I first noticed my labia as a curious tween. They...
I first noticed my labia as a curious tween. They were weird and reminded me of one of those things that hangs from a Turkey's neck; long, wrinkly and stretchy and I can remember wishing I didn't have them. Back then however, I had no clue that mine were any different than anyone else's. All I knew was that I didn't like them. It wasn't until I was in my early 20's that I became really self-conscious. Compared to pictures i had seen, mine were significantly longer and darker. They made the whole area down there look dirty and nasty. I also always had issues with not being able to wipe properly and despite trying every brand of toilet paper on the market, I always had remnants of toilet paper in the creases and crevices. My underwear was always smelly and I always had to wear pantiliners and constantly keep them changed. Regardless of anything I did, there was still an odor of urine. 3 to 4 times/ year I would get UTI's or yeast infections. Not only did I suffer from frequent infections, my labia would often get tangled around my panties causing excruciating pain if my panties shifted or when I had to untangle them. Sexual relationships were embarrassing and i constantly felt the need to apologize, and explain. It was also difficult for me to stay lubricated and quite frankly, they just got in the way. Any time intimacy was refused for any reason, I felt ashamed as though my nasty labia were the cause. I felt like there was a sign on my head that said I'm nasty and unclean when in all actuality, I probably washed down there more times in one day than most people do in a week. I was hopeless! Finally after years of UTI's, yeast infections, etc. and reaching my emotional limit in dealing with the situation, my Dr. recommended me for labiaplasty and the rest is history. I'm now 4 days post op and despite the nasty looking healing process, I am finally able to examine myself without feelings of insecurity and shamefulness.It already looks so much better! I am finally comfortable and confident with looking at myself. I'm highly surprised and thankful that it's not as painful as I had anticipated. It's mainly just uncomfortable, slight irritation, and occasional itching due to the healing process. I'll try to post some before and after pictures and update my progress accordingly. I hope this post will help others to realize that they're not alone. There is hope. And so far, the experience has been beyond well worth it!!!
2 Weeks Post-Op (pics)
Everything is looking good and healing well. A couple of stitches disolved around the one week mark but my Dr. said that's completely normal and they will continue to dissolve on their own when they're ready. It still itches occasionally so my doc said I could apply Benedryl cream which helped incredibly. (Ask your doc first to make sure its ok for you to use.) Sitting up straight for normal periods of time is still pretty uncomfortable so I try to recline or lie down as much as possible. I understand that some people dont have the luxury of being able to take it easy and have to jump back into a full time work schedule. I took a neck pillow to work this morning to sit on and that helped quite a bit. I only had to work 2 hrs today but I was exhausted by the time I left. That might just be me though. Everything is going good and I'm sooo excited to see the end results! Please feel free to ask questions or comment. :)
Pain Meds and Constipation....
I forgot to tell everyone... I had forgotten all about how badly pain Meds dehydrate you. Make sure to ask your Dr. what to take i.e. laxative, stool softener, etc... and DO NOT FORGET TO TAKE IT! I totally forgot and on day 4 Post-Op, I was about to explode! It was like squeezing a concrete baseball through a PVC pipe and i actually strained so hard I popped a stitch! At my 1 week Dr's visit, the Dr. told me to mix a full dose of the unflavored Miralax powder into water or juice once a day to keep everything regular and if that didn't work after a couple of days, just double the dose until I was regular again. Unfortunately, I was so backed up, I had to have an enema (Ugh!) before the Miralax started working. Just wanted to let everyone know so you don't run into the same problem. Just make sure to ask your Dr. first. Hope this helps!
3 Weeks Post-Op
Thrilled! Had a follow-up with the surgeon yesterday and he is very happy with the healing process at this point. Very little pain or discomfort. If I can go without undies, I do. The more it breathes, the more comfortable I am. Can't wait for the end results!
Honestly, how bad does it hurt?
I received a message from a sweet young girl who for good reason, is scared to death. Her situation was much like mine was pre-op. She's much more fortunate though as she is only 18 and will not have to endure as many years of struggling with the side effects of larger than large labia. BUT in all honesty, everyone's pain level and tolerance different. I considered myself a sissy to pain. I don't have the advantage of the "If you've ever gone into labor, you can handle anything" rule because I haven't been blessed with children yet. Even the tiniest of pain was torture for me. BUT from my recovery experience, I can tell you what has been way more painful for me than labiaplasty...
4. Biting your tongue
4. My current sore throat!
All of this is from my personal experience with my own pain threshold. I did have a couple of stitches pop lose and did have the beginning stages of labia infection which were not comfortable BUT I still feel like the list above was more painful! It may also help to know which type of pain medication works best for you. For me, Lortab is a joke. Percocet, however will get the job done every time and in this case, I only had to take 1/4 of the recommended dosage 2 to 3 times a day rather than every 4-6 hrs.