Saturday, 25 August 2012

A confession

So dear readers, it's probably time I shared a secret with you. And just so you know, it wasn't like I wasn't sharing on purpose. I just didn't think it was relevant...until now.

This is rather personal information to be sharing but I've never really enjoyed sex. It has always been a painful experience for me and other than my husband, I've never been with a guy that's been that good at it. I've had numerous tests, seen a pelvic floor specialist and even had a laparoscopy to see if the pain was being caused by endimetriosis. All turned out to be negative, not particularly enjoyable experiences and enormously frustrating.

My GP then sent me to a gynaecologist who diagnosed me with vulvodynia. Basically it's a condition that causes pain without there being any visible findings as to why. She prescribed a drug to help with the pain so I guess you could say it was almost the female equivalent of Viagra!

This lessened the pain but didn't completely kill it off. But combined with a healthy shot of lubricant, my husband and I enjoyed a significantly improved sex life-much to his enjoyment. This was short lived however as I had to stop using the drug when I came off the pill. It was ok while we still used lubricant but once you start trying for kids, the good old KY jelly needs to be put away. It can interfere with the mobility of the sperm so it's a no no when trying to conceive. That left us in no mans land!

After some Internet research, we discovered a "sperm friendly" lubricant called Maybe Baby gel. At $20 a packet, with 6 shots in it, it's the most expensive lubricant on the market. But when one is scared of sex, has vulvodynia and is trying to conceive a child, one does not have much choice.  Let me be really clear about the pain I'm talking about if I don't use it. Sex feels like someone is taking a cheese grater and grating my insides. There is no doing it for the team. There is no lying back and thinking of the Queen. There is no sucking it up. Such extreme agony doesn't allow any of it.

So today, we found ourselves with our last dose. We've only just started this round of trying and have another few attempts so the thought of no more lubricant sent me into a mild panic attack. After visiting 2 pharmacies, I was concerned we were in trouble. It took us a while to track it down last time and we couldn't go back to where we had got it from.

I managed to find it online and could have ordered it, but it would have taken a few days to come. That was a few days I didn't have. Instead, I went down to the chemist warehouse and luckily they had it. Crisis averted and on the bright side, handy to know it's just around the corner for next time.

It makes me think though, this baby making process is expensive business. Between the cost of conception vitamins for me, happy sperm pills for my husband, special lubricant and pregnancy kits, it's all starting to add up. This is of course before any potential fertility treatments are thrown into the mix. I read one woman's conception blog and she spent $35,000 to become pregnant. That was a few ivf attempts and other measures, not to mention embryo storage, but it makes me question if we would be prepared to spend that much. That's a bridge to be crossed.

I'm trying not to become one of those women who can't empathesise with other women going through this journey. I don't want my first response to be oh boo hoo, things aren't working for you but at least you don't have to be drugged up or lubed to the max just to have sex in the first place! No, that wouldn't be helpful. But, what I would like to achieve by sharing this story, is for women to realise that while they are finding the journey frustrating, annoying and sometimes demoralising, it could always be so much worse!

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