Category Archives: Women

Lichens Sclerosus – The butterfly effect. 

I’ve recently visited my GP seeking a diagnosis of Lichens Sclerosus (LS) 

For just over a year now, I’ve had the worst itching downstairs. Alongside this itching, my skin has become swollen, sore and delicate like a butterfly wing. Sex with my partner has turned into some sort of military operation as my skin tears so easily, and burns for a whole day afterwards, I’ve had to make sure I don’t have to go to work as I can barely walk.

I can no longer wear the sexy,  lacy thong underwear I’ve adorned myself in for the past 20 years as the material rips my skin to shreds. A task as simple as washing, now needs careful planning and precision as scented/perfumed washes and gels irritate the skin.

I’ve spent the first 6 months treating myself for thrush as I was sure that’s what I was suffering with. It wasn’t until I noticed that patches of my skin had turned white/silver and shiny and peeled off to reveal wrinkled/creased red raw skin that I knew it was more than just thrush.  The opening to my vagina has also narrowed… I find it extremely painful to use a mooncup and recently, sex has become very uncomfortable. 

It hasn’t just affected my vulva either, it’s also spread to my anus. Going to the toilet is very painful. One single wipe with toilet paper can tear my skin and leave me with fissures. The skin heals in 24-36 hours which just makes me dread going to the toilet in case I make it worse.

From the research I’ve done and what I know, the symptoms are:

  • Intense itching (often worse at night) 
  • Discomfort and tenderness 
  • White, shiny spots
  • Burning sensation 
  • Wrinkling /Creased skin
  • Lesions / fissures
  • Painful sex
  • Bruising
  • Dryness 
  • Fusing and shrinkage of the vulva. 

LS can affect any part of your body, but in females the genitals are more common.  There’s not currently a cure, but symptoms can be managed with creams. It’s a rare disease and currently being misdiagnosed as thrush. 

My GP couldn’t see the white patches, so I’ve been given an emollient to wash with to help with the dryness. If that proves unsuccessful, she’ll be referring me to a vulva specialist! I’m so glad she took me seriously and didn’t fob me off with ‘maybe it’s thrush’. I had no idea my genitals could turn against me like this, so I’m so glad that my concerns are being listened to. I just hope I’m not too late!

All this has made me realise how your physical and mental health is so important to your overall well-being. Don’t bottle your worries and concerns. Do your research, go to the doctor and get yourself heard! 

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Fibroids

I’ve been very quiet recently. I know my posts are sporadic at best, but I’ve literally spent the past few months being consumed by my fertility – or lack there of.

A year ago I discovered I had a lump in my abdomen. After another 6 months of being in genuine pain trying to insert my mooncup and thinking I had prolapsed, I decided to get it looked at. A doctors visit and a very swift referral to a gynecologist revealed I had fibroids. Having never heard of them before, I was ultimately relieved I didn’t have cancer. I shuddered with fear when the consultant asked if I already had children. It was then that I knew these uterine invasions were going to cause me some issues.

We discussed operations and medication and I happily skipped off with my Esmya tablets, hopeful that they’d do their job over the next few months. If they didn’t, I was sure he was going to start discussing hysterectomies. After 3 delightful period free months of esmya, my stomach had gone down and my symptoms followed. I was sure my next appointment would bring me joy and I could look forward to the imminent removal of these ghastly aliens. I’m not going to lie, I was looking forward to having some time off work too!

My consultant did not bring me the news I was hoping for. The medication didn’t work.. Esmya failed me. Although I’m not as disappointed as I thought I would be. I’m unsure why this is.  As we don’t know if these aliens are affecting my fertility, we have said it’d be beneficial to try to conceive over the coming months. There’s no promise I’ll be able to carry a baby, but you never know, my body might actually work!  

Although I’m very worried about the money situation, my bf and I have agreed that trying is a good idea..(i totally didn’t think he would say that). We did want to wait until next year, July time. Evidently though, time is of the essence here and ‘protocol’ has gone out the window! 

Between now and then, I’m scheduled for an MRI to further survey the dark crevices of my uterus. I wonder what else is lurking around in there! Fingers crossed, nothing else too sinister. 

Pregnancy envy

So this is a thing. I didn’t even know it was until I realised how envious I was at yet another pregnancy announcement. They just seem to be so frequent these days, I don’t understand why, or how! Well obviously I know how!

I had a dream a few months ago now that my sister was pregnant with twins. Usually these dreams for me signify actual pregnancy or illness. Just as I thought no more about it, a friend I hadn’t seen for a good while said she wanted to meet up for dinner.

I’d guessed she was pregnant before she actually confirmed she was. I congratulated her, of course I was happy for her. She deserves to be happy. But a part of me died inside for completely selfish reasons. I’ve lost another friend to the mummy brigade, I’m still not even close to ever having children of my own and that’s another person in life who’s got everything that I want.

I can tell you, it’s totally possible to smile and be happy for your friend whilst your heart fights back the desire in you to completely breakdown.

I sort of got over that. Then came another blow. A colleague entered the room one morning with a rather bloated looking belly and announced she was also expecting. Hmmm.

Why is everyone getting pregnant and I haven’t.

I know I’m not completely irrational about my feelings because someone else I know is having fertility problems and she struggles when other women announce their pregnancies. I feel jealous of her. She’s got everything in place. House, decent job, loving fiancee. I haven’t even got a quarter of that. She’d probably laugh at me if I told her I was jealous of her!

I know I’m doing that ridiculous ‘comparing myself to others’ that we as a society seem to do constantly,but I can’t help it.

Can people just stop procreating for a while please 😦

Anyone else have pregnancy envy?