It hasn't been long since I started writing for this blog so I thought it would be worth just listing everything I've tried so far in efforts to eliminate my vulva pain to give a bit of a background and in case this is helpful to anyone.
So, here goes:
- Trimovate (steroid cream)
- Dermovate (steroid cream)
- Eumovate (steroid cream)
- Steroid injections
- Course of ibuprofen for 2 weeks to reduce inflammation
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Drinking cranberry juice
- Went vegan (I didn’t do this for vulva pain but a change that is worth noting, and I feel healthier generally, but it hasn’t changed this pain)
- Amitriptyline 10mg/20mg
- Chinese herbs (various, inc Xiao Feng San)
- Taking CBD oil in water
Other Topical Treatments
- Estriol cream
- Lidocaine (anaesthetic gel)
- Applying coconut oil
- Applying aloe vera
- 2X Biopsies (results both times were “chronic inflammation”)
- Anaesthetic injections as part of biopsies
- Pelvic floor exercises
- Three months with a psychosexual counsellor
- Somatic experiencing
- A week long deep healing retreat
- A 5 month sensual mastery course including 1:1 mind and bodywork sessions
People I've seen:
- Vulvar dermatologist X2
- Sexual health clinic
- Acupuncturists X4
- Chinese herbal medicine practitioners
- Energy healer
- Somatic experiencing therapist
- Psychosexual counsellor
Probably others that I’ve forgotten as well. Phew, a lot!
From this list, I am lucky that none of the above made my symptoms worse. And along the way, even though I have spent a lot of time, effort and money, I have gainedhugely in other ways, even though my pain is still there.
Mostly the things above didn’t make any difference to my pain apart from:
The trimovate cream (steroid) that I used for about 4 months twice a day back in 2008which really brought the pain down a lot. My pain used to be much much worse. After a while, the benefits plateaued and I am still now at the lower levels of pain that this cream got me to but I haven't been able to get any further. I have tried this again after a break and other steroid creams since but none of them have made any difference again. I know that many women have had some awful side effects of using steroid creams vulvo-vaginally, so this is not a recommendation in any way, just my own experience – I will be forever grateful for this cream.
The estriol cream (a mild hormone cream) applied locally once a day for a few weeks brought my pain down very slightly I think.
Physiotherapy and pelvic floor exercises have released tight muscles and made me stronger, although the pain is still the same.
The retreat and sensual mastery course have educated me so much, given me an inner strength and opened my eyes to a lot and I will always carry this with me.
So that’s where I’m at.
'Til next time...