no sex whatsoever of any kind, it crossed my mind. However, my discomfort as I described subsided on its own after 48 hours. And I too am hoping a doctor will weigh in on my suspicions. If not, I can always get a pelvic exam from my GYN. Since I am on HRT now, and still have a uterus, it would be wise to do. My concern thought is he will, as he has before, tell me that my bladder is fine, there is no prolapse anywhere… and if that happens, then what the hell was going on with me after London? The mystery continues….July 10, 2018 at 8:15 am #23152
I really appreciate the kind words! It was hard for sure – and I’d never wish vaginal pain on anyone. But at the same time, it’s taught me so much about my relationship to my body and about my own strength. I also have a nuanced appreciation of sex that I don’t think I’d have without having had that experience, and knowledge is a great thing to have gained.
I’m relieved it wasn’t a UTI as well! That sounds really unpleasant, to get them so frequently – I just got over one myself and it was a total drag (and put a real damper on sexual activity too). It’s very frustrating to have it be so mysterious (as I well remember from before my vaginismus diagnosis, when I had no idea why I was unable to have sex), but you have many avenues to travel down for answers. I hope that you get clarity soon and that you keep seeking those answers!July 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm #23285
I don’t have any advice to give (also currently in my 20s, overcame vaginismus with Maze Women’s Health a couple years ago), but I just wanted to say GOOD LUCK – I can tell you’re super determined to fix your problem and I know with time, determination, and trial and error, you’ll definitely be able to overcome this 🙂
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