This is an interesting post, because it is the reason I decided to start a blog. After my Vestibulectomy, I was in so much pain and discomfort. I realized that I had been waiting to get this surgery for so long I didn't do any research. I trust my doctor whole-heartedly, so I really didn't think to do anything else.
Let me back track. In 2018, when I moved back to Miami, I was on track with my treatments. I was taking medications, I had done physical therapy on and off, and everything else. My doctor then said it was time to start thinking about a Vestibulectomy. He presented it to be a fix to the fact that penetration in that area was still painful. BUT before getting the surgery I needed to do a pudendal nerve block and botox injections. Each 3 months apart. (I will post about these individual procedures in a different post). Nine months later, I was able to get the surgery.
I scheduled it with Dr. Atkins upon my doctor's (Dr Echenberg) suggestion. The surgery went great. It is the AFTER that was brutal.
SO MUCH DISCOMFORT. And here is the thing. After the surgery I was like "AHHHHH is this normal??" SO I googled and googled. I got articles and case study after case study. I just wanted to find something written by an actual person who had the surgery. I wanted to read what could help this discomfort and was it normal. It was so disappointing.
So, end of story? Eight months later, I have ZERO regrets about the surgery. I totally feel the difference (after three months of physical therapy). My surgeon said I could try sex after six weeks of physical therapy, but my physical therapist (Dr. Pam Downey), laughed at that. She was like, "Do not put a date on it. It will heal when it heals". And she was right. It took three months. I was able to have pain free sex. Before the surgery, for about a year and a half, penetration was painful. The beginning would hurt mostly. Sometimes towards the end as well. There were times I would clench my teeth and hold my breathe through the pain, but I didn't want to stop. I didn't want my condition to stop me from having a "normal life" or "a normal sex life". I would keep it from my husband not wanting to burden him. Finally, when I heard about the surgery, I spoke up.
I also don't want people to read this and get scared to have the surgery, because again it was 100% worth it. So, what can be done to help the discomfort and pain after the surgery?
Cold Packs That Are Slim And Fit In Underwear: Wow. I wish I bought this sooner so that I had it right after the surgery. I bought it two weeks after, but wished I had it immediately after. I used regular ice packs, because ice was a savior. It helped so much!!
Period Underwear With A Pocket: This is good if you want to put the ice pack inside.
Ibuprofen: This is a standard, but for me this was way more crucial then the pain pills. Pain pills didn't work for me. I needed something to reduce swelling more than anything.
Handheld Bidet: After the surgery, you can take showers but you need to be careful. No hot water and no downpour over the area. At first, I would just use a wet towel and dab. A very light stream from the bidet and a towel could help clean the area.
Dessert Harvest Cream: Another product I did not have in time. This is a mixture of a Lidocaine and Aloe Vera cream. It helps cool and numb.
Waffle Seat Cushion: This is not the exact one I have, but a seat cushion is necessary. Sitting in a chair, sitting in a car, going on a plane. All these things need a cushion. you will be in so much discomfort after you will mostly want to lie down for the first week, but even for the next two weeks, you will need this when you want to start going places.
Pads: You will bleed a little bit, so just bring some maxi pads for the first two days.
Loose fitting clothing: I really did not do any research! I brought only two loose fitting pants. What a mistake. I brought leggings, Like legit thinking I was going to go for a run What a joke. Bring pants to lounge in. Loose fitting underwear as well. Almost like Briefs.
The week after the surgery will be the most uncomfortable. I watched movies and laid down mostly. I was so lucky to have my mom and husband there to take care of me. We took things easy and mostly ate at the house. I would take shorts walks after maybe three days. Doing too much too fast made me dizzy. Don't push yourself.
I wanted so badly after three weeks to start working out again, but I realized quickly that was not possible. I tried yoga after three weeks, and certain moves were just not possible. Remember things in the pelvis are so interconnected. Your abdomen straining, causes pelvis strain, causing vaginal stress. BE PATIENT. I know it is difficult, but again, it is WORTH IT!
Me right after surgery
Sitting on a waffle cushion
Enjoy breakfast a few days after the surgery in Pennsylvania (cushion on chair)