Most people with vulvodynia and vulvar vestibulitis don’t have it as easy as I did, with relatively good health insurance, good care, and a partner willing to invent endless jokes about “vestibules” to make me feel better. My physical therapist told me about a very conservative religious patient who’d begun to experience vulvodynia after losing her virginity to her husband on their wedding night; the husband had just left her after 7 months of sexless marriage. Another couple she knew split up after about 7 years of painful sex. Fifty years ago, we all would have been called frigid and psychoanalyzed to death; 500 years ago, we might have just avoided sex our whole lives. Even now, with more public discussion of vaginal disorders in the health care community and in the media, there’s clearly a long way to go in terms of awareness and understanding before vulvodynia will come out of the closet like male impotence did (and, of course, since there’s no drugs for vulvodynia yet, we don’t have Big Pharma on our side making normalizing ads).I highly recommend reading the whole thing.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Living with Vulvodynia
There's a great (anonymous) personal account on Feministing of living with a form of vulvodynia, or a chronic and unexplained pain in the vagina that makes sex pretty much impossible. The detailed account of her treatment is a wonderful look into what it's like to live with this little-talked-about condition. But she's grateful: