I was able to have sex without pain for the first time ever! I should be jumping for joy by now, right? Not exactly. Although I knew it was actually possible to have pain-free sex, this was a very rare occurrence. I like to describe it as occurring only when all the stars were aligned. In reality, I was still experiencing pain at least 90 percent of the time.
I say “when all the stars were aligned” because everything had to work perfectly in order to avoid pain. I had very low libido and if I wasn’t at the perfect arousal level before entry and remaining throughout, it would become extremely painful. The worst pain I would experience actually came on about an hour after sex. My pelvic floor muscles would basically start to spasm and I wouldn’t be able to sit, sleep, or do much of anything without experiencing severe pain. Of course the fear of bringing on this pain only added to my libido and arousal problems.
So, with the goal of increased libido in mind, my urologist referred me to an endocrinologist who did more tests. Unfortunately, she wasn’t much help since her focus was really on reproductive disorders (she diagnosed me as having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome based on the fact that I had irregular periods even though none of her tests actually supported this*). Fortunately, my physical therapist recommended I visit a specialist in San Diego who is a leader in sexual medicine and he was able to address the missing piece in my healing puzzle.
This new specialist didn’t waste any time in setting me out on the next leg of my healing journey. He explained how important hormones are to our bodies’ health and how specifically our sexual organs are affected when they are out of balance. My testosterone levels were very low and my sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) was through the roof, resulting in extremely low free testosterone. I started on daily hormone therapy and began seeing amazing changes. I hadn’t even realized that my vestibule wasn’t supposed to be red or that my labia were half the appropriate size until everything began to heal.
Not only did my libido improve, but everything wasn’t painful to the touch anymore.
*What is especially ridiculous about this diagnosis is that many of the symptoms of PCOS are due to high levels of testosterone. Yet, my correct diagnosis that came later actually showed that my libido and arousal issues were specifically because my testosterone, especially my free testosterone, was so low!