A while back I promised a sexy surprise about endometriosis and it’s finally time for me to deliver! I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ve been sick.
Anyway, I’ve got a great tip for you ladies dealing with endometriosis. One of the symptoms I have a really hard time dealing with is not-quite-pain. I think that’s what a lot of doctors and pharmacists mean when they say “discomfort” but that just sounds so sissy. For me, there are days when I am so “uncomfortable” that I have panic attacks. I feel trapped in my own skin, and as soon as I get home I rip all my clothes off because I just can’t stand anything touching me.
That’s NOT my sexy surprise, believe me, it’s pretty un-sexy.
The center of my over-stimulation is usually my lady-bits. Like I said, it’s not pain, it’s just this restless awfulness. I don’t know how exactly to describe it. I wondered if it was “horniness.” I usually think of horniness as, well, wanting sex, so why would I associate this restless discomfort as horniness? Mostly from one scene in the comic Watchmen, where Laurie describes a feeling similar to what I was feeling.
“I felt let down, restless, horny, and I needed a cigarette.” – she says this is reference to the first time she gathered with a bunch of other costume heroes to try and form a crime fighting squad. The meeting didn’t go well and she was feeling a lot of pressure. She wasn’t specifically wanting sex, but described herself as “horny” so maybe it can be a bad feeling. Anyway, I’ve gotten very side-tracked, in short – I felt really awful and didn’t know what to do.
Since I didn’t know how to really describe what was going on, I did a lot of vague googling and eneded up reading a lot about vaginismus. When I felt uncomfortable, I’d tense up and have spasms all over, but like I said, I felt this stress was rooted in my pelvic area. I saw that the treatment for this condition was dialators – objects that could be inserted into the vagina that varied in size, so that you could start with a small size and slowly try bigger sizes to open yourself up and help the muscles relax. This also sounded like something that would help with the painful sex that can accompany endometriosis, so I thought I’d ask my doctor about it.
His first response when I asked about dilators was that I didn’t have vaginismus, but if I was simply experiencing discomfort and wanted to try and treat the area, it would be cheaper to just “buy some toys.” I blushed. Oh Lordy, my doctor was prescribing “toys…”
Needless to say, I was more than a little mortified. But I was so miserable, so stressed, and so… “uncomfortable” every day that I was willing to try desperate measures.
I went to a sex store.
Yeah, so it was embarrassing. I went to a girl-centric store, which helped a bit. All the salespeople were women and it’s supposed to have a vibe like Victoria’s Secret. But still. It’s just weird. I’m so glad I went, though, because seriously, it made a world of difference for the symptoms I was having.
I ended up getting a pretty basic waterproof, vibrating dildo. And you don’t know how embarrassing that was to type. But it ended up being great therapy for many of the symptoms of endo that there are just no pills for. Each night when I showered, I would turn on the vibrator and just calmly insert it. At first, it was very painful, so it was a pretty quick exercise. But as time went on, I’d try to keep it in for a few seconds at a time. The vibrations relaxed the muscles in exactly the same way vibrating massage chairs relax the muscles in your back. It also helped me to overcome some general fear associated with entry just because of past painful episodes.
Now, full disclosure, this problem ultimately wasn’t 100% solved until I also started taking antidepressants. Part of my issue was my anxiety disorder, which just caused my brain and body to over react to very mild irritants (like clothing). Once I got used to the medicine, the problem almost disappeared. Now, I don’t keep the vibrator in the shower anymore because I only need to use it every now and then when a flare gets particularly bad.
The last tip I’ve got for you on this truly mortifying topic is to go ahead and spend a little extra on it. Don’t spend extra for one that’s glittery or anything, just one that is a bit higher end and better quality. I went for one of the cheaper options and it ended up dying on me after a little less than a year. I’m not sure why, but I think that the “waterproof-ness” of it can vary. I think somewhere along the way some water got into mine and now it won’t stay on. I’m thinking the higher end ones are a bit more sturdy and can stand up to more water.
I SERIOUSLY HOPE THIS HELPS SOMEBODY. I waited forever to write about it, thinking eventually I could write in a not totally awkward way about it but clearly I can’t. Haha I know this is all SO WEIRD but it was the only thing that helped me. While the antidepressants played a huge role in it, I don’t think I would have gotten the same result without sex toy use. Antidepressants can help a lot, but they can not 100% prevent panic attacks and muscle tension and spasms. In the same way that you wouldn’t just take antidepressants for chronic back pain or joint stiffness, you can’t rely on them to clear up muscle problems in your private parts. Sometimes you need massage/physical therapy… and there is an intimate version of that. That’s legal. And I wish was less awkward to explain.
Alright, I’m bolting. Go check out a sex store. See ya next time when I pretend we never had this conversation.