semen allergies? vaginismus? what do you ladies know? possible TMI - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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sometimes I wonder (and have for many years) if I have a semen allergy. I have had bouts of terrible swelling and stinging during and/or after sex. the last couple years (off of gluten, good partner) things have improved but I still have the once or so a month, puffed-pootie!... sometimes more... sometimes less. I have also struggled with mild to moderate vaginismus (anxiety about, pain associated with sex). It is not ALL the time but enough to warrant figuring out what exactly is going on, mostly whether it is an emotional issue or an allergic reaction... its the chicken and the egg question, I'm not sure what came first. I don't know what kind of "tests" can be done to figure out what exactly is going on but thought some of you ladies might have some good info or experience with these issues.

thanks again ladies,
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#2 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 12:29 PM
 
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Are you by chance perhaps not making enough vaginal fluid? I know I had a similar experience (pain during/after sex, swelling) that turned out I just did not have enough lubrication in there to keep things moving right.

I would think that pain and swelling during sex would not have much to do with semen since likely you are not getting any semen in you until towards the end...

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#3 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi M.P.

very true.
I think you might be right that I'm just not making enough vaginal fluid of any kind. I think you've read my other post so you know I've tried every supplement, with little success. none of them have caused more discomfort but none have helped much either.

true that semen does only get in near the end... so maybe already feeling sore, with semen on top (sounds like a bad ice cream sundae) makes for even MORE irritation. so confusing.

I have also had A LOT of sensitivity to lubricants as well (can't EVER use ones with glycerine but have found coconut oil is ok and an aloe based one is ok... sometimes. tmi... but my own saliva is also ok, my dh's only sometimes...

have you had any success in increasing natural lubrication? or did you just add artificial lubricants? have things changed for you over time?

I've also figured out that I was sensitive to gluten, and things have gotten better since cutting that out of my diet.... but nothing to write home about.

I need to talk to my MD about vulvodynia/vaginismus which I know a bit about but not much to "diagnose" myself as having for sure.... I find it so interesting to learn about all this "stuff' and yet its so frustrating too.

also just wanted to say that you are always so helpful on these boards, I really appreciate all the time/energy you put into answering peoples posts.
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#4 of 16 Old 01-30-2010, 01:21 PM
 
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Have you tried pre-seed? Its close to your own EWCM makeup and is designed for women TTC (because normal lubricants can kill off some of the sperm)

For me the #1 help was finding someone who focuses a lot more on foreplay... XH never did and as such i never built up a good amount of arousal fluid before he was ready to move on... DF loves the foreplay part so by the time we actually move on I am quite sufficiently wet.

Im not sure if any of the other things that I worked on (focusing more mentally on making sure I am feeling pleasure rather than just focusing on pleasing the other person) helps any.

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#5 of 16 Old 01-31-2010, 03:05 AM
 
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Oh mama, I feel for you! I had very severe vulvodynia for about a year and a half while trying lots of different things to try to figure out, including 5 different ob/gyns and finally going to the "best one" in my entire region who told me there was nothing western medicine could do for me and i needed to research other options.

which i did. i went to acupuncture and holy cow. it fixed me up. it wasn't immediate but I am talking about a major difference within just a few weeks. i was able to have plenty of lovin and it also helped regulate my cycles and helped me ovulate.

the other things that helped me were: eating a very, very healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, wearing only white cotton undies, no alcohol, maybe tmi here but making sure DH washed his parts with ONLY water, absolutely no soaps. i also washed all my clothes in all free and clear detergent. no harsh soaps at all. no harsh chemicals on my body period. all organic stuff. absolutlely no tampons, douching, etc. Use only all-cotton pads from the health food store.

so I did all those things, and then i ended up pregnant with DS, which basically I think cured me. After having him, I have only had a few issues..but they were related to intercystial cystitis (I think, not officially diagnosed).

You probably should also look up IC because the two can be related. There are several skin problems that can cause vulvodynia as well, and your ob/gyn can test for those. However, I DO NOT recommend taking antibiotics for yeast if they tell you you have yeast. That made my problems MUCH worse. I would recommend lots of yogurt (I eat it every day still) and if necessary, put yogurt on your vagina.

Sorry, I know this is alot of TMI but I am just hoping to help you, as I know from experience how terrible this can be. Hang in there.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-31-2010, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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MP: been thinking about trying preseed. from what I understand it is glycerine free and of course, ok for sperm : )

lilmom: did you read the V book? I also was wondering about IC.

thanks for your suggestions. again, Its nice to know i'm not alone in figuring out vaginal pain/discomfort. I've never use antibiotics for a yeast infection (boric acid and yogurt have been the best for yeast!!) I was thinking my DH maybe needed to be checked out for yeast but that's a good point, about being sensitive to the soap he is washing with. I can sometimes feel just as irritated even if he is just using fingers (sorry tmi)... but presumably that could also be a sensitivity to the soap he just washed them with!!

I have to just remember to take my time with all this, I know. and I really appreciate your stories and words of wisdom.
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#7 of 16 Old 01-31-2010, 11:23 PM
 
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Yes, I did read the V book but I didn't find it particularly helpful for my situation. It might help you though, I dont know. I haven't read it in a very long time.

I hope whatever it is, you will be able to conquer it soon! Try getting DH to switch soaps and see if that helps. And maybe look into IC. I had a terrible time trying to get anyone to diagnose me without doing some invasive procedures, but I am 99.9% sure I have it.
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#8 of 16 Old 02-01-2010, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lilmom, if you don't mind me asking, what are/were your IC symptoms?

i don't have pain but do OFTEN need to pee... and have other other vaginal discomforts it sounds like can go along with it. have you found some good online resources for IC information?

thanks again
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#9 of 16 Old 02-01-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Preseed=awesome. And I've had the puffy pootie before too, from not being actually aroused and just going for it anyway. Oops.

If you haven't tried this already, have your partner do oral until you ALMOST finish, then DTD. (And then get off afterward to boost the sperm's chance of getting up there - go uterine muscles!)

That's what did it for us. We were trying other lubes and failing. Preseed, we got pregnant first cycle.

Kaiti, in heartbeat.gif with Shane, astrological mama to spitdrink.gif Sophie *12.27.05*, praying.gif Maya *09.25.07*, sleepytime.gif Phoenix *08.23.09* & 3rdtri.gif due *12.04.11*  Having a hbac.gif waterbirth.jpg lotbirth.gif after 3 cesareans!

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#10 of 16 Old 02-01-2010, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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writteninkursive: thank you for the tips : ) and I think preseed is looking like a good candidate for us...... sadly I HATE receiving oral!! so that's out, but the getting close to O (the other kind), bding and then Oing after is what i've heard is best .... and that's just what we did!... we literally just had some awesome sex (sans puff poot) ... and i am currently (really as i write this) lying in bed with my hips on a pillow letting it all sink in while Dh is so kindly taking the dog on a run! Yipee!

really hoping it works this time. plus after the found EWCM earlier today i think DH's sperm have a nice little environment to hang out in for a couple of days or so.... and we are going to try bding every day (i'm cd 12 today) until my temp goes up and see if that works better than every other day the week before O (that's what we had been doing)

also, sorry if all of this is tmi (are we allowed to post about our sexual likes, dislikes and escapades here? this is a pretty open board here so i'm just going to assume its ok...)
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#11 of 16 Old 02-03-2010, 02:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapis View Post
lilmom, if you don't mind me asking, what are/were your IC symptoms?

i don't have pain but do OFTEN need to pee... and have other other vaginal discomforts it sounds like can go along with it. have you found some good online resources for IC information?

thanks again
I often need to pee and sometimes I feel like it doesn't all come out and then i have to go back 5 minutes later and pee again. This is not necessarily from IC but I think it's probably related. Also I have pain in my bladder, and sometimes painful sex. Which can also be vulvodynia related, and it's hard to know which issue is causing it. But that's basically it. I used to be able to drink anything I wanted to..now I find that alcohol really hurts my bladder, and caffeine will too if I have too much. One cup a day, no big deal. But more than that, and I will be in pain. So I mainly drink water.

By the way, sounds like you may be doing just fine based on your post earlier! good luck!! i hope it worked!
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#12 of 16 Old 02-03-2010, 02:58 AM
 
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Just tossing out an idea but have you put DH on a soap elimination? We had to go through several rounds of shampoos and soaps and shaving creams early in our marriage b/c my skin was so sensitive to it all...just lying in bed next to him would give me a rash or pain.

If in particular your partner is using anything on his genital area, perhaps it is trapped in the pubic hair...or for that matter he could be using the at-home hair removal stuff?

Just an idea.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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#13 of 16 Old 02-03-2010, 04:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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lilmom: yeah, the needing to pee and not being able to let it all out!!! this really only happens to me in the late evening, right before bed (soooo annoying) and I often have to get up three times before i can go to sleep. i'm definitely going to say something about that at my next checkup! luckily my bladder doesn't bother me but the sex can be painful in a way that sounded similar to what i've read about... although those symptoms all can be associated with different/other problems as well.

wow ladies, i REALLY appreciate all your suggestions and commiserations, its so helpful to have a few other minds working on the same project and even though i've thought of or know of a lot of what you ladies suggested, it wasn't in the forfront of my mind to kind of put it together.

claddaghmom: i think trying a soap free trial is also in order.

and ps on an up AND update note: we met with our family doctor last night (dh and i both together) she is awesome and is sending me to a great gyno and booked me and dh for bloodwork and just seems totally on the ball... and really warm and friendly too. Dh and i both LOVED her attitude and don't always like the same kinds of practitioners so its really nice to be able to have the same one : ) yay! and yay for europe we just hand her our insurance card and that is IT. no money no co pay no thing!

hugs ladies
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#14 of 16 Old 02-03-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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Hey Lapis - I haven't had "puffy pootie" but I did suffer from vaginismus for a few years in my 20s. It was just awful. Two doctors and a psychiatrist could not identify any physical cause so we considered it to be caused by anxiety, though we could never identify what triggered the anxiety in the first place (ie there was no history of abuse). Though I didn't have the added complication of a potential allergy as you do, I can totally relate to the chicken and egg thing. Once I had experienced the muscle clench/spasm a few times, the fear of it happening again and the subsequent stress on my relationship, made it that much worse.

Anyway, I found great help in the book, "When a Woman's Body Says No to Sex." It's been more than ten years now and I can't remember the exact content but I believe it covers a range of possible causes of vaginismus and how to overcome them.

The battle I had to get my hoochie muscles to cooperate lasted about 2-3 years and then mysteriously resolved itself quite suddenly (probably due to feeling better about life in general, but I could never pin point what helped me to turn the corner in the bedroom department). I've had a healthy normal sex life ever since with no reccurence whatsoever. I hope that you get to this point soon too!

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#15 of 16 Old 02-03-2010, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks JessieBird

its actually really helpful to hear stories of things getting better.

"Once I had experienced the muscle clench/spasm a few times, the fear of it happening again and the subsequent stress on my relationship, made it that much worse."

yes!! exactly this!!!

i'm looking forward to seeing a new gyn who will hopefully take the time to help me really figure things out... even if my reaction is purely emotional, it will really help me to know what i'm looking at. and dh is patient and supportive but it is still stressful on our relationship.

good luck with ttc #2 : ) where are you in quebec? my dh lived in Montreal for 8 years!

thanks for the book rec... i'll check it out.
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#16 of 16 Old 02-05-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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the symptoms that you two ladies decsribe are CLASSIC IC warning signs. I totally understand not wanting a invasive procedure to be diagnosed but the problem is there is no other way to diagnose IC. I had a cysto/hydro under Iv medications to diagnose mine in 2006. Yes its was less than a fun recovery for my but the hydra did buy me a good 6 months of a pain free bladder. The best thing you can do is eliminate all irritating food from your diet (for me anything with preservitives and MGS is a no no!) and drink as much water as possible every single day. i aim to drink a gallon a day! Alos caffine and acidic drinks are NOT good for your bladder at all and you should 100% cut them out of your diet. You wouldnt pour caffine on an open wound, thats basically what you are doing when you drink anything but water.

I know it all sounds sucky but i've been living with IC for almost 4 years now and it does take time but if you do the work right and stick with it and really pay attention to your body's cues you can get these problems in check and go back to a semi pain free lifestyle!
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