Single with Vulvodynia

Affection and Socialization

35 year old Lynn Warner* of Montauk, New York likes being single, "I don't like the idea of being tied to one person. I can't be responsible to a long-term relationship. I like to get up and go whenever the urge strikes me.

But that doesn't mean I don't like to have male companionship. I don't do long-term, but I am a social creature who needs affection and socialization," says the free-spirited brunette.

Lynn may need male companionship, no matter how short-term, but there's a problem. Lynn has a painful genitourinary condition called vulvodynia. "I've had at least two doctors tell me I have something called fibromyalgia, that has to do with why I get tired and have pains now and then, but it's the pelvic problem that's the worst of the deal."

Scrubbed Raw

As Lynn's gynecologist explained, about 65% of all women with fibromyalgia have vulvodynia, which causes pain and sometimes bleeding in the vulva; the area that surrounds the opening of the vagina. The condition makes it hard to sit and sex is often impossible. "Look, it comes and goes, so it could be worse, but when do you let the guy of your dreams know he's not going to get lucky tonight because your vagina feels like someone scrubbed it raw with a loofa sponge?"

Even though she likes her relationships on the temporary side, it's not as though she's ready to give up men and dating for good. "I consider myself to be healthy-minded about sex. I like sex; it's important to me. I am not ready to become a nun. So, I went back to the doctor."

Lynn's doctor tried a variety of approaches in an effort to bring a reduction of Lynn's pelvic pain. With a lot of patience, what finally worked were some well-placed steroid injections. "At first, the idea freaked me out; but being celibate freaked me out even more. My doctor said that if I could help him map out the exact places where there was pain, he could inject steroids into just those areas. He calmed me down by explaining that the injections contained a numbing substance, I think, maybe lidocaine? Anyway, it worked!

I told my doctor, 'I'm just not ready to sit on the shelf. Help me out here, Doc,' and he did. He really helped me a lot."

Lynn was lucky to find a doctor that had experience in treating vulvodynia. Take a leaf from Lynn's book and don't give up on life just because you have pelvic pain. Find a doctor who's willing to go the limit to help you get your social life back to where it should be and how you deserve it to be.


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