Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

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Elias
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Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Elias » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:21 pm

Hiya, I'm a transmasc fella who's been just about ignoring my genitals for years because of dysphoria, when it was at its worst I'd only ever acknowledge its existence when washing it, and wouldn't even touch it to scratch an itch. I've socially transitioned and just started T and feel more comfortable interacting with and thinking about my vulva these days. I'm still not comfortable with talking about matters in person, which is why I'm reaching out here.

I'm starting to wonder if my vulva is too dry - it itches quite a lot and the gooseflesh-like area on the inside of the outer lips, around the clitoris and urethra, often feels sore or sensitive, like I have a low-level rash. It also smells more than I'm comfortable with, although I can't tell if it smells bad. Last time I went to the doctor's about it they said it might be a yeast infection and sent me home with a pill and the advice to hydrate and apply some oil. The itchiness didn't go away but at least they got me to drink more water.

My issue is, since I've never had a partner with a vulva or felt comfortable asking any female acquaintances, I don't know what's normal. Maybe vulvas do itch just like this and people just never acknowledge it because it's a private matter? Or maybe I've had a bad infection for years and my vulva smells rank, only no one has ever gotten close enough to tell? I have no idea.

Is there anything I can do to get a clearer picture of what is going on down there?

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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Mo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:34 pm

Hi there Elias, welcome to Scarleteen. :)

While it's normal to feel an occasional itch around the vulva, the same way any part of the body might have a brief itchy feeling at random from time to time, a persistent itching, especially if it's paired with sensitive or sore areas or an unusual smell, is likely to be some sort of issue that's important to get sorted. It's possible that you had a yeast infection that wasn't entirely taken care of by the pill the doctor gave you earlier, or it could be something else; I think your best bet, at this point, is to check in with a doctor again. If you don't wind up seeing the same doctor as before, definitely let them know about the earlier treatment you had, so they're aware about it and don't try the same thing again.

Because yeast infections are a common source of vaginal itching and discomfort, sometimes doctors will assume that's what a patient has without testing for it, but if it's something else, then a yeast infection treatment is unlikely to help. If you feel like your doctor's just running with an assumption about a test, you have every right to ask them to look into it a bit more closely. I know going in for an in-depth exam of your vulva might feel like a lot, if you're still struggling with some dysphoria or if clinics in your area lean hard into the "women's health" aspect of this type of care, but if you're able to do it, I think that will be the best way to figure out what's going on and hopefully help you get more comfortable.

Elias
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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Elias » Fri Apr 02, 2021 6:15 pm

Mo wrote:Hi there Elias, welcome to Scarleteen. :)

While it's normal to feel an occasional itch around the vulva, the same way any part of the body might have a brief itchy feeling at random from time to time, a persistent itching, especially if it's paired with sensitive or sore areas or an unusual smell, is likely to be some sort of issue that's important to get sorted. It's possible that you had a yeast infection that wasn't entirely taken care of by the pill the doctor gave you earlier, or it could be something else; I think your best bet, at this point, is to check in with a doctor again. If you don't wind up seeing the same doctor as before, definitely let them know about the earlier treatment you had, so they're aware about it and don't try the same thing again.

Because yeast infections are a common source of vaginal itching and discomfort, sometimes doctors will assume that's what a patient has without testing for it, but if it's something else, then a yeast infection treatment is unlikely to help. If you feel like your doctor's just running with an assumption about a test, you have every right to ask them to look into it a bit more closely. I know going in for an in-depth exam of your vulva might feel like a lot, if you're still struggling with some dysphoria or if clinics in your area lean hard into the "women's health" aspect of this type of care, but if you're able to do it, I think that will be the best way to figure out what's going on and hopefully help you get more comfortable.


Wow, that was quick, thanks! I'll book another appointment, although I'm not sure if they'll be able to look into it; last time, she couldn't get in that little plastic slidy thingy to try and have a look since it hurt quite bad upon insertion.

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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Sam W » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:24 am

Booking an appointment sounds like a great plan! If you know the exam was painful last time, I would let them know that ahead of time so they can take whatever steps possible to make it more comfortable.

Elias
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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Elias » Sat Apr 03, 2021 12:17 pm

Sam W wrote:Booking an appointment sounds like a great plan! If you know the exam was painful last time, I would let them know that ahead of time so they can take whatever steps possible to make it more comfortable.


I'll do that. Do you know what the word is for that plastic slidey thing they insert into the vagina is? I'd feel sort of embarrassed to tell the doctor "that plastic slidey thing hurts".

Oh look, I already made a grammar error in this topic description while trying to fix a typo, that's embarrassing.

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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Marisha » Sat Apr 03, 2021 5:23 pm

Hi Elias,

No need to feel embarrassed :) I believe you mean the speculum. Good luck to you!!

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Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Siân » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:19 am

Hi Elias, I'm late to the party here so probably you've already had the appointment but in case it's useful in the future there are two things you can ask for to make the speculum-insertion bit go easier. One is a smaller speculum, and the other is asking if you can insert it yourself :)

Elias
not a newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2021 4:01 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I know many scary horse facts
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/it
My sexual identity and orientation: grey-ace, queer
Location: Eeby Deeby

Re: Trying to getting to know my vulva after ignoring it for years

Unread postby Elias » Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:22 am

Siân wrote:Hi Elias, I'm late to the party here so probably you've already had the appointment but in case it's useful in the future there are two things you can ask for to make the speculum-insertion bit go easier. One is a smaller speculum, and the other is asking if you can insert it yourself :)


That's really useful, thanks!


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