Today was the day!!! I am a long time...
Today was the day!!! I am a long time "Ripping/Tearing" sufferer here, even before menopause, which back then they blamed on birth control pills. Now, almost a decade post-menopause, my "man cave" is in desperate need of an overhaul!! I opted not to do any Hormone Replacement Therapy and other than the obvious, I feel great! I've tried some Estrogen Creams and LOTS of lubricants but they didn't help at all, so here I am going for the full monte!!
The office visit was about an hour long with all the prep work. The procedure itself lasted about 15-20min. I had BOTH the inside and the outside done (aka "The Works"). Didn't expect it to take that long from what I've read and I kept thinking, "dang, is my man Cave really THAT deep? LOL. There were two ladies working together on me, my doctor and a trained technician. They were really going to town with that laser! At one point the tech put her head up and said, "You're getting the royal treatment hear, we're being very thorough". I didn't feel a thing though, I was numbed up pretty good with some topical numbing agent that works amazingly well, so well in fact that I made the comment, if this procedure doesn't work on me, I'll just use some of the numbing cream as a Plan-B. That got a good laugh out of everyone in the room. When it was all done my doc said that while most women are advise to take it easy for 3 or 4 days, she recommended I take a week. I've know her for many years and she was probably taking into account that I'm very active and participate in very strenuous activities. She said to expect to feel like I have a very bad sunburn with redness and swelling, YIKES!!! Ya, that made me verrrry nervous!!
I'm leery of urinating, I expect it will sting quite a bit. I feel like I did after giving birth when you are scared to have a bowel movement, lest you rip a stitch. They gave me an ice pack to sit on for the drive home since I live about 30min away. She also recommended Aquaphor ointment which I picked up on my way home. I'm icing again, now 3hrs after the procedure. Still have not urinated. I hope to do that later and apply some ointment. So far I have had virtually NO pain whatsoever!! Will Fill you in more tomorrow.
Day 2; Post 1st treatment
Last night I cleaned the external area and applied more Aquaphor ointment. There was still a little bit of pinkish discharge on my panty liner but no pain or discomfort of any sort, everything felt as if nothing had been done. This morning I was a bit nervous to have a bowel movement because I had so much external treatment done (especially the space between vagina and rectum) but, I'm happy to report I felt no discomfort at all. I used my bidet to cleanse the area and reapplied more Aquaphor. I took a peek to see how things appeared and everything looks totally normal. No redness, no swelling, nothing. While I'm glad to be feeling no discomfort, I'm hoping that's not indicative of the expected results (being nothing). My pantyliner was clean this morning and there has been no further discharge all day. If there is some drastic change during this healing week, I'll update, otherwise you'll be hearing from me in about a week when we give it a whirl. Fingers crossed it will be at least a little better.
Finally gave 'er a go : /
Just when I was healed enough to try "it" out, my son came down with bacterial bronchitis with a fever of 104º so I made a trip up to his apartment to care for him since he lives alone and had just broken up with his girlfriend (nice timing, eh?) Then, when I got back home my hubby was sick with an upper respiratory cold/flu thing, which of course, I then caught. I was better in a couple of days but his drug on and on and on. Anyway... we were finally healthy enough to give 'er a go this weekend (3.5 weeks post). Good News: The inside is really nice, fluffy and moist and the top/front of the vaginal opening no longer hurt at all!... HOWEVER ... The Bad News: The Back/Bottom of the vaginal opening (where I have massive episiotomy scars) still hurt like the dickens (pardon the pun!!) It hurt too badly to finish the deed while being penetrated by his member, but at least it didn't bleed like it usually does.
***WARNING*** This may be TMI for some people so if you don't want details, stop reading here!!!
We have really missed that closeness with each other, so we were determined not to just let it end deflated and in pain. We knew the top and inside were good to go, so he used his fingers inside and out while avoiding the painful area and, YES!! I had a really great 'O' :D Before this procedure that wouldn't have been possible because everything hurt too badly inside and out and bled all over the place, which is just not sexy. I was a little sore in that back area (episiotomy scar) from our initial attempt, but there was still no bleeding, no cuts, no stinging like I would usually have. So, at this point I'm still very hopeful that eventually we'll have good success and at least at this point there are other possibilities to enjoy each other as opposed to completely off limits. (and, yes, I took care of him too) ;)
Post Third (final) Treatment
28 Jul 2016
4 months post
Ok, so... Life handed me a whole truck full of lemons!!! I could open a lemon aide factory!!
Lets start with the procedure... It actually went very well, a bit longer than the previous one and this time, I smelled a slight tinge of something burning and had a little concern but chalked it up to the fact that the fan they always use was facing a different direction than usual and figured this was probably normal since my doctor didn't seem in the least bit concerned and I know I can trust her. I followed the same post procedure protocol as before, icepacks and Aquaphor. Again, there was virtually no pain just a slight sensation of being able to feel my vaginal walls, especially while walking. I was never able to feel the inside of my vagina, even while wearing a tampon unless I had an infection, but that would be painful. This was more like it was just sensitive and it passed in a couple of days. There was some yellowish-white, odorless discharge for a couple of days as well. I was really anxious to give it a try once the waiting period passed but my husband was sick, so I had to wait a bit more. Then my daughter, who lives in Boston and is pregnant with her second child (my granddaughter is 22 mos) asked if I could please come for her birthday. I planned to leave in just a few days, hoping my hubby would be well before I left. However, our son's wife who was also pregnant, contracted toxemia and they had to take the baby 3 weeks early!! The baby came home the same day I flew out. There was just too much commotion, sleepless nights, etc for intimacy to happen. I made it to Boston and was having a really nice 10 day visit when I received a call from my sister that her son had been shot and sadly, he didn't survive. She was nearly incoherent, so I made travel arrangements for her and her husband (and her service animal) to fly across the country for the funeral. Then I detoured my travel home to meet up with her. I took the soonest red-eye flight I could get. There was much to do and plan and take care of (he was an organ donor). Then, our other daughter, who lives in Australia, had her baby the night before the services (a week early). Talk about an emotional roller coaster!!! I felt like an emotional schizophrenic!!! My husband was the sweetest and drove for hours to meet up with me and be supportive, but, obviously, it was hardly the time for romance. I actually thought of those scenes in movies where people grieving would "hook up" and found it to be absolutely absurd. That was the last thing on my mind as we said good bye to my 28 yr old nephew. It was a long drive home. By the time I got there, I was trashed, mentally, emotionally and physically. Still reeling from all of that, I had a mountain of work to catch up on and worked late into the night for several days. Just as the dust was beginning to settle, I ended up with a raging yeast infection!!! Most likely due to all of the stress, lack of sleep, disrupted diet or maybe I just picked it up the the hotel?!! Whatever the cause, it was not conducive to trying out my rejuvenation. I opted for the 7-day treatment just to make sure it was knocked all the way out. I used the last vial yesterday. I did try my dilators and had no pain whatsoever, so I'm thinking it's going to be all good. I'm thinking perhaps tonight or at least this weekend we will have lift off and all rockets will be firing!!
Back in the game!!
25 Sep 2016
6 months post
Several months later and I am doing great!!! Sooooo glad I had the procedure!! It has changed my (love) life!! I can now enjoy totally pain free sex again, when before it was 100% impossible. It used to be so terribly painful, there was no chance of penetration. To be clear, it's not exactly like it was pre-menopause, we have to go about it a bit differently now. No more jumping right in at the drop of a hat in any position. We have to prepare a little bit now, I need a little warm up fore play and I need him to insert fingers first to open me up before actual penetration. But, my husband is well endowed, if he were smaller, I'd probably have zero issues. I am still using my dilators after every shower and that makes a big difference. We've now gotten into a good rhythm that works for us and sex is now back to being sexy and spontaneous without my having to instruct him. It took the two of us to make it work. He was eager to learn what I needed, and what he needed to do to make it comfortable for me. We are very open and communicate well which I think is key. We are really enjoying each other sexually again and it's wonderful!! My libido, I noticed is also increasing as the fear of pain has faded. I had thought it was a hormonal side effect, but now I realize it was a pain response that made my sex drive wan. That was an unexpected benefit that I've been enjoying as well! For me, this has been life changing, I didn't realize how much sexual relations with my husband effects so many areas of my life. I feel happier and less stressed. I had been experiencing anxiety, melancholy and feeling "old" but now I feel vibrant, sexy, alive!! Don't discount the mental benefits of intimacy. It all seems to be intertwined. I am renewed!!