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vaginal atrophy!

Posted by steviefan (My Page) on
Tue, Jul 24, 07 at 10:34

Hi everyone.
I'm a sufferer of the dreaded vaginal/urethral atrophy for seven months now and want to hear any suggestions or experiences with this nasty part of menopause. I went through menopause just fine, I think I had a total of three hot flashes over the past several years and supposedly I am now postmenopausal. On New Year's Eve I noticed burning when I'd go to the bathroom. On Jan. 10th I finally went to the doctor who sent me to a urogynocologist who's appt. wasn't for another two weeks. So on Jan. 27th, this specialist finally did a urine culture...and found out I had a "nasty" urinary tract infection. I was treated for that and the infection went away but the symptoms stayed...actually got worse. After many tests and three doctors, I was diagnosed with vaginal/urethral atrophy. I have now been using premarin for the past five weeks and am still suffering from burning and pelvic pressure every single hour of every single day. At first the premarin made me feel worse and had to be cut down to twice a week instead of every day. Now I have tender breasts and yesterday I started what might be a period. The doctor said to cut the premarin down to once a week, even though I'm no better. I fear the premarin. I am so depressed.One doctor said that if I don't use estrogen, I'll get worse over time.She also said not to use any lubricants because they contain alcohol.......well, the premarin contains two forms of alcohol!! I'm sorry..this is getting way too long for you readers. Thanks for your patience!!
Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: vaginal atrophy!

See if you can't get your doctor to switch you to vaginal estriol cream. It is bio-identical. I used it every day for 2 weeks--which put me right. Then I switched to using it twice a week to keep the dryness and urinary tract infections away. So far my symptoms have not returned and I have used it for about 5 months. I was having the urinary tract infections every 2 months. It is a weak estrogen and since you are using it "topically" it supposedly doesn't get into your system like a pill does. Google "vaginal dyness" and "estriol" to learn about it.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I hope I don't sound ignorant, because I haven't started menopause yet and am just learning about this potential problem from this forum. But I'm wondering if applying something non hormonal and non medicinal like plain old Vaseline might perhaps help?


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

In my personal experience, sometimes it helps the dryness for a while but it doesn't make it go away--and any incontinence you are having due to the atrophy doesn't improve--plus you are still prone to frequent urinary tract infections.

I have heard of people using replens (sp?) and vitamin E oil capsules as vaginal suppositories. Most people give in and use the estriol in the end. The symptoms are a direct result of low estrogen and it seems that estrogen is all that makes it go away. Not everyone is so unlucky as to have the vaginal atrophy to such an extreme--but many do. It's just not talked about much because it is so personal.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

thanks so much for your responses.
As for the vitamin E, I tried it. It didn't work at all and yet others have said it worked amazingly well for them. Right now I'm in excrutiating pain and so disgusted by it all. I have to see the gynocologist this monday. He wants me to stop the premarin altogether. The bleeding has stopped. I am definitely going to mention the estriol cream. I also want to mention vagifem tablets.
As far as vaseline, I've read that it harbors bacteria so it's a no-no for vaginal atrophy. And non-hormonal lubricants don't stop the atrophy from progressing. I never even heard of vaginal atrophy till I got it. I thought I was over the worst part of menopause and it would be clear sailing from now on. This is a nightmare.
Wish me luck on monday.I hope there's a solution for me. Seven months of my life on hold is really getting to me.
Steviefan.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Hi Steviefan, well I am not sure what to tell you, I like the estriol cream but have to use just a little of it. It makes things swell up and also alittle sens. but it is careful balance for sure. I just got back from a 2 day get away with my husband to San Antonio. The getaway isnt what it used to be. Not only cant I tolerate the personal time in the bedroom, but my body doesnt respond well to mexican food and margaritas anymore. I tried to put a smile on my face, but the emotional strain of not being what I used to be just shows on my face. Fortunately my husband is turning 60 this year, so he too is feeling the age. This week the vaginal atrophy has been bad. But I tried to drink all the water and stay away from caffiene and USUALLY alcohol. I have heard that they can put you under and stretch the uretha to make things alittle easier for a while. Of course a urologist would do that, I think. I am sorry you are struggling with this, ,most of the woman in my family skipped this menopause side effect. but not this woman. Keep exploring different treatments. I too stay away from anything petroleum based. Let us know what the drs. say. Peace, Shotzy


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Shotzy.
I'm so sorry about how you're feeling this week. You have more stamina than me though. I don't even go on vacation.My life has been on hold for seven months now. Nobody in my family has ever even heard of this. My sister keeps saying "no way can your suffering be from menopause!!" She's 67 and never had any of this.I was really bad yesterday. Do you find that spicy/acid foods make things worse?? I eat alot of tomato based foods and hot foods. I saw Fran Drescher on the home shopping channel yesterday and I never realized that it took two years and 8 doctors for her to get a proper diagnoses for her uterine cancer! I'm definitely asking for a biopsy tomorrow when I'm at the doctor's. I have all the symptoms!
Thanks so much for your reply, Shotzy. I hope you're feeling better.
Steviefan


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I thought for a while I had interstitial cystits, not sure I spelled that right, but my symptoms were alot alike. I went on a strict 2 week diet, no tomato based anything, no spices, not caffiene. No orange lime or any other citrus. Nothing but water and milk to drink. I got better very quickly, but who wants to live that way. Oh I lost 13 lbs. that was a good thing, of course I put it right back on. Let me here about the biopsy, Blessing, Shotzy


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Steviefan,

I'm so glad you are going to see your Dr. He will know what to do to make you comfortable again and be able to relieve your fears concerning your symptoms. Please don't worry until you have seen him--it's useless and won't change a thing. I know that's hard to do--but try if you can.

The fact that spicy foods make it worse makes me wonder if you haven't got another urinary tract infection. I was advised to avoid them while I had an active infection. Recurring infections are a symptom of vaginal atrophy so you may need another round of antibiotics.

The period you had may just be the shedding of the uterine lining which may have built up and not completely shed in your last period. The doctor will know for sure.

No one in my family ever had this either--and several doctors I went to didn't realize what the recurrent urinary tract infections meant. They all treated me as though I had dirty sex or suddenly didn't know how to properly wipe myself. I'm single, never married, no significant other (actually no social life at all--I'm the sole caretaker for my mother who had a stroke back in 1984). One doctor even told me that frequent urinary tract infections are common in some "older women" but no one knew why. That was a real ego booster. I'm only in my 50's! As a result I suffered for almost 7 years with frequent, painful, recurrent UTIs. Since I didn't have sex, I was unaware of the actual vaginal dryness--and the "withering" down there made me just think I was getting old. It got to the point where I would wake up some mornings and just suddenly urinate blood from a UTI and have to trot off to the emergency room with my mother in tow. I had to find out on the internet what was wrong with me. You are very lucky that your doctor twigged it so quickly.

The fact that the cure hasn't been successful may just be a case of having to find the correct treatment for you. You may be allergic to something in the vaginal cream. Perhaps another brand of cream or a pill would work better for you.

I found a "pamphlet" about this that you can read or download at another site that was very informative. It said that half of women suffer from this--it just isn't talked about. It gave me some comfort. If you want to read it, it is at:

http://www.menopausematters.co.uk/downloads.php

Click on "Secrets of Menopause."

If you can get to a drugstore or have someone go for you--you might want to try some Phenazopyridine Hydrochochloride. There are generic brands, and Monistat puts out the pills under the name "uristat" and AZO puts it out as "AZO Standard." You used to need a prescription for this but they sell it over the counter now. It does NOT cure the urinary tract infection--if that is what you have--but IF that is what you have, it will ease the discomfort--however it will turn your urine orange and stain any clothing it gets in contact with. It is usally kept in the "pain relief" section of the drugstore. I'm telling you this just to tide you over until your doctor appointment. You might even want to go to an emergency room to get treatment and have your doctor follow up with what they find.

I can relate to the suffering you are enduring. I will pray that you can find some relief soon.

Take care,

Brenda


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I read the articles, most I knew, but I would love to know if the UK has some magic the usa hasnt allowed over here yet!


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Steviefan,

Are you okay?

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

here I am. lol
I can't believe how the doc appt went on monday! The doctor, the fourth one I've seen for this in the past seven months, thought that maybe I was allergic to the premarin cream. So he was going to prescribe a tablet that gets inserted. Then he looked at whatever secretion he found in me during the internal, under a microscope and told me something "bacterial" is going on, and he was going to precribe some kind of cream for at night. Then he decided to do a transvaginal ultrasound even though I had one in january by another doctor. I think he decided to do it because I kept talking about Fran Drescher!!! lol I was shocked when he came in with pictures from the ultrasound to show me.......which showed something "large" in my uterus!! He said it's very hard to believe that this didn't show up at all in january and he was making remarks that the doctor didn't know what she was doing.He doesn't think this has anything to do with the burning..but he said it might explain some of the pelvic and rectal pressure I have, plus the spotting. I really think that this thing might not have shown up in january because I will bet you that the estrogen made this grow rapidly in the last six weeks!! Even if it's a polyp, polyps feed off of estrogen! The doctor is hoping it's a very large polyp but can't be sure until it's out of me and sent to pathology!And the endometrial thickness is three times what it should be. So I'm not exactly sure what that means. Anyway, all treatment is at a halt until I have a hysteroscopy and a D+C on august 15th! No estrogen, no bacterial fighting creams...nothing!I'm burning more than ever and my urethra is so painful! And I'm really not thrilled about this surgery. I just had my gallbladder out the end of may and I was really really sick. It wasn't a breeze for me even though everyone I talked to said it is. I don't want to go back to estrogen. I've had nothing but really bad luck with it...from gallbladder stones...to this "thing" inside of me, to sore breasts, to spotting. Thank goodness it was just those things and not blood clots, heart attacks, or strokes. At least not yet!! lol
Thanks for thinking of me. Does anyone out there know what a hysteroscopy is like?
Steviefan...who now has to miss Stevie Nicks in concert on August 24th!


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Stevie,I am so grateful you went for another opinion! I will say a prayer for you and your drs. I dont know how a hysteroscopy feels, but I will dig around among my friends. Keep thinking positvely. Blessing Shotzy


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Steviefan,

So good to hear from you. I haven't had a hysteroscopy but I found an explanation on the web. They use a tube to view what is going on in your vagina--doesn't sound much worse than an internal exam.

I'm so sorry he didn't give you anything to make you more comfortable. I would give him a call to see if there isn't something he could prescribe for the discomfort until the 15th. He may not have realized the extent of your discomfort. He evidently didn't think you were an emergency.

In any event, it seems that you've found someone who can help you--which is a step toward solving this--and that's further than you got with the other docs.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery and that it is something easily remedied. Who knows? You may make that concert yet! I'll keep you and your doctor in my prayers.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I swear, I have to stop doing research on the net! I have myself in a tizzy...as usual! I have to have pre-surgery testing.....the usual bloodwork and ekg. But also written in with the bloodwork is a bloodtest called HCG. Well, now I found out that it's a tumor marker! It's to see if there's uterine cancer present! My doctor must be thinking there's a good possibility with this "growth" and thickening of the uterine wall that he found. I'm a wreck now.
Say those prayers and send me good thoughts. I feel like I'm in some kind of a bad dream.
Steviefan


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Steviefan,

I'm sure he ordered that test as a precaution. He doesn't know what is going on yet--and won't know unless he tests for any possibility. They have to cover all of the bases. Pap smears are tests for cancer too.

Please try not to worry and stop searching for info on the web--the info on the web is only worth what you pay for it. Other people's experiences and diagnoses are NOT you.

Anxiety is a common symptom of menopause and perimenopause--don't let it get to you. You've got a doctor working on it now. Like I said--he evidently didn't think it was an emergency or you'd be in a hospital bed right now. Try to distract yourself and please try not to worry. The prayers are going up.

Sending you all good thoughts,

Bullsigh


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Stevie, PLEASE do as Bullsigh suggests. I am praying for you as well. If you have to look at something on the web look for inspirational sites. Anxiety will make the world look upside down. Call and see if you dr. will call you in some Ativan. Keep us posted, and if it makes you feel better. Blog your heart out on this forum.............................Shotzy


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thank you guys so much for making me feel better! I had the pretesting done today so now on to the surgery next week. And again, thank you so very much!
Steviefan


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Steviefan,

Good for you!--for following through on this. I'm glad we made you feel a bit better. I am thinking about you. I've known people who had this procedure and bless the day they did. You're still in my prayers--so you can know you are safe in the palm of God's hand--He's guiding you--and He's guiding your doc.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

When I started going thru perimenopause 7 years ago, I got this. I spent 127 days trying to "cure" my pain organically & naturally. I was in so much pain from burning, itching and frankly just plain walking hurt that I finally started on hormones and they saved me! I also use "REPLENS" twice a week and that helps too. If I am under alot of stress, I will have a flair up of burning & pain for about a week, then it just goes away. My question is this I have been on Premarin 1 everyday of the month, then I add the progesterone the last 14 days of the month. Premarin got so expensive here in the states that I had to start buying it from canada. I am always paranoid that its fake, or expired or something else. My doctor offered Estrace, which she said 1mg is equal to the 0.625 of the premarin. I have read a bunch of articles that say that the Estrace has to be taken twice a day because it goes out your body so fast, that it breaks down super quick. I really do not want to have to take it 2 times a daY, BUT I just don't know if these canadian pharmacies are actually giving me the real deal. Everytime I have a "flare up" I think its because its not the actual premarin. I am really confused especially since my doctor never mentioned that if I took the estrace that I would probaly have to take it twice a day. I do not want to go backwards on my atrophy...It has really caused me some discomfort and I am sick and tired of reading how an active sexlife will prevent atrophy or help it. Its like I am being punished for not having SEX!


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I don't know about the pharmacy you are dealing with--but I have read that one of the reasons people buy from Canada is because their government controls the prices on drugs there--to keep the price down. I have also read that Canada gets the exact same drugs we do--but they have to charge less--because it is the law there. So, you probably are getting the same exact thing.

One thing I've noticed, lurking on a few menopause message boards, is that women who use the premarin cream often complain of it making things worse initially--or they complain that after using it a while they have a flare-up of burning. I haven't ever read that about the estriol or the Estrace. I don't know why--just an observation I've made.

I found with the estriol--when I first started using it--had to use it every night for 2 weeks--toward the end of the second week I started to feel as though my urethra was a bit irritated. (I had to use it every night for 2 weeks and then went to using it twice a week.) Since I went to the twice a week bit--I've had no problems with irritation--anywhere--just back to being my old self.

BTW, I'm single and have no sex. I had never heard of vaginal dryness or atrophy. I was clueless. My first symptoms were recurring UTIs--and I got treated as if I didn't know how to wipe myself or keep myself clean when I went to the Dr. I went to several doctors before I found one who seemed to know about this problem and how to solve it. I even remarked how it was only since menopause that I got UTIs--and the penney still didn't drop for them. I get angry every time I think about it. They were the ones who ought to have felt bad--because they obviously had a hole in their educations--instead--they and their nurses looked at me as though I suddenly forgot how to take care of myself once I hit my 50's. I never had a UTI until this atrophy occurred.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Bullsigh:
I tried the premarin cream & the estrace cream 7 years ago and they did nothing. I think the VA was too advanced. The premarin pill then adding the progesterine the last 2 weeks of the month is the only thing that worked. I tried every natural and homopathic thing I could find 7 years ago and the hormone doctor--who was also a naturlist told me...for what I have, it can't be done naturally. It really irks me that people think that VA is just dryness...thats like comparing a sunny day to the Sahara desert. 7 years ago when my hormone doctor examined me, he said my texture was that of a leathered baseball glove.....and it felt like that too...it really hurts. I am so glad that I only get it occasinally now....ususally when I am extremly stressed or I eat bad food. But I tell u that REPLENS really helps, because it resets the correct PH down there. I just got a pap yesterday and I am still reeling from that. Thanks for helping me with my concerns about the canadian pharmacies....because when I get my premarin they are not in the manufacter sealed bottle they are in a regular prescription bottle...so thats why I was wondering. just wanted to confirm with someone. Its so nice to chat with other people who have the same pain that u do


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Buffee.
I know what you mean about people thinking it's only "dryness"! I had no idea this could be so extremely painful! I was just talking to a neighbor today about this...she's only in her thirties...and she can't understand why I can't just use an over the counter moisturizer! I've tried so many things with no success.I have burning pain all over the vaginal area and my urethra is like a bee-sting! All the time! Between getting fat, loosing hair, getting drooping eyelids, jowls, dark rings under my eyes that have now turned into dark PUFFS,sagging neck,high cholesteral, and the horrible constant burning and pressure,I just want to stay in bed these days! It's a good thing I take care of my six year old grandaughter most days. At least that keeps me from going into a major depression!!
Now to get this surgery over on wednesday. I have no idea where I go from there as far as vaginal atrophy goes! Seven months and counting!
Steviefan


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Stevie, I am jealous that you get to take care of your grandaughter! I will be praying for your surgery. Keep us posted. Shotz


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Steviefan,

Just wanted you to know you were and are in my thoughts and prayers today.

Bullsigh


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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers!!
Surgery went ok...alot easier than the gallbladder surgery in may!!
I have to call the doctor's office on tuesday for the pathology report. I didn't get to talk to the doctor after surgery...he was in a hurry, as usual! My husband talked to him and said that everything "went well". My husband isn't always the best person for relaying messages though. I wish I got to talk to the doctor instead. Before the surgery the doctor said I have a small fibroid and what he hoped was a large polyp. Now my husband is saying that I had a large fibroid and a small polyp!!
I don't get to see the doctor for six weeks for a follow-up.....it looks like the burning pressure problems are being forgotten!! Right now I"m getting no treatment for that. It didn't get worse from the surgery but it's no better either.
Thanks again for being here. Anyone else out there with atrophy??
Steviefan


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Steviefan,

Thank you so much for posting. I'm so glad the surgery went well. I'm a bit surprised that the doctor still isn't addressing the burning pressure. Perhaps he knows or figures it will go away now that the surgery is done. In any case--6 weeks is a long time to find out what he's thinking. I'd give him a call in regards to getting you some relief. That was what you went to him for! Call him Monday--all he'll be thinking is lab results if you try to address it on Tuesday.

Prayers are still going up for you and the pathology results.

God bless your heart--you've been through so much--and so brave. You can be proud of yourself.

Bullsigh


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well, here it is. Tuesday. I still didn't call the doctor. I don't want to hear any bad news actually. And I don't want to hear any passiveness about the burning either. But man, it's really getting me down. It's actually making me so tired. Or maybe I have chronic fatigue syndrome!! That's how I feel these days! This menopause is really alot worse than I ever thought it could be. I was so lucky to escape night sweats and hot flashes. I thought I was out of the woods after not having a period for 15 months. Looks like it was just the beginning!
Thanks so much, Bullsigh, for your thoughts and prayers.Maybe I'll call the doc tomorrow. Maybe not. lol
Steviefan


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Dear Stevie, I am sorry you arent well today. My burning has returned as well. I am searching for a new obgyn. I am asking around, if things are the same with the next one, I will look for another. Rather costly I know, but I have put less worthwhile things on my credit cards. Will say a prayer for you tonight. Count on it. Shotzy


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Steviefan,

I'm sorry you're not feeling better yet. I'll keep checking in to see how you are and if you called. Call when you're ready. In the meantime I haven't stopped praying for good results and relief.

Shotzy52,

You are in my prayers too--I will not only pray for relief but that you will find the right doctor who can take away this terrible burning.

Bullsigh


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Shotzy!
I'm so sorry you're in pain again! This is so nasty, isn't it? So beyond what "dryness" means! I hope you find someone who can give you some relief. I still didn't call the doctor. I'm totally sick of it all. This is already my third doctor since this began. I just don't know who else to go to.
Do you ever notice whether certain foods bother you? I'm in denial but I really think spicy foods bother me the next day. I had spicy chinese food two days ago and yesterday was really really bad...lots of urethral pain and burning. And I think tomatoes bother me. And I LOVE tomato sauce, ketchup etc.
Just remember...you're not alone. I do understand the physical and even more...the emotional toll this takes.
Steviefan


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Steviefan and Shotzy,

How are you guys doing? Any relief yet?

Bullsigh


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I am actually a little better this week. But I dont see that one day I will wake 30 again. dang it! My only consolation is that my husband is understanding. I think.


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no relief here yet. I spoke to the doctor today and I'm going to start using Vagifem tablets since the premarin cream made me worse if anything. He said now that I had the D&C and the hystoroscopy with benign results, he feels ok about using estrogen on me again. I swore I wouldn't go that route again but I can't take this pain. And my quality of life is in the toilet! I can't deal with this urethral pain any longer.I don't get to see the doctor for 8 weeks. He said the vagifem takes at least 8 weeks to see an improvement of any kind. That'll make it 10 months since the pain started! I don't think I'll ever feel ok again. And it's so darn depressing.
Steviefan


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Stevie, I think we should shoot for normal. I am looking up vagifem and see if it is something I could use. Take care and keep your faith and your chin up. It is great to know everything was benign. That awesome news. Just to be able to rule some of the bads things out is really good. Congrats. Let us know how things are going. SHotzy


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Hi Shotzy,
What's "normal"?? lol
I found out today that my health insurance won't cover the vagifem! I was so upset. I was actually crying on the phone to the insurance company! I told her it's not fair, and that I've been suffering for 8 long months and that I already tried other estrogen products...actually I only tried one..lol...and that they didn't work. She said that the claim was denied because I didn't try "estring" which is a ring that is inserted in the vagina for 3 months, releasing a continuous flow of estrogen. I told her I refuse to insert anything inside of me for that long! I asked her what would possibly happen to such a large insurance company if they were to approve vagifem for me!! She wouldn't answer me. I told her I'll get my meds from Canada! I know I was totally irrational but that's what this burning pain is doing to me now. I'm really really down and out! And fed up. So now the doctor gave me a 2 week supply of the vagifem to use and then he said I might be able to go back to using a cream if the tissues heal. He wants me to try estrace which sounds better than premarin, but not till I use the vagifem for two weeks. This is going to really mess me up, I just know it. Tonight I start the vagifem. I still am so upset with my health insurance for denying my doctor's request.
Isn't anyone else out there suffering from atrophic vaginitis besides us few?? Where are you all??? lol
Steviefan


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Steviefan,

Such good news about the benign results! Now to get those vagifem tabs. I'm glad your doctor was able to get you some. Can you buy it off the insurance? or perhaps you will have healed enough to be able to use the cream. Let's hope so. It is past time for you to get some relief.

Shotzy,

Glad to hear you feel a bit better. I hope you find something that works too. This is just an awful condition. I thought I was the worst with the recurrent UTIs but this burning sounds unbearable.

Here's hoping for relief soon for both of you.

Bullsigh


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Hi,
I wrote about this about a year ago. I am so dry it was almost impossible to do you know what. I thought it was a thing of the past. I was prescribed vagifem tabs. THey made a slight improvement. what made me feel better was... are you ready for th.....olive oil. extra virgin. I read on another forum about olive oil. I started using it and it got much better. I was even able to have relations with my husband. It is like a miracle. The woman who wrote in the forum said her doctor was impressed with the results and said for her to continue with it. baby oil or mosturizers do not work. As a matter of fact, it made it burn more. My husband went and brought a gallon of oil. Hope everyone feels better.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Olive oil??????


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I do remember reading something about olive oil. But then I remember reading something about it having a possibility of harboring bacteria or something like that. The vagifem is really working for me, after just four days even though the doctor said it would take alot longer than that to see an improvement. It's the first time in 8 months that I don't have pressure and an aching feeling. I still have some burning though but not intense. I'm thinking that maybe the pressure is gone because of the large polyp being removed from my uterus and not because of the vagifem. As far as sex goes, I really think that's a thing of the past.Maybe I'm just having post traumatic stress disorder though! lol
Steviefan (PS....it would cost me 90 dollars a month without the insurance to get Vagifem......no can do!)


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Steviefan,

I'm so glad to read you are getting some relief. About the vagifem--is there a cheaper generic version? Is it something you will need to use every day or will the frequency of usage be less after your initial treatment? There must be some way for you to get this. You need it.

Bullsigh


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Hi again.
Nope,,,there's no generic brand for this medication. This is the one and only vaginal tablet on the market. That's why I can't understand why my insurance plan won't cover it. I guess the panel of "judges" is made up of MEN!!! lol The last few days have been not so good even with the Vagifem. I'm actually feeling like I did from the Premarin cream which the doctor thought was a reaction to the alcohol in the cream. I guess it has something to do with the estrogen. I didn't call the doctor..I'm hoping things naturally get worse before they get better from the estrogen.I feel more constant burning, aching, and a feeling of swelling even though nothing looks swollen. I only have one more week of vagifem to go.Then back to cream.Not happy about that.The cream tends to go into the urethra and really feels awful.
thanks for responding to my constant whining!!
Steviefan


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Stevie, I think all those cremes make one sensitive after a while. I think they work like vasodialators but I not real sure I will have to google them. Can you go to every other day or every third day with the vagifem? Or does that make it inaffective? I am sorry that you are back to feeling bad. I dont know where you live but often the druggest know more about the product than the drs. do. At least that is the case in texas. Try to do something nice for yourself this weekend. THis weeked I offered the lady doing my pedicure extra money to just rub my feet and legs for 15 minutes. Heaven!


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

My BC/BS won't cover Vagifem either and it works better for me than Estring (not covered buy cheaper). I complained to them that NO vaginal estrogens are approved! Keep complaining to your insurance, this is ridiculous--Men must make the decision because VA is very common for women in menopause and estrogen is the only thing that works.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I just read on another menopause message board about a woman who also had the burning. She solved it with something called Hyland's Calendula Oil. If you google it you will find places you can buy it online. It is an over the counter item--so no need for a prescription. This woman swears by it and says she suffered terribly before she found this solution--so it sounds like it is what you guys are suffering from. The burning she described really convinced me she is talking about the same problem.

Bullsigh


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

FOR ME, IT'S "ESTRING" I had suffered from vaginal atrophy far too long, and it was affecting my marriage as well. No longer married, but that wasn't reason for the marriage breakdown. *smile*

Anyway, about 3 years ago, I read about an estrogen ring that was inserted, to stay in for 3 months! The dose is so low that the tiny amount that is actually absorbed into the bloodstream is not enough to give any fear of the breast cancer that is associated with HRTs. The estrogen is in the place that it is NEEDED to be in.

It took about a month, but once it was in place, ALL the atrophy disappeared, and I felt like a happy teenager again. No more UTIs, no more burning, no more thin vaginal walls, now more agony at all! I balanced out perfectly, and will never go off it! It has given my life quality again, and even though I am now single again, and not even active in the sexual arena, I am no longer getting the UTIs. I am comfortable knowing that IF I do meet that someone special again, I will not have to fear any more.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I will have to give my "vote" for Estring also! It has been a miracle for me. I was sooooo dry and intercourse was soooo painful; just like yemaya after about a month it has really helped. I was starting to have UTI's but now am fairly confident the Estring will take care of that too. My only "gripe" is the no coverage for insurance; just doesn't seem fair!


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Another vote for Estring! I was on Vagifem for 3 years with no problems (I'm 58 - had my last period a week before my 54th b'day). I did have some vaginal atrophy, but that all disappeared after using the Vagifem. My GYN says my vaginal tissue is normal and pink and healthy. She's a great doctor who is willing to listen and work with me. During one of our conversations, she mentioned that some of her patients have even better success with Estring because it delivers a continuous low dose of estrogen right where it is needed. She likes Vagifem as well, but prefers Estring, so trusting her advice, today I inserted my first Estring and will see how I do on this. By the way, my breast specialist in NYC gives his blessing to both Vagifen and Estring - says that the estrogen is so small and does not get absorbed into the bloodstream. So even though I am at risk for breast cancer (had atypical ductal hyperplasia 5 years ago), there is no need for concern in this area.

Now if I could just get my libido up and running! Any suggestions in that area?? Thanks for listening.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I dont have any ideas on libido, but I am anxious to here how you like the estring. Lets us know. Shotzy


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Hi everyone! Very interesting about the estring. My insurance does cover that but I didn't want to use it because I never even used a tampon, EVER! And I was afraid of having a "foreign object" in place for 3 whole months! But I'm starting to consider it since I've been feeling horrible since I had to stop the vagifem, thanks to my health insurance and am now using a cream again...estrace. I used it for the first time today and I'm already in so much pain and pressure that I'm about to give up and crawl under the covers forever! After two weeks of the vagifem I think it actually started to work. I was getting relief for a couple of hours every day for the first time in nine months.I used the last vagifem tablet on sunday and started feeling really bad lastnight (three days later) and now I feel really awful after using the estrace. I wonder if I should call my doctor about the estring. Not to get too graphic, but I'm feeling like a freak these days.Atrophy pain does not come alone! Things are not looking good down there. I feel like I'm a hundred years old and it's very depressing. I don't know if it's the pain or the depression that has zapped me of all my energy.
Libido?? That went out the window a long time ago. lol I don't know why my husband sticks around!
Steviefan


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

The research shows Vagifem and Estring to be about equally effective. Occasionally the estring would start to slip out if I had a bad coughing spell or occasionally when going to the bathroom so I went back to vagifem. My Gyn likes both of them and recommended Estring first. I even looked into Canandian pharmacies where it is much cheaper--approx $25/month! If anyone knows of anything we can do to get these drugs approved by Blue Cross, let us know! Funny how they cover viagra and cialis for men but not these products for women.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Hello all, I am new to this site as of 5minutes ago. These posts came up after I searched Atropic Vaginitis. I am 26 yes old and just gave birth to my first child 7 weeks agao. He came out 2 lbs bigger than what we had thought so naturally I had some wear and tear ( if you will) to my body. After week 4 I was begin g to think my stitches had popped or something along those lines. So I take a look and to my surprise I have about a half dollar size raw spot in side my lower area. This spot hurts so bad that I actually will do everything in my power not to use the restroom,walk,or even sit for too long because it hurts So unbelievably bad. My Dr said that I have a slight case of menopause and prescribed me Estrace cream. I know this is a long shot but has ANYONE out there had what I have? I would appreciate some thoughts or even advise.

Thanks so much! Hope to hear from anyone soon


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

wow, this is unbelievable! I was looking for help finding some form of natural or herbal HRT. I am 54, done with all the horrible symptoms that come with the end of periods. I have Crohn's disease and had surgery to remove the last of my colon last September. Since my surgery I dehydrate very easily, my skin is very dry and I drink mostly water and lots of it. I thought all of this was the cause of the dryness problem with my vaginal area internally and externally. I am married and sex has become so painful and sometimes not even possible. My GYN put me on Premarin creme and I do not always remember to use it right before bed, every other night. I know you would think I would remember THAT right? The problem is 1st I am kinda scared of the whole "hormone treatment" thing because of cancer. My immune system is practically non-exsistent. 2ndly my Crohn's keeps me busy with medicating myself to prevent constant diarrhea, bloating, etc. The wrong combination of prevention meds or the wrong diet choice and I am constipated and bloated or having to run to the bathroom constently. Talk about having too much on your plate...the LAST thing I want or need is for my sex life to be screwed up! My poor Husband has enought to deal with just being married to me all these years. He is Amazing, always supportive, loving, understanding and eqivalent to a private nurse when I am "sick" AGAIN. He deserves some serious consideration, lol.

Anyway, I get in this site and see the "vaginal Atrophy" comment and think...could it be? I find out it is NOT just me or my dehydration issues, I am having the same problems you are all. The Premarin creme has softened things up some and sex is sometimes possible but I am going to call my GYN tomorrow and ask about the ESTRING. I have been using moisterizing lotions and cremes on the external vaginal area just to relieve the dry, itchy, painful skin so I can walk and not cry all the time from the misery of it. Seriously.

Thank God I stumbled in here, Thank you all for opening up and discussing this issue so I could find out not only What is wrong but maybe What to do about it! And Thank God for the good things the internet makes possible.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

hello ladies,
Haven't posted for a while, but wanted to add a bit of info for anyone with external vaginal itching, dry skin. I was driven mad with it for weeks until about 3 months ago. My local health food and vitamin shop owner is wonderful and a trained biochemist. She is really knowledgeable about menopause symptoms and remedies and suggested I use aloe vera gel(organic if possible). It has really helped and I would recommend its use. I use it before bed and after showering in the morning.If your symptoms are really bad it can be used as often as needed to begin with because its a natural product . I have also started using Replens as I was finding sex painful. Even using recommended lubricants wasn't working and my sex life was on the verge of extinction! It seems to be working as I have had no pain or discomfort since, hurrah!! Only problem its expensive and each pack only lasts a fortnight. I did read somewhere that eventually you dont have to use it so often, so heres hoping. To Ding8349, please give the aloe vera a try and hope you feel better soon.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I'm just posting here to keep this subject fresh, as I'm sure it's an issue that will never grow old!
I saw my md due to pain after intercourse, and she said the vaginal walls looked liked they'd been scraped!
She didn't mention vaginal atrophy, but prescribed estrace cream, which I've been using for a little over a week now, which is why I thought I should contribute to this forum.
I havnen't found any other side effects, and having intercourse this morning, I found that there was only a slight momentary sensation of the same scraping, but other than that, it was okay for me.
It sure is expensive-that's a bummer.
But I count my blessings, that it didn't get worse, like some here that have posted, and that I never had much else in the way of menopausal symptoms beyond mild hot flushes.
I will probably repost after the two weeks' daily use is up, and I'm on to maintenance dose.
I think that sharing info like this on forums is priceless, and I try to take advantage of these resources!
God bless you all!
Jean


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

The person who started this probably will never read this, but for women who have had similar symptoms, this may help you. I had symptoms very much like the ones described, vaginal atrophy, burning urination with no UTI, and just constant pain. Sex was horribly painful. I am going through menopause, but it all came on at once, and my gynecologist had no clue. She guessed it was interstitial cystitis (google it: it's horrible) and wanted to put me on a new medicine. One symptom of the medicine was hair loss and the treatments were twice a week for eight weeks for the 1st round!

No way was I going to do any of this without a diagnosis, which you can only get by a urologist. So, I got the name of a urologist on my health care, made an appt, and he gave me a Bladder Distention to diagnose interstitial cystitis. The distention was in a surgery center, where I was put under general anethesia, but I was home in about 3 hours, and diagnosed has NOT HAVING interstitial cystitis at all. A bladder distention is where they fill your bladder up with fluid as much as it can hold, and they can look at the inside of your bladder with a scope.

Not only did I not have interstitial cystitis (and skipped those potentially harmful treatments), but the bladder distention got rid of the urethral symptoms. In about a week, I could go to the bathroom without pain, and it improved the pain during sex also, although I still need to use Premarin.

During this, I heard of a male friend who started complaining of burning during urination. His urologist gave him a bladder distention and it cleared it up. We both dont know why, but the bladder distention helped us.

I had so much pain, worry, frustration, and despair, I thought I'd share my story, in case it might help someone else.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

I too have been suffering for almost a year - increasing pain and discomfort and frequent bouts of cystitis. Trawling through the internet I came across a product ca which is a vaginal lubricant - either water based or oil based with Aloe as a main ingredient. It is bliss to use and very silky. It does not sting like so many other paraben or chemical based creams.It is available in Canada so if you are in the US you should be able to order it. I - with my history of breast cancer have also started on Estriol - a bioidentical hormonal cream.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

Hi everyone,
I posted last year that I was using estrace cream.
Yes, it did do the trick for me, but it was just too expensive; plus the annoyance of having to insert this messy cream every day.
I got the book about menopause by Susun Weed, and read in there that the herbs Motherwort, Chickweed, and Oatstraw would help with vaginal atrophy (along with a lot of other issues), and decided to try it.
The motherwort by itself almost did the trick; but when I added the other two, it cleared the condition up completely!
I had even begun to have extreme dryness in the anal pore, and that went away too.
I have to make sure to take the capsules twice a day.
To make it even cheaper, I buy the herbs in bulk and cap them up myself with a little kit I have.
If anyone wants to know the name of the book, let me know in a post here, as I have them come into my email.


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

For those of you who chose Estring, How long did it take to start working? Its been 3 weeks today and I'm still experiencing the painful burning .


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

stormywx,
are you refering to something else besides Estriol vaginal cream?
That was what I used, that worked within a few days. I would think it wouldn't take 3 weeks to work. Hormones usually have a quick effect in our bodies.
You should add motherwort capsules to your regimen and see if that helps.
Jean


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RE: vaginal atrophy!

according to their site , It could take 3 weeks.... Im just wondering how others fared with this.

Here is a link that might be useful: Estring


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