Being young, single, and sexually needy is tough; especially in the big bad world of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’s). My girlfriend who was young, single, and sexually-ready-for-the-right-person had her brush with this big bad world when she found a welt on her labia. She immediately ran to the doctor convinced she had contracted “The Herp” or HPV.
Tearfully, she sat in stirrups explaining to her gynecologist that she may have contracted this welt from her last boyfriend, as she had no other sexual partners in over a year.
Immediately, the gynecologist looked up and said, “Oh honey, did you shave with a dull razor?”
“Uh, maybe,” her tears were now starting to soak her paper exam gown.
“Believe me, you’d know if you had Herpes! It hurts like hell. This is just a razor burn that got a little irritated.”
I wish I could report that some of my clients were lucky enough to have just a razor burn. Unfortunately, STD’s like “The Herp” and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) have actually been the catalyst of many women’s chronic vaginal pain and/ or painful intercourse. Just as the gynecologist so delicately stated, Herpes can create sores that “hurt like hell” and those sores can cause the surrounding muscles to spasm. The spasm of the vaginal muscles can often lead to severe knife-like or burning pain (even when the sores are gone). Since there is no current cure for Herpes, the pain that arises from it may be recurrent throughout one’s life, as I have observed with several of my middle aged patients.
In addition to “The Herp”, I have seen far, far too many young women with vaginal pain that began with HPV. The typical girl is barely starting college, has had very few sexual partners, and suddenly began having pain with sex that feels like “a chard of glass” is rubbing at the vaginal opening. Some report this vaginal pain began before they even knew they had HPV, while others started having pain after treatments such as Cryotherapy (using liquid nitrogen to burn off the affected tissue), a ‘Cone’ biopsy or Conization (cutting out the abnormal tissues), or a LEEP procedure (using an electrical current to remove the HPV cells). Though these procedures can save you (as HPV can lead to cervical cancer), they can have damaging effects on your sex life.
Believe me, I-wish-I-wish-upon-a-star that everyone could go out and have a plethora of great sexual experiences. But in this world of big bad STD’s, I urge you to be careful and think of the long-term effects. Painful sex can be helped–often we have tremendous success treating gals who come to our clinic for pelvic floor therapy as a result of their STD–but the risk of a lifetime of sexual struggles or even cervical cancer is something we should all take very seriously when picking our sexual partners.
That being said, I wish you all satisfying, fantastic sex and just a little razor burn.
The Hoo-Hoo Whisperer