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Fenton's repair - what is it??
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Fenton's repair - what is it??

Ever since I first had sex (about 3 years ago), I've had constant pain when my boyfriend enters me.
I've seen numerous specialists and they all seem a bit vague about the problem.
The last one I've seen has advised me to undergo a Fenton's repair operation and says she feels this is the only thing that could help me.
She told me to go away and look it up on the internet and get back to her if I decide to go ahead.
Trouble is I've been on loads of websites and I can't find anything about it!!
Has anybody had this and can tell me more about it or maybe where I could get the information from??
Thanks :)
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I yahoo'ed Fenton's procedure and this was the only hit I got. Hope you can find something there that will answer your questions. I do suggest that you find a doc that answers them instead of sending you off to reasearch it on your own. Good luck!

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/pregnancyandchildbirth/204905.html
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I found this online, maybe the other name will help lead you in the right direction.  But definitely get tough with your doctor and demand some answers!

"I am due to have an operation next week and part of the procedure I believe is called a Fenton's Repair. I think this is also know as a Fentons Release.
I am having this procedure done as there is a tear in the skin which is unable to heal at the entrance to the Vagina, it is know as the 'Hood' .

This procedure involves cutting the skin in a diamond fashion and stitching it so it does not reoccur again. I am not a doctor but this had been explained to me in simple terms. I hope it helps you in some way. "

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Avatar_n_tn
Uh I don't know what Fenton's repair is, but I do know your Doctor should go over the procedure w/u in detail. I am amazed that he/she would tell you to look it up on your own and then call. That is weird.

I just had to put my 2 cents in. I hope everything works out for u.
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I have just had the fentons procedure done in the last two days due to having pain during sex. Apparently they are just widening the opening so that there is less friction during sex. I was told it was to be cut in a V shape to the perineum and stitched closed. It is done under general anesthetic and at the moment I cannot see or feel any of the stitches, which I think is good. I can't really offer more in the fashion of what the procedure is, but I can tell you all about the after math! Hope that helps.  
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my doctor also suggested this procedure for me.  according to him, my husband cannot enter me because i have a small passage.

so please tell me about the aftermath....
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I have been experiencing sexual difficulties for as long as i can remember and i get a tear around the entrance to my  vagina every time i have sex which is sore and painful, the tear is consantly healing and repairing which has left scar tissue. After seeing many doctors and after a biopsy,  treatment with creams and even after been told its physiological and that i  have vaginismus.(which i know i dont have) I finally saw a gynecologist today who offered me a operation "fentons procedure" this is going to make the entrance to my vagina a bit bigger and get rid of the lump of skin i have and scar tissue. I would be very greatful if any one who has had this operation could help with how it has been since. i.e pain healing etc, has sex caused it to split again? Thanks so much
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i had this operation on the 18th july this year and i have to say it was the best choice ive ever made, it was virtually painless and a total success i waited 4weeks before having intercourse agin, and although i was a little nervous it went great no pain and no tear. so i wish you all the luck and many good times after.
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I suffered the same problems as you, and had the Fenton's procedure carried out in 2006. I went in as a day case, had a general, and came out a few hours later walking a bit like John Wayne. The procedure wasn't particularily painful, just sore.

Unfortunately within 24 hours the wound became infected, and it all went down hill from then. The infection caused a lot of discomfort, complications and took months to heal. Finally I tried to have sex, and it split, and became infected again. I have been advised that I must be one of the most unlucky people in the world, and for most women this simple procedure works very well. After 9 months, I was back to where I started, but with even more scar tissue...  

Being a glutton for punishment, I have had the surgery done again. Yes, I was nervous considering all the problems I had, but I have received regular checks, and advice from both my consultant and local GP. I have experienced some problems, it is uncomfortable, but I have no regrets in trying it again. It still hasn't healed, I'm taking things easy (and taking zinc and vitamin c supplements) to make sure it has every chance to work.

There are no guarentees with anything, but I would certainly recommend giving it a try.

My advice is to make sure you are in good health before surgery, talk to your GP or consultant about the chance of any complications such as infection, and find out what you should do if you have any concerns or worries. Make sure you know what the area looks like, before surgery and after, then if something doesn't look right you will be more aware of it. If there is an infection seek medical advice immediately, and ensure they take a swab to identify the type of infection so it can be treated appropriately.

Good Luck

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Avatar_m_tn
since i lost my virginity, i have always had pain during sex. after 4 years of pain and being looked at by many doctors etc. they finally said that when i lost my virginity mie didn't stretch, it ripped. so i am due to have the fenton procedure in a week n a half. i am very worried. but i know it will be worth it in the end.
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I had this procedure several years ago and am a little confused with some others comments about it???  I can only imagine the Fentons Procedure is simply a medical term for skin removal as my op was nothing like some have described.  
I experienced discomfort with sex, riding a bike, wearing tights or any other garment with a seam inc. tight jeans and was advised this would help.  My procedure involved having my inner labia trimmed, due to produsion from the body, which is fairly common and perfectly normal but can cause discomfort to some.  It was done under general anasthetic and a quick in and out operation.  I feel it only fair to warn you though it was very painful from the moment I woke up.  I felt i had been kicked by a muel - and not just once!!!!
The, so called, disovable stitches didnt disolve and by day 7 i could barely stand as they had pulled so tight it was too painful.  I booked an appointemt with my GP to have the stitches removed, not pleasent and the air was blue, but the moment they were out I could have danced home i was so relieved.  
Was it worth it??? YES! I no longer get caught up during sex, the bike rides are pain free and i can wear what i want.  The recovery was painful but for the sake of 2 weeks i would say if it causes you a problem it is worth the that for the benefits.
Hope it help  GOOD LUCK  
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Hi there having read your comments i feel i can relate to you .Can i explain mine to see if you can agree /For 14 yrs i have pain during sex .It stings and at times bleed even afterwards going to the loo can be painful as well .Sometimes it can be very tender for a few days .Ive been stretched before and this didnt work so with what youve gone through do you think having this done will make a big difference .Thankyou sooo much  yvonne
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i had this procedure in 2007 and after 4 weeks i was having less painful intercourse, it worked for about 6 months and then it started to hurt again i saw my gp who explained the scar tissue had built up, hence taking me back to square one with the entrance being too small, i went back to my surgeon who said she would not operate again as it may build up again - she gave me numbing cream and told me to put it on 15 mins to numb the pain, as you can imagine i was less than impressed, i am seeking a second opinon today, however i have read on the itnernet that people have the fentons repair after giving birth splitting and getting sewn up while the scar tissue is stressed so it builds up and they have fentons so that they are relaxed and therefore they can stitch carefully for the scar tissue to not build up. so as far as im aware my surgeon was **** and i just hope this second opinon will help me!
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I am due to get Fentons procedure in October.. My sister is a nurse and specialises in theatres she asked one of the surgeons in her work place  what he recommended for someone who suffers with pain during intercourse , he basically said this fentons would be the best and has a very high sucessful rate.. I had a baby threee and a half years ago but have always had this discomfort through any form of intercourse.. Took me about six years to ask for help as its not the most easiest thing to talk to your gp  about.. anyway after speaking to the gyny she is full sure this is a very sucsessful procedure and quite simple.. She did say i'd need to take one or two days off work but after listening to some stories not sure its gonna be too easy.. Would love to know if this has improved anyones sex life as my poor partner is being too nice yet is looking forward to a positive outcome !! Good luck to those getting this soon..
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Hi everyone, After years of painful intercourse, and it being more or less impossible for the last 2 years due to painful tearing of my enterance, i have FINALLY undergone the fentons procedure.
I had the procedure as a day case on 6th August 2006, and before the surgery i was very nervous & scared of what recovery would be like.
I have to say tho, it is the best thing i have ever done. I was home by 2.30pm, and just took it easy for a few days.
Immediately after surgery i had NO pain, and was only a little uncomfortable for a few days. I had some bruising for about 4 to 5 days which ached a little after moving about a lot, but still not 'pain'.
It has now been just over 3 weeks since my op, and i am back to normal, and had pain free intercourse for the first time yesterday.
If anyone is having similar problems and has been recommended fentons procedure, please do not worry about it!!! It is the best thing i have ever done.
Just be sure to take it easy for a few days, and keep the area really clean to prevent infection. I also had salt baths regularly after the first few days. this will help keep it clean & help healing.
Hope all goes well for everyone, and outcomes are as succesful as mine.
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I was really pleased to read all these comments as I have been searching to the answer for painful sex for many years and heard only today from a private consultant that he could solve my problem with this procedure.  Thanks for all the comments, it is very reassuring.
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Well i am amazed by all the people out there suffering with the same problems as me, because at times it feels like i am the only one, especially when i am treated like an alien at the hospital! I am due to have the fentons procedure on Monday and i have to say that i am so scared, not just because of the op and the pain, but more the fact of what if it doesn't work? I think i would rather die than go through another 4 years of painful sex with my partner, having once enjoyed it so much.
This is my last hope, i have had painful sex due to Endometriosis, i have had constant thrush for 2 years (altho its not thrush, do you think they can figure out what it is?) Vaginismus, which i have had counselling for and to top it off every time my boyfriend enters me i split and bleed. Does anyone else have all these symptons?
Do the doctors or friends or anyone know how hard it is in a sexless relationship, the guilt, the why me question? My partner has stuck by me, but sometimes i think it would be easier if he hadn't.
Any way back to the Fentons, why is there so little information, my doctor couldn't find out anything about it, the hospital had no leaflets, and even the gynaecologists couldn't advise me, after ringing his secretary 3 times i gave up. So i guess its going in blind folded and hope for the best! Wish me luck! All my love to all the other ladies out there suffering! x I'll let you know what happens in my next post!
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Also from my experience of doctors and hospitals, always get a second opinion, because some doctors just don't know what they are talking about, they voice there opinions, but that is not medical fact! We know our bodies and we know when they are not right, so don't let anyone tell you otherwise!
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I have just had Fentons procedure yesterday afternoon at 3.30pm.  I came home and cooked dinner for the family and so far no pain.  
It was amazing that not even my GP knew what was wrong with me - she thought it was a hormone problem, so gave me estrogen creme to rub in for the past 2 months - it didnt work!  I ended up with a Gyno who took one look and said this is a common problem and explained how he would cut and sew - and he added "you can have sex twice a day after this"  .  I am 60 years old, so wont be doing that!  But to everyone out there who has a problem with intercourse, get it fixed - lets enjoy life to its fullest.  I have alot of faith that this will work for me.  Will keep you posted.  Got to tackle the ironing now!
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I am about to have fenton's in less then two weeks. And I wish it was today! I have had a painful sex life that comes and goes (but mostly stays) for about 7 years. Maybe more. I am not that scared of the operation but like many others, what if it doesn't work? Or what happens if it goes back to the way it has been for so long.I am sick of asking my partner for an ice pack after sex because it hurts so much. I'm 28 and just want a normal sex life!!! My partner has been extremely patient but this and my other medical condition has caused a lot of problems for us both.  I am extemely lucky as he was in the medical profesion and has seen alot of different medical cases, he always says that 'it's nothing' I know he is just being kind sometimes. I'm just lucky I guess to have 2 major problems!  We have been together for three years and I know beyond a doubt that he is the man for me. I hope Fenton's repair can repair my sex life! It's hard to be in a relationship and not feel that closeness that comes from making love. Instead when you have this condition you feel guilt and have sex anyways which leads to pain. And feelings of guilt for the male, if you do indeed tell him that, this time it hurt. Anyways, good luck to all the ladies out there who are going get this done. And for the ladies who are wondering if this is for them then what are you waiting for? What do you have to lose?
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I had a Fenton 13 days ago and basically, as it was like a wall blocking my vagina, it's as though the wall has been knocked down. I had it under local anesthetic. The surgeon made a split down the middle (like an episiotomy) then flattened out the flesh sideways, like in origami, and stitched it down either side of the wall so it's now flat.  Hope that all makes sense!  It was10 days before I could sit down properly but gave my husband a chance to wait on me.  There was very little bleeding, which has now stopped, and over-the-counter painkillers were sufficient for the few days I needed them.  I've had a look down there and, although it looks a little peculiar, with a ridge running in the opposite direction now, it looks healthy and I'm optomistic that our sex life with again be as active as before.  
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hi
I had fentons in 2000 after a poorly healed scar following child birth. The thing is that i feel it looks so weird, as if the inner lips have been removed and the tube like opening of the vigina (vagina) sits exposed.  The opening is still too small and i still feel pain during sex.  i,m going to have it looked at again but i,m real nervous.  has this happened to anyone else? hope i,m not putting anyone off as i know it works the vast majority of the time.
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I am 51, just gone thru menopause and  a year ago sex started to be painful. Suddenly the vagina would feel like it tore and  might even bleed. The gynaecologist says I have a build up of tisse at the entrance  which is rare for someone who has not had stitches or tears during childbirth. I am wondering whether he has diagnosed me right.Anyone else  over 50 had this? Also gynaecologist said better having it done under general anaesthetic than local, but I am a coward and  am thinkin of having a local anaesthetic. Opinons please. I would be very grateful.
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I have 32 years and having sex since 22 , with my only one boyfriend, always have painful intercourse.
Went to a GP and told me that I have to relax .
Listen to you guys I am release I tought I was the only one , thankfully I have a wonderfull man besides me and understand me all this years.
My new GP is going to do me a FENTON'S in 2 weeks(probably have a nice xmas present...ah,ha,ha), and I am so happy that there is a solution for me ,it break my confidence down,and hope it help me...
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I gave birth July 2008 and experienced a 2nd degree tear.  My Dr. did not do the delivery or tear repair; I gave birth on a weekend when he was not on-call.  I apparently healed poorly and/or lost stitches which resulted in excess scar tissue build up on my perineum.  When my legs are closed, the scar tissue comes together in a ridge.  I have resumed working out at the gym (running, eliptical) regularly during the past few weeks.  The tissue is now inflamed, red, and sensitive... now I am considering joining the YMCA just so I can swim for exercise as the friction caused by my normal routine is too much.  I would love for this scar tissue to resolve by itself, but I'm not very optimistic because there is so much tissue that needs to go away.  My Dr. says he won't touch it before 6 months which would be about Feb. 2008.  To make matter worse, I'm convinced the on-call Dr. sewed the surface tissue of the entry to my vagina too tight.  My husband and I have only had sex one time and it was uncomfortable and painful without excess lubrication... like the entry to my vagina is too small.  I'm scared of sex these days, which isn't right.  After reading about Fenton's Procedure and above posts, does this sound like a procedure I could benefit from?  I am starting to be hopeful again for a normal looking crotch and painless sex.      
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I'd just like to say thank you first of all to everyone who has contributed to this forum - I found this forum when I was faced with the possibiility of having Fenton's procedure myself and was not really sure what to do, and it helped me to a) decide it might just help after all, and b) to have the courage to go through with it!  So, by way of a thank you and to help all those other women out there who are having similar problems, this is my story:

Sex started getting painful for me in my early 30s.  At first it was bearable then after taking antibiotics for an ear infection it got dramatically worse and even a smear test became a major trauma.  My GP (after giving me thrush medication despite a negative test for thrush) referred me to a gyno who tested for thrush again (also negative), and performed a colposcopy which didn't help.  He decided I had vaginimus which I knew I didn't, and perhaps because I insisted it wasn't vaginimus, he eventually performed a laproscopy (an investigation of all your feminine bits) which showed (finally!) that I was tearing at my vaginal entrance.  He gave me some cream which is antifungal, antibiotic and contains a steroid to help heal the skin.  This certainly eased things but didn't get rid of it.

At this point, fed-up with being poked and prodded I stuck my head in the sand for about 3 years and me and my poor husband just got on with things as best we could.  That is until I needed another smear test when the whole thing came back to bite me - smear tests were still only bearly tolerable, and the first was unsuccessful due to not enough cells being collected so I had to endure a second one!  At that point my GP referred me to a different gyno who suggested Fenton's procedure.

I was dubious about this, mostly because I could not see why my vagina (which hadn't given me any trouble in my teens and 20s) now suddenly needed to be enlarged, and what did this have to do with what is certainly a fungal infection of some sort anyway?  Then I came across this forum and found that other women had had much the same symptoms and Fentons had helped them, so I gave it a go.  I had the op in December, the op itself and the aftermath were not as bad as I imagined.  I was healed in about a week, my stitches dropped out in less than 3 weeks, and best of all, last week I had painfree sex with my husband for the first time in about 8 years (I'm 41, I should add)!  I was amazed and pretty emotional!  Still can't believe it and it will probably take a few more times before I'll accept that I'm finally "fixed"!  I still need the anti-fungal cream as I found that when I left it off for 3 weeks after the op, the fungal infection started causing my skin to get really sore, but since Fenton's procedure has taken away the pain during sex, applying the cream to keep the fungal problem under control is a small price to pay for having my sex life back!

So, my advice is, if this sounds like you, give this a go!   Its a good idea to make sure (as others on this forum have suggested) that you are as fit and healthy as you can be before you go in, and when you come out make sure you rest up and keep everything really clean - I showered twice a day for a week, (substituting the occasional salt bath sometimes), and on the advice of my gyno, I used a hairdrier (on a low heat and blow setting obviously!) to dry the area really well and therefore minimise the risk of infection.

I hope that this is the end of my story.  I'm really glad now that I went through with it.  The op and the recovery was definitely worth it, so go for it!  And good luck!  
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Hi,

Glad to hear of so much success after Fenton's! I had this procedure last week as I have been diagnosed with lichen sclerosis which causes the opening to narrow, and skin to split. Got my fingers (and legs!) crossed now for a good result.

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I am having the Fentons procedure on the 10 th of Feb and I thank you for all your comments.  My story is a little different.  I had cancer of the vulva and had to have raditaion which scarred the opening of my vagina and made sex extremely painful. I used dilators to try and stretch it but this didn't work.  I am mostly worried about the pain after but most of you seem to get over it OK.
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Well I posted hear a few weeks ago. Since then I went ahead and had Fentons procedure witha local anaesthetic -have to say that was easy, cos I hardly felt anything. In fact  I only needs pain releif for 2 days too. However, the gynaecologist discovered  areas of very white skin in the vaginal area and biopsied it. She said she thinks I have Lichen sclerosa - an autoimmune  problem affecting the skin, mainly the vagina. She says I have had it for a long while, and that the vagina can actually close completely  if not treated! Apparently it  often escapes diagnosisis. It is most likely to occur in ladies  of 50 +year old  but can occur younger. That is why I am posting it here- to hopefully prevent  someone else from  going undiagnosed. Symptoms are very white skin or white spots of skin in the vulva, anal region, sometimes with soreness and itching, and finally splitting of vagina or anus. Pleasant eh! haha. ( Have to say I am English caucasion, so not  easy to see the white but this is a definite snowy white) I am so releived to be diagnosed. Apparently, with treatment it can  respond completely. I have to use steroid cream twice a day for 3 months then just as and when the problem re occurs (fingers crossed).
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I had the procedure done 4 days ago under epidural. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We have never succeeded in having proper penetration. I saw my family GP several times with no success. I then saw a few specialised female doctors who just told me to have lots of sex through the pain - very helpful. I saw doctors in the UK when I was living there (I'm from Ireland) who were more helpful but with no success. I have spent a fortune privately on gynaecologists, dermatologists, psychologists, homeopaths (and no I don't believe in homeopathy!) and hypnotherapists. All I got out of all of that was the sense that it was all in my head and a series of heavy blows to my self-esteem and my wallet.

Finally this year I tried one last time with a doctor in my college health centre where I'm a mature student. I explained what I'd been through and how it got me nowhere and she called me back three days later to tell me she found a GP who specialised in the area. That specialist doctor took one look at the entrance to my vagina and saw the problem. She referred me to a surgeon who saw the same thing and booked me in for the surgery. I hope it will work when the swelling goes down - I need to feel normal after all this. Don't get me wrong, chronic pain always leaves some sort of mental scar but so does being made to feel like you're imagining a problem when you're not. It's not like it's easy to talk about so I don't know anyone who would willingly make it up.  How could so many doctors miss a problem like this? I just don't understand it.

Anyway, just keeping the pain at bay with painkillers and anti-inflammatories, sitting on a rubber ring helps, as does putting a frozen wheat pillow on the area to keep down swelling and taking salt baths every day. I'm also taking zinc and vit c, a multivitamin and omega oils. It's not fun, it's not glamourous but it does the job. Good luck to all of you going for it. :)
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I've read the comments everyone has posted.  What I need to know is this.  Has anyone out there had the procedure some time ago?  I would like to know if they have experienced additional scar tissue after the Fenton's Procedure.  I'm glad to know that, unfortunately, I'm not the only one with pain upon penetration.  I've thought I was crazy!  Now I see there a lot of other women like me.  I'm 47, just started having pain 9 months ago.  I've been told it is due to webbing at the vaginal entrance from scar tissue.  Anyone out there have experience with this after having had Fenton's more than a year ago?
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hey, i had the fentons procedure in march 08, but that was only after using the amielle comfort. It is a self treatment for painful sex and post vaginal surgery. they are dilators. it is quite uncomfortable to use them, but i personally found them to work and make things slightly easier. but because i still had painful sex etc they decided on the fentons procedure.
i'm not trying to worry anyone, just trying to help - after the procedure i have had trouble going for a wee properly. i had the hospital last week because they wanted to do a cystoscopy, but they had trouble doing it due to the urethra being too tight. they are investigating the possibility of scar tissue preventing me from being able to wee properly. has anyone else had this at all? if so, it is worth chasing up.
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I'm considering surgery - that wasn't specifically referred to as Fenton's repair by my doctor - but called a perineoplasty. After researching Fenton's repair, it sounds like what my doctor was explaining to me, where she'll cut out a diamond shape and stitch up up horizontally. I'm 31, no kids, and have had tearing at the 6 o-clock position during intercourse. Too painful, and haven't had intercourse for over a year. To make matters more complicated, I had a small vulvar cyst near the 6 o-clock position, which after 2 years of doing nothing, has sort of burst and is now a sort of skin-tag-like thing of granulation tissue. I've been told this tissue is painful (and it is, somewhat, although I don't mess with it and no intercourse), and should be removed. So I'm hoping this surgery would help (to both remove the granulation tissue and enlarge the opening, which has always had a skin layer stretched over it at the 6 oclock position). I'm very scared about the procedure though, and my doctor suggested general anesthesia. Is there anyone else on here who has had this done for a similar problem, and what was your experience with recovery time and success? Is the area with stitches sore for a very long time? Did you have to use dilators to get back into shape? I never had the primary reason for tearing diagnosed, although I was thinking it could be a hormone issue - but haven't had any other signs (no birth control pills, and periods are regular). I'm hoping that once things are stitched back up that the same problem doesn't emerge after the tender tissue is removed... Any more comments from those with similar experience would be greatly appreciated. This thread has been the best I've found for this particular problem, and I hope people continue to contribute to it.
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Hi Ladies - I hate to hear of so many of us having pain but after many tears and sleepless nights of thinking I'll never be able to have sex again it is reassuring that there is a procedure that may help. Seems most are positive. I have a dr appt this week to determine what to do in my case. Had 4th degree tears, episotomy (after childbirth 4 months ago) and also had to go for an additional procedure for a recto-vaginal fistula that is still healing though done 3 months ago. It was from that procedure I found that I have pain when my hubby and I try to have sex. Specialist has suggested "physical therapy to numb the area"...I don't want to be numb??? I hope I can too be normal and enjoy that part of my life again. Good luck to everyone.
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Hi

I have also had this problem ever since I started having sex but, like a lot of people, once I finally had the courage to try and get it sorted I kept getting fobbed off by GPs. I finally had the Fenton's op in autumn 2007. They offered me general anaesthetic but I opted for a local instead as I didn't want to be knocked out unless necessary.

The op itself was fine and I healed really quickly. I was back in work two days later. I was single at the time so I didn't have a chance to test it out but have now realised that it didn't work. I was really upset as the surgeon implied it had almost a guaranteed success rate. I have since tried using stretching techniques which has helped to some degree but I'm going back down the route of trying to have another op.

Again, my GP has tried to fob me off and has suggested that I have another condition. She sent me off to look this condition up on the internet and I know I don't have it! It's really frustrating and I'm starting to lose faith in GPs. I am going back next week to see her and get referred to a surgeon. Hopefully, they will get it sorted out once and for all because it is really frustrating. I am worried about it creating extra scar tissue and making the situation worse. Can anyone advise on this? Does anyone have any other suggestions rather than go down the surgery route?
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Hi
My problems started after delivery my healthy baby boy 1 yr ago. I had quite bad bleeding from the birth and my gynae had some probs stitching me up (episiotomy done). 3 mths post-delivery my husband and i tried to get intimate and he couldn't penetrate fully as i had quite intense pain. We went back to my gynae who told me that my muscles were still injured and strained during childbirth so take it slow and rest for a longer period of time before trying again. This went on til bout my baby was bout 6mths, and still no progress. We went back to my gynae who still gave me the same advice, rest....It was getiing pretty frustrating as i knew it was way too long for my muscles down there still to be injured from childbirth. A good-willed friend told me i might be suffering from vaginismus and after readind up on this condition, i thought i may hav secondary vaginismus.

We went to seek a second opinion and this gynae did say that my vagina is abit tight but may help with dilators and op is a last option. O and i had quite alot of vaginal discharge which was tested negative for bacteria or whatever. Nevertheless, i was given pessaries to dry up the discharge. It didn't help much. The gynae didn't tell me i needed fenton's. But he did tell us to try 'slowly'. By this time it was about 7-8 mths post delivery.

My husband was encouraging and say we should "try harder" and maybe it would work. He found gynae no. 3 online who specialises in vaginal surgery. He cofirmed that mine is not a case of vaginismus but have fibrotic tissue down there due to bleeding during childbirth and excess stitching.  I am scheduled for fenton's op under GA  in 3 days and am rather apprenhensive as there are bad feedback as well. I am fearful that the scarring will get worse. Nonetheless, i have to give this a shot and try to be optimistic about the outcome.

Well, sex is part of a relationship and i do hope to regain back this part of it. This forum has helped me to understand my condition better and am glad to know that i am not the only one suffering from this complication. Do hope to give updates about myself after the procedure. Wish me success!

Hopeful
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i am due to have the fentons procedure in the next few months as i am totally unable to contemplate sex/ using tampons etc...nothing will work for me and i feel that this is my last ditch attempt to have a somewhat more 'normal' life, all i want is a partner and kids and it really upsets me that i feel so different to even everyone on this message board. I went for an ultrasound scan today and am now just waiting on a date for the surgery. I am worried incase it doesn't work, or incase it is agony. Any responses would be very welcomed, thanks, p.s..i am 26.
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Like many of you I have found very little information about Fentons procedure.
I am very lucky and have HAD a successful op and feel like new. I had my procedure after a 3rd degree tear with 1st child and 2nd degree tear with 2nd, so obviosuly leaving alot of uncomfortable scrar tissue.
My query is about having a 3rd child and what advise other women were given about having a vaginal delivery after this procedure was done. My consultant simply said at the time 'i should do ok'.
I feel very appreciative that my procedure has healed really well.
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This has been the most information I have found on the whole web. This is a great message board. I have gotten worse over the years with this problem. Just this year at my annual exam the Dr. I am now using took a look at it and told me the surgery would help. It's funny he didn't use the work fenton's or any other word but whatever! I'm just excited about it. I am saving the money. It is fairly pricey and I have no insurance, but knowing I have a choice is liberating. I have read so many good outcomes here that I am even more motivated. Thank you!
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I have the fentons procedure done twice in the last three years .i was diagnosed with litchen scelersosisby a fantastic clinic at bournemouth hospital ,i have to regulary use steroid creams to prevent soreness and splitting.I have just had the second op as i closed up  again ,quite painfull this time as 8 stitches and a need of antibiotics ,but anybody out there who has probs please seek help and dont let them fob you of that its in the mind or you are frigid .There are a lot of us out there with the same probs who know what you are going through .
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I lost my virginity when I was 21 and it was agony, it took a very long time to reach that point. After that I discovered smears were impossible, and I went through a succession of nurses and gynaes. One mentioned doing a Fenton procedure, but he said this to his assistant not me, and I never found out what it was, no one seemed to know. That was back in 97 at a guess could've been earlier. I cancelled the op because no one could tell me what it was. I even asked counsellors, one specialising in Vaginismus last year as up till now that's what my pain causing problem has been diagnosed as. She couldn't find anything about Fenton either and she had friends in Gynae. Except for losing my virginity that has been my one and only time, many painful failed attempts followed, which didn't help. I've had longterm relationships but eventually they've gone, a man can only tolerate doing outercourse for so long. So I am thrilled to finally find something about Fenton and read the success stories on here. I'm 40 now and I can relate to how women feel on here, muddling through life putting up with it. I tried dilators but again no instruction was given just a tube of KY. So I wonder if I can get this procedure done, find a decent man and quickly have the baby I've always wanted but been prevented of having thanks to pain and agony and a distinct lack of knowledge amongst the medical profession.
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I have been diagnosed with lichen sclerorus which has similar symptoms to thrush. With this condition you cannot use any perfumed things near your private area  at all and I have been using simple products. I have been diagnosed for 7 years but the symptoms have been going on as far back as my teenage years.

My condition was treated with Trimovate steriod cream which if used too much can cause thinning of the tissue and cause you to tear again. I was also advised to use Unguentum which is an unperfumed emollument cream to soften the area.

When this worked to keep the area from itching and being sore, I still discovered that I was tearing. I have just been back to my doctors whom have sent me back to a specialist. I have seen them today and they have sugested Fenton's Repair which I am going to take in March 2010.

After reading some of the posts here, I definitely do not have anything to lose and at 35 I would like to still have a pain free sex life. Bring on March asap.

Have hope...I was lucky to have had a very experienced doctor whom recognised my problem once I went to them. They acted very quickly for me. If you have painful sex, do not leave it for long.....
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Hi ladies

I have also been advised to have the Fenton's Procedure.  This diagnoses was made back in South Africa where I come from.  ( Have been living in London fo rthe past 2 years.) Does anyone know how I should go about to see a Gyno here in the UK?  What about private?  And how long does it normally take for the gyno to schedule the operation?  What does it cost approx?

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You need to register with a GP first at a Drs Surgery, then the GP will refer you to a Gynae, the wait depends on how urgent they think it is. If done on the NHS it won't cost anything. I don't know how much it would cost to do privately.
Good Luck
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Can I get some doctor recommendations that some of you went to and were pleased? I know this forum spans several years, so i realize this may not be exactly possible.
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Hi
I have had the fenton's procedure 3 days ago, I have not experienced any pain but the bleeding is continuous and am struggling to sit down. The only problem I'm having is opening my bowels I wanted to know if anyone experienced this at all? I was so desperate to go this morning i tried really hard (sat on toilet for 25 mins) but just as i felt the motion I felt a terrible pain and a gush of blood from the vaginal area. Am i just being too nervous incase i stretch the stictches or would you recommend I go back to the doctors?
Any comments would be greatly appreciated
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Usually hospitals don't discharge patients until they have sucessfully opened their bowels, I guess for the reasons you are experiencing. I would either go see your GP or go back to the hospital asap! Good luck and keep us all updated on your progress.
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It really is so comforting to know there are other women out there with similar problems. Sex was incredibly painful and I couldn't use tampons at all until I had a 'hymenal stretch' when I was 19 (I'm now 28). I've been able to use tampons since then, but sex has remained really painful and I've tended to steer clear of relationships for that very reason. I saw a gynaecologist last year who gave me some dilators which didn't really do anything, and this morning I've seen another one, who recommended that I have the Fenton's procedure. I'm nervous, but I'm going for it, because, like so many previous posters have said, I'm kinda at the end of my rope and I just want to be normal. He also, though, told me that the problem is 50% me and I need to learn to relax. Because of course, it's just that simple. I'm really grateful to everyone who has posted so far on this forum - it's good to know that it has made a real difference to some people. Fingers crossed we all have some good luck coming our way...
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I've just tried to get into a relationship after a very long time without being in one, and when I was forced to divulge my problems earlier on than I would've liked, the guy kind of made me feel like a freak, especially when he wondered what I had done in bed with my ex if I couldn't have penetration and he had to go away and consider whether he could be in a relationship with me. I've ended things with person because it's been far too an anxious time for me and a learning experience. I feel I'll stay single in future.
Nynaeve I can relate to all you've written, being told to relax by medical staff doesn't make you relax! it does make you want to scream at them though. Do let us all know how you get on.
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I am 36 lost my virginity at 16 (incredibly painful) and have suffered from painful intercourse ever since.  I have been diagnosed with all the weird things you guys have all been diagnosed with and have had all the same fob offs, counseling and such as you all.  I had a fenton's in 2000 when I was 26 and I I still suffer.  Things got a bit better for a while but I still suffer the most agonizing pain.  Now I just put up with the pain and try to work through it.  My biggest problem seems dermalogical and I think I may suffer from an oestrogen allergy. I am booked in to see a new specialist and will keep you posted.  Praise to all those wonderful partners like my husband, as we only had intercourse twice in the first 2 years of our marriage which thankfully resulted in 2 pregnancies.

Moonstone1 don't give up, there are wonderful people out there, you just struck an idiot.  I used to use the mantra, I am still a valuable beautiful woman whether I am having intercourse or not (however I have also been known to say "if i have to spend the rest of my life performing f***ing felatio, I'll go insane")

Good luck to you all
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About to have a fentons procedure and I think now I have the lichens thingy too. Why do GPs seem so ignorant of this? Surely also its something a nurse doing smears should know all about too. Im far too embarassed to tell how long ive had this problem.

I did not "keep it to myself" but id never heard of it and no medics seem to believe the extent of the problem. Now Im 54 and the gynae said " do u feel its worth bothering after all this time". I ask you! It was not for the want of asking!!!

There wasnt even a leaflet and as others have said this is the ONLY place that explains it properly. Thanks gals!!!!

Wish me luck!
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I had the fenton procedure just over two years ago. Has anyone else suffered lack of some feeling down there after having the operation?
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I have suffered painful love making for 18 years following the difficult birth of my son. I pretty much lost my first husband because of my reluctance to make love due to the pain and my current husband has had more than cause to complain at the lack of sex in our relationship. I was referred back to my consultant who I was under when I gave birth. He told me that he couldn't find anything wrong even though tears rolled down my face in pain as he examined me. needless to say I had given up and realised that I will never completely enjoy love making again.

I have been referred to another consultant for heavy periods and visited him today at a BUPA hospital. Amazingly when he examined me he commented on the tiny tear which he saw and asked me about it. I broke down in tears because at last somebody had seen it and it was real. I was believed and he has a solution which is to be the Fentons procedure. He has told me not to get my hopes up but he has assured me that it certainly shouldn't be any worse.

Thank you all for posting, after 18 years I now realise that this is a real problem, experienced by lots of women who are having to deal with real pain when making love - how sad that so many of us suffer as result of an act which is supposed to be so loving and comforting.

Good luck to those having the op and well done to those who had the courage to go ahead and have it done.

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I apologize as I haven't read all the above posts before posting my own comments.  I have just stumbled across this site and wanted to add my encouragement.

I have had painful sex with my partner since my first time.  

After 13 years of hiding this fact, I thought enough is enough and I had to see my gynecologist.  She examined me and said she couldn't see anything wrong.  I cried.  She recommend using vaginal dilators in order to relax me - it had nothing to do with my state of relaxation.  But still, I tried it, to no avail.  I couldn't get them in without being in pain.

She was happy I tried them, and she said "we had better get you in to have a proper look under anesthetic" I was terrified, as I had never had an operation.  Even going in to get the anesthetic I was thinking in my head that I could just run out the door and resign myself to not having sex.  But i somehow found the shear determination to stay.

I woke up on my hospital bed after the operation, and i felt amazing.  It was done!  And i was in no pain!  The important bit was ...... that my gynecologist had found a ridge inside the vagina that was causing my pain!   So she had cut it out and performed a fentons procedure (my consent form had be signed before hand).  Its been four weeks, and in the next few weeks we will be trying again.  So it wasn't all in my mind!!!!  So trust yourself and your own feelings.  And go for it - life is to short!

Lots of good wishes. x
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Hello ladies!

I am 25 and have a similar story to many of you. I started using tampons at the age of about 17, after a good year of trying to get the b***dy things in there, I should add. I always found it incredibly painful trying to insert them, but could no longer stand using sanitary towels (why are they called 'sanitary', by the way? They're not!) and my flow was quite heavy. I had an idea that it wasn't usual to find using tampons so painful, but being extremely stubborn, in the end I sort of 'forced the issue' and was so proud of myself that I'd finally managed to use them! I lost my virginity at the age of 18 (again after 6 months of failed penetration attempts) to my current partner who I've been with ever since. Again, I have to admit that we did force it when we finally managed to have penetrative sex, and I bled quite heavily. Needless to say, it was an excruciatingly painful experience. I spoke to my mum and some of my friends about it and they assured me that the first time is always painful and that it gets better with time. I clearly remember saying to my boyfriend after the first time "How can any woman ever find that pleasurable?!"

Anyway, the months rolled by and the pain wasn't easing up at all, nor was the bleeding, and I always struggled to even sit down normally or even have a wee for up to 3-4 days after intercourse, so I went to my family doctor who performed an internal examination (my first - an extremely uncomfotable procedure both mentally and physically) and pronounced me 'completely fine'. We struggled on for a couple more months but then I started having problems with my contraceptive pill (Microgynon) which meant that I was bleeding for 3 weeks out of every 4. I should say at this point that my partner is, and always has been, THE most supportive guy ever, especially considering he was only 19 at the time and we were both virgins before we got together. He came with me to my family doctor again who referred me to a gynae at our local hospital. After another (horrible) examination he recommeded that I switch contraceptive pill and said that my cervix had a small spot on it that was causing excessive bleeding. He cauterised this by dabbing it with a chemical and suggested that this might help with the pain I had been experiencing. He also referred me to a consultant who would be conducting an ultrasound to check for fibroids etc.

Poor, innocent, 18 year old me turns up to ultrasound appointment, expecting the old jelly on the tummy and external camera thingy, only to find an aging male consultant who I could barely understand holding a giant probe and a condom. It would have been nice to have been told that the ultrasound was going to be done internally. I, of course, freaked out, making the examination even more painful than it needed to be. On the positive side, the exam showed no fibroids, cysts or other lumps and showed my ovaries and all by other inside bits to be fine. Which was also extremely frustrating. And cauterising my cervix did nothing to help the pain.

Shortly after this, my partner and I both went off to uni at different ends of the country. For the first year, it didn't seem like to much of an issue that sex was still such a horrible (and bloody) experience fo me - we were always so pleased to see each other after weeks apart that the pain seemed a small price to pay. However, during the first summer holiday back at home, we decided that we needed to take decisive action. I began pestering my doctors back at uni in Wales (where, by the way, all NHS services are free til the age of 25! I LOVE Wales!) who conducted several more internal examinations (all to no avail) and referred me to the GUM clinic where I was tested for every STD in the world, all of which came back negative, except for thrush, which has been the bane of my existence ever since! I began having psychosexual therapy sessions every week, which were good fun but didn't help in the slightest, and my therapist convinced the local chemist to order in a set of dilators especially for me. Which didn't help. I finally completely flipped out when visiting the doctor again after another unsuccessful attempt at painfree penetration (I had even been prescribed anaesthetic gel to rub on before sex - NO HELP!) and she referred me to the hospital to see a gynae consultant. She was VILE! She poked and prodded me in all my most painful places, causing tears to run down my face, and asked me if she was causing me pain. When I hissed "Yes!" through gritted teeth, she had the cheek to tell me that it wasn't painful, just uncomfortable! I was about to explode but luckliy the attending nurse had been watching my face and hurriedly intervened. The gyane grudgingly recommended a Fentons Procedure operation to widen my vaginal opening slightly, removing the bits of skin that always bled during intercourse, and stitching the skin back against my vaginal wall on each side. I felt like singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" right there, naked as I was from the waist down on the examination table!

The operation was booked through the NHS so was free for me (God bless Wales) and I had it about 6 weeks after the referral was made. I had just turned 20 when I had it done. When I came round after the anaesthetic  I had been dreaming that a range of woodland animals had been gnawing on my ladybits, which should give some idea of how sore I was! However, I had completely recovered from the pain after about a week - the Kapake helped. My partner and I attempted sex for the first time after about 6 weeks. I have to admit that I still found it painful, but I think that's largely because I was expecting it to hurt. Over the following 5 years, sex has has gradually become less and less painful. I still always experience pain ranging from mild discomfort to 'OUCH! GET OFF!' when my boyfriend first penetrates me, but this quickly eases off, especially if we use a position where I can control the depth, speed and angle. If sex continues for longer than about 20 minutes, my scar from the fentons prcocedure starts to get aggravated and sore, and although I am still using the contraceptive pill (Marvelon - no trouble at all) I very rarely allow him to ejaculate inside me as the semen feels like it burns across my scar and along the front wall of my vagina. However, more often than not, the majority of sex is fairly pain free - we just have to be careful with positions and angles so we dont irritate the sore places too much. I don't consider our sex life to be 'normal' and ifI'm having a particularly painful/uncomfortable month/cycle I sometimes have to leave the room or change the channel if my friends are talking about how much they love penetrative sex or if there is a sex scene on tv where the woman is quite obviously having the time of her life!

I would like to bring up a positive aspect of the whole sorry situation. As I have mentioned, my partner and I were both virgins (and I was pretty much a complete innocent) when we got together. And I have to say that the fact that we found full-on penetrative sex so difficult made us open up to each other in other ways. I don't want to 'too much information' you guys, but suffice it to say that I don't think we would have learned to give each other so much pleasure in other ways if we had both enjoyed penetration from the outset. I know I am one of the lucky ones in that my partner stuck with me through all the pain, blood and drama and I am thankful for that. My advice is don't ignore the problem, because if you feel it, it IS there, even if doctors don't know what they're looking for. Keep bugging and badgering everyone you can think of - GPs, consultants, gynaes, nurses, psychotherapists, GUM nurses - it's exhausting but eventually you will break through to someone who will recommed something new that may just help. Try EVERYTHING because you never know what will work for you.

Thus ends my sermon :-P
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I had the Fenton's procedure done in June, and it's been successful to an extent - my doctor suggested I start trying with the dilators again to see how I feel with them, and I'm able to use them much more easily than before, so there's definitely progress. Having said that, it still hurts and it's still a battle. I had very little information from my gynaecologist about what the next steps are, so I'm trying to work it out on my own. I'm continuing to use the dilators because I'm hoping that my body will start to get used to having something there, and like I said - there's definitely a change since having the operation, it just seems minor at the moment. I think what's getting me down is that I'm having to train my body to do what most other women's bodies do naturally.

The procedure itself was fine, although it had more of an effect on me than I was expecting - mainly because it was uncomfortable to drive so I had to take more time off work than anticipated. I also went into hospital on my own, which was a stupid thing to do because I was so emotional beforehand. To anybody who is due to have the procedure, here are my tips:
- Most importantly, be kind to yourself. This is a horrible problem to have in the first place, and although it's a straightforward procedure, it's never nice to go under anaesthetic and have somebody make incisions in your body.
- Book plenty of time off work (I took a week in the end), and don't try and force yourself to do too much.
- Don't brush it off as nothing - I kept saying, "it'll be fine, it's only minor surgery" and then one of my friends wisely pointed out that there's no such thing as minor surgery. Any surgery will knock you for a bit, and any surgery that concerns this most sensitive of areas is going to suck.
- Before you go in, buy some over the counter stool softener tablets (you can get them at chemists) and take them after you've eaten following surgery. Going to the toilet was really difficult a couple of days after my surgery, and like someone else mentioned, I was in pain and had some bleeding. A friend of mine used stool softener tablets after she had stitches in childbirth and she said they helped a lot. I wish I'd known about them before I had my surgery.
- Have a warm bath 24-48 hours after your surgery (doctors differ on how long they advise you to wait) and put EITHER (not both!) a couple of drops of lavender oil or some witchazel in it. The witchazel is a great cleanser but it doesn't sting, and the lavendar is relaxing and soothing.  
- You can also get things called Feme Pads - they're gel pads that you put in the freezer, and then when they're cold you put a cotton sleeve over them and pop them in your knickers. Again, a friend of mine recommended these as she used them after she had her baby and they were brilliant (the only place I know to get them from is Mothercare - www.mothercare.com).They were really soothing and helped to take the ache away - genuinely, I was in pain the first day, but after that it was more an ache than a pain - I had to move carefully but it wasn't painful, as such. I felt bruised more than anything.

I'm hopeful that things will get better, but honestly, what I want more than anything is for doctors to start taking us seriously. There are far too many people on here who have bad experiences - me included - and we let it go on because we don't know what else to do. I'm taking strength from all of you on here, and I'm going to fight a little harder from now on!
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I'm 58 years old and went through menopause at around 51. A few years after I started experiencing pain during vaginal intercourse. My gyno diagnosed me as having vaginal atrophy and prescribed vaginal tablets, estrogen creams etc. without much success. During my annual physicals, he always say's "There shouldn't be any problems, there's nothing really wrong, use it or lose it".
I recently went to a naturopath who prescribed E3 vaginal suppositories that contain cocoa butter, bees wax, vitamin E and plant derived Estriol. (made in Germany?) I have to say that they do a FANTASTIC job of lubricating and things have been much better, but... there's still some pain/light bleeding during/after intercourse and it seems to me to be at the base of the vagina that tears a bit. Personally, I think it's from having an episiotomy done a bit too tight after childbirth MANY years ago now aggravated by the atrophy. This is the first post I have ever found that seems to be discussing a procedure that may help me. I will be discussing it with my physician ASAP I'll let you know and thanks to all who have previously posted.
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I had my fentons procedure done two weeks ago and one part of the repair looks quite raw and very sore.  stitches are still there after two weeks, which isnt helping.
I've had a course of antibiotics just in case it was starting to infect and to catch it quickly.... i think i may now have thrush, arrgh, !!... due to 7 days of antibiotics..!
how long can i expect to take for recovery!?? HELLLp..

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I have just fallen across this page today, and thought i should share my story....
I am 22 years old, and have been experiencing very painful sex ever since i first had sex. My skin around my entrance tears and bleeds during sex which can still be painful for some days afterwards. My current partner who I have been with for 5 years now helped me realise that the pain is not normal, and helped me build up the courage to do something about it!
When I first went to the doctors the doctor just told me to use more lubrication etc which really did not help at all as i used loads anyway! Second and third AND forth visits all came back with disappointment as they put it down to thrush and being "Too tense". Ive also had numbing cream which is horrible, and irritated my partners parts, steroid cream which just made the outer skin red and really thin amongst other treatments.
I then left it for a good 2 years, thinking i was always destined to have extremely painful sex. As a last chance two months ago I fell across a brilliant GP who agreed thrush was not the root cause (Tests came back negative) and put me in touch with a specialist.
The specialist wanted me to have a skin biopsy, so i went to the appointment and had another doctor who said i needed a fenton procedure as i have skin going over my entrance which is scarred due to the amount of tearing and needs to be removed, to not only get rid of the bad skin but widen the entrance to aviod "rubbing" which seems to have caused the problem in the first place.

I was very nervous but I went to have it done yesterday with my partner who was amazing. I woke up feeling quite sore, but went home shortly after having a cup of tea and toast! I can't really see much but looks extremely neat and tidy, and i can't see or feel any stiches yet! They are also going to test the skin they removed to see if i have any other skin conditions like psoriasis which may have agrivated it.
I am so happy now (quite sore but a few days of pain versus a life time of misery is nothing!) and I will keep you posted with how everything goes. I am a total wimp with pain and I am fine so please do not doubt this procedure and pluck up the courage to change your life forever! I can now think that realistically i can have children later on in life not in pain, and not worry my partner that he is going to hurt me etc which must be so hard! Heres to supporting partners and helpful doctors!
Good luck everyone xxxx  
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Thankyou for your encouraging story hope it's solved your problem let us know xxx
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I had  fentons repair on 22 November. I'm 46 years old and didn't have any problems until my hysterectomy 3 years ago. At first we put my pain down to vaginal dryness as i'd suffered with this before my hyst due to the articificial menopause i was in.  I started taking HRT with a view to solving the problem.  As you can guess it didn't make any difference at all. It took me a long time to go and see my GP to discuss our problems. I've had so many gynae ops over the years I couldn't face finding out that something else was wrong. The first gynae i saw was useless (she wasn't my normal consultant), she couldn't see anything wrong and had no real understanding what we were experiencing. Fortuantely i sought a second opionion with my own gynae, he was so nice and listened to everything we had to say. He really took his time examing me and offered the Fendons. I've been really bruised and sore for days now and my bowels shut down completely. I saw the emergency dr on Friday I as passed a large clot and felt very sickly and lightheaded. Any way with the help of laxatives and antibiotics I'm feeling much better. I'm really hoping that the procedure works and we can resume a normal sex life.

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Do let us know how you get on fingers crossed.
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thanks so much for your reply. It makes such a difference knowing that we are not alone with this problem. One question, how long does it take for the stitches to come out ? We were advised they would come out themselves about 10 days post op... I  think might be very optimist. Would you see a nurse after a couple of weeks if they are still there?


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Hi I've never had the op but speaking generally about ops and stitches I would defo see a Nurse especially if the stitches get sore or irritated or infected.
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My story began 2 years ago when I had a vaginal prolapse (I am 55yr old).  18months ago my gyno performed an operation (cystocele) to repair the prolapse and pulled the skin at the vaginal opening too tight. At the six week check after the operation I explained that it was painful having sex, he said to use more lubricant and hormone replacement cream and it would be ok. It wasnt!  I went back again and he just fobbed me off and said the opening was fine and at my age womens moods change inferring I probably didnt want sex and virtually said in a round about way just cope with it.  I wasnt happy so went to my GP and asked for another referral to another gyno.  Gyno No. 2  said the opening was fine and gave me pelvic floor exercises which she said would help, I was very upset at this consultation because I knew there was more to the problem than she was saying there was.  I went to another Pelvic Floor Physio and she said to use lots of lubricant and get a cream she knew of that would numb the area.  My GP said no to this as he said that kind of cream should not be used continually.  I felt exhausted in my attempts to get help.  My relationship suffered as I would not let myself get close to my partner for fear of him wanting sex. I just felt sad and lonely because I had noone who could understand how I felt.  Finally I rang a gynocologist I knew of from years past and made an appointment to see her. At the appointment she examined me and knew immediately what the problem was. She pushed down on the skin at the vaginal opening and it split immediately and as soon as that happened my vaginal muscles clamped shut to protect me. She explained thats what happens when you have sex and that causes the pain. I used hormone cream for a few weeks to rejuvenate the vaginal skin due to menopause and I had a Fentons procedure done one week ago under local anaesthetic. I was frighted that a Fentons procedure could compromise my prolapse, but the gyno assures me it will not affect the pelvic floor function. I have been a bit sore but it is really only very uncomfortable for a day or so after having it done. We have not had intercourse yet and by how I feel it will probably be another week or so before we try! I am hoping all the problems are over now. I feel much happier now and feel like a women again able to enjoy all aspects of my relationship.  Fingers crossed.
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Interested to hear how you get on. Relieved that you managed to see and get a previous Gyno to act. Are you in the UK?
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I'm seeing the district nurse on monday to get things looked at as I feel  a bit sore. Hopefully she will remove the stitches at the same time. I also think I have a UTI starting .

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Good luck and hope they get your suspect UTI sorted with some antibiotics, they might clear up your soreness too.
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Been to see the District Nurse today, she was reluctant to remove the stitches. I have a small sore where one of the stitches is rubbing. If they haven't come out naturally by next week (3 wks post op) then I have to see my GP.

I can't be checked for a UTI either as I've only just finished a course of antibiotics.

Not a very sucessful morning all in all.
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Hate trips like that. I think that's why we are called Patients because we have to be so patient!
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Thanks for sharing all your experiences! Realise this dates back all the way to 2005! I didn't know that there were women like me who had the same challenges and i really thought the problem i had was psychological (like what most doctors would say..)
i've always had painful intercourse the only difference is the varying degrees of pain.. lubrication didn't seem to work and the more i fear the pain, the worst it got.. it used to hurt and sting after sex and i'd be sore for the next 2 days with a blister-like bump at the edge of the vagina.. all these affected the frequency (and my reluctance) of my sex life.. and because of this, my partner of 2 years just left me.. He felt he wasn't getting enough and thought it's better to end it now before the marriage and kids come along and he strays and has an affair when he doens't get it..
so, i finally pluck up the courage and spoke to a gynae about my painful experiences.. and in the end, i received 2 gynae with VERY different opinion.. one of them suggested Fenten procedure and asked me to search online for more information since i was hesistant.. while the other (gentler and older gynae), said that i should NEVER do any surgery as it will cause scarring tissues to build up and it'll be more painful after.. he said i should stretch it every day witih my fingers as it's not like i have a small canal etc.

i'm not exactly sure who's advice i should take...
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Hi
I am sorry you have lost your relationship to this problem, I can relate.
I understand what the older gynae is saying, it does make sense. Stretching may help, I have dialators, but don't use them on a regular basis. They came in 3 different sizes but I was unable to use the 3rd size. I'm single and being single and celibate doesn't bother me. I've filled my life up with interests and friends. I understand this way of life isn't for everyone.
Some find surgery very successful but others don't. Try stretching if you don't find it working then go for the surgery option. At least you will have tried the non-surgical option rather than never giving it a chance.
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Hi

I had a Fentons on December 3rd at the same time as a laparospic vaginal hysterectomy. Ever since then I have had more pain from the Fentons than the hysterectomy.

I am now at 9 weeks since the op and have started using dilators to try and stretch the area prior to intercourse. The back of the vaginal area where the Fentons was performed now has 3 ridges or sewn skin which look like worms to me and are very tender and painful. I constantly have perineal pain behind the vagina and to the anus. The pain is 40 times worse than it was before.

If in doubt - use the dliators first, as suggested by moonstone, and really persevere with them.

I have been back to see the surgeon twice and will be going back again. Right now I regret having this operation done and knowing what I know now - I would not have bothered. I am living on pain killers - which do little except slug me so I am not so upset. I cannot ride my bicycle which was a major part of our life and we used to have 4 cycling holidays a year. I have pain when weeing, poohing and even just bending over, let alone walking fast or trying to exercise. I spend part of each day sitting on a ring cushion still. Driving distances is uncomfy etc etc.

Sorry for the rant - but it hurts - and I am jealous (in a nice way - no way would I wish pain on others!) of those for whom the operation worked and wished I had found this site before I had my op.

My surgeon spent 98% time discussing the hysterectomy and only 2% on the Fentons which is supposed to a minor simple op. The hysterectomy removed all the pain I had in that area but the Fentons has introduced a lot more pain. If you go for this op, be 100% clear EXACTLY what they will do and get the surgeon to show you actual photos! He drew me a picture but that in no way really explains what it will look like and how it will function after.

(I wish I could have seen photos first - I think that would have been enough to put me off or at least make it easier to discuss possible problems with the surgeon.)

I am really glad that the operation has worked for so many.
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Its been several months since my operation. I go back for a check up on Friday and am pleased to say that the op has made a massive difference to us. At long last we are able to resume normal relations. there is still some slight discomfort but nothing that stops us.
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So very pleased to hear your news :)
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Six days since my Fentons repair and Im still sore.....hoping things improve....I know its early days.....but Im worried it wont have made any difference.
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Hope things improve write back and let us all know
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Hi there,

I had the fentons procedure done as a day patient under general anaesthetic, on Wednesday of last week, and although I currently feel as though Im sat on a hedgehog, Im hopeful that I will see positive results.

Im almost 29, and since I was 19, have always suffered with pain during sex. I assumed for a long time that it was just what I had to put up with, and that I should just get my head around the fact that I was never going to particularly enjoy sex.

I've had quite a tough time of it, as I've read a lot of you have as well. I've been tested for thrush a zillion times, always coming back with a negative but still being given the creams etc. Then I was told it was Vulvodynia - an unexplainable vaginal pain, then that it was actually in my head - probably my lowest point.

When it had reached the stage where my relationship was in tatters, and my mental health had begun to be affected, I paid to go private, and actually saw a dermatologist initially, as I had suspicions it was relating to my skin, as a pose to it being a gynie issue.

I was right, and was diagnosed with eczema down below - apparently an extremely common problem in women, and often misdiagnosed by GP's as Thrush....sound familiar anyone? I was given a three step treatment of creams, as by this point, the whole surface of my vagina was covered in tiny splits, the pain was unbelievable and I was off work with depression.

Although within weeks of using the creams, my skin was almost perfect, sex was still painful, and I was so upset, as I hadn't realised at this point that my problem was actually made up of two parts. Yes, I had eczema, but I also had a very small 'web' of skin that sat just at the bottom of the entrance to my vagina.

Now although the web is scar tissue, its unclear weather the web has always been there, or if its developed due to my skin repeatedly splitting and part healing, before splitting again. I hadn't even realised the scar tissue was there, it was only after going to my GP and asking for a referral to see a gynie, that it was actually pointed out to me. This was the first time the fentons procedure was mentioned to me.

My gynie advised me that although the fentons has a high success rate, she is unsure if it will fully work for me. The steroid creams used to treat eczema, apparently reduce the amount of stretch your skin has, and therefore she isn't sure if I was tearing because of this, or because the scar tissue had already built up.

I only began using the eczema creams around 2 years ago, and was splitting way before that, so Im hopeful that maybe it will work for me.

I can honestly say that the past 10 years have been a really trying time, and so immensely soul destroying - sounds dramatic, but I have always felt so useless because of it...and I've had all of the same feelings of guilt and pressure to still have sex despite the pain - but fortunately like so many of you, I have a guy who I've been with for 6 years who couldn't be more supportive if he tried!

Im extremely anxious at present, because again, as so many of you have said, Im petrified that this isn't going to work for me...that sex will still be painful - I could cry thinking about this right now, because it scares me to death, but Im trying to think positive. I will keep you updated though...

Im hoping theres no infection, as at present, the stitches are painful and feel tight and prickly, but given that its only been three days, Im trying to be patient.

Thanks for listening...Hx







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Hi and thankyou for sharing and I hope the pain eases soon.

I was diagnosed with Vulvodynia by a Dermatologist, I was also diagnosed with 3 other types of eczema on my face, but none had a connection with what was happening 'down below'. I was prescribed 2 different specialist shampoos, Nizoral which I can use 'down below' but I find if I use it on my head, as all things sink into your skin and then your bloodstream, it also cleared things up 'down below'. Stress is no 1 cause for my Vulvodynia I have found.

If I found a caring considerate understanding guy then I would give the Fenton procedure a go.
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Hi there,

My dermatologist also gave me an aqueous type cleansing wash to use down below called Dermol, I think you can get it over the counter as well. I use it everytime I shower or bath and its a soap substitute - its literally the only thing Ive found that I can use that doesn't irritate, and if I happen to be feeling like I may have an eczema flare up, if I use it, it tends to nip anything in the bud before it starts.

I wanted to know how people were managing with their stitches...as mine seem to be getting more painful and tight by the day, does anyone know if this is normal? I've been told by a few friends who have had procedures in a similar place, that the pain tends to worsen before it gets better...just worried I have an infection, because its painful and tender on one side when I pat dry after a number one.

I've been using lavender oil in the bath, and on my pad to help with the pain and inflammation - it has provided some temporary relief.

Hx

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Hi all.I m experiencing more pain now....8 days after my fentons.....so maybe that is right,it gets worse before getting better.I also am sore when "patting" dry after a wee.Hope at last!x
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Thank-God for that!!!

Its a week today since I had the op...I now no longer need any painkillers at all, which is good as up until yesterday morning, I was taking them every 4-6 hours and if I didnt was left very uncomfortable, with a throbbing sensation.

I rang my GP earlier, and they got me an appointment for tomorrow evening, and a prescription of anti-biotics in the meantime. Im hanging fire with taking them, until Ive seen the Doctor, as if theres no infection, and the pain Im in is normal, then Im happy to ride the storm until the pain and tenderness goes...no point taking tablets for nothing.

I also rang the secretary for the consultant who operated on me, and she advised that it is possible theres some infection, but just because one side is more tender than the other doesnt mean its definetly infected...she advised it could be due to the stitches being a little tighter on the more painful side, or just that one sides healed a little quicker than the other.

With any luck, tomorrow, maybe the tenderness will have eased even more :-)

Ive found this thread so helpful...it really does make a difference to hear other peoples stories, as for so long Ive just felt on my own in all of this.

Heidi x
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Hi - this is a very useful discussion board. I wonder whether anyone can help me - I had the fentons procedure on Friday - I'm sore which is expected, the stitches look ok and neat, but there is a blister type ball at the botton of my vagina? is this normal? should I see my GP?

Any comments would be appreciated.
Thanks, Emma
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Hi Emma,I found this a useful site,I had fentons repair 3weeksago.....and Im back to playing badminton now.I had a small blister looking lump in the same area...just to one side but its almost gone now.I got more pain from about day 5till day9 but after that it improved quickly.good luck to you.
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Hi thank you for letting me know - it's not just me then! It's good to know your all well now. Did you just leave the blister then? they told me if anything unsightly comes up I shoud go to Drs or if I get an infection. I've also been told not to have a bath for 10 days, although I think it would be more clean to bath and clean the wound properly. They didn't tell me much about what to do after the operation. Any comments are appreciated. Thanks
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Hi there,

I had the fentons procedure on the 2nd of this month, so 3 weeks tomorrow. The first few days I was fine, hardly any pain at all, just a little discomfort. Around day 5 onwards to around day 10 I was really quite sore - so much so that I was worried I had an infection.

I was concerned as I felt a little discomfort on one side of the stitches, but much more painful on the other side. I hadn't considered that all stitches are different, some tighter than others etc. I now think this was the case, as 2-3 days later, the pain and tight nipping sensation began to fade. I now have no pain at all, and the bruising in gone completely.

Because I couldn't properly see myself, my boyfriend kept checking the progress for me, particularly when I thought I had an infection. He described a little blister type lump, but this disappeared, so if I were you Id hang fire a few days unless your in a significant amount of pain.

Regarding the bathing - I was advised no baths for 48 hours, then I was free to have them. Initially I found it such a relief to use the shower head on a low pressure setting just to clean the area. I checked about this and was advised it was fine. When I could have baths, I cant tell you how much better lavender oil assisted with the healing, and taking the pinch out of the stitches. I read the tip on a new mums website, and they have the same procedure done relating to apesiotomy (spelt wrong ha!) scars. I put quite a lot in the bath, and also I put some on a panty liner and let it touch the stitches - it has a cooling effect and seriously does help. You can get the lavender oil at the supermarket, its a couple of pounds, compared to a fiver in boots.

Wishing you a speedy recovery :-) x x x
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Hi,I was told I could bath straight away..?I found it a great relief also with the shower head on low and cool.I did nothing about the lump....just left it.I wonder how many other people out there are suffering and not knowing about this site and what other people are experiencing.x
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Hi,Ive just been reading back on your previous comments about life before fentons.....I have had similar problems with sex being SO painful for many years but more so in the past 5 years.I have a wonderful husband,but I m so worried about getting back to sex.I wonder if things will be better now????glad to read you re doing so well.x
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Hi there,

Yeah, this is also a major worry for me too....Im really anxious about how to even initiate anything remotely sexual, for a variety of reasons. All the prodding and poking down there...from a medical point of view, has meant that I now just associate it with pain, or negativity, and not pleasure or fun.
Prior to the fenton's being done, about 18 months before actually...after getting a diagnosis for the eczema and seeing a massive improvement, our physical relationship was in tatters, and it wasnt just me that had been effected, he had been affected aswell - not wanting to hurt me etc. So, we went to relate to see a sex therapist, and I cannot recommend this enough.
We went for around 6 months one a week/fortnight depending, and it was a slow and gradual process. Had I not unknowingly had the other issue with the scar tissue - which at that point I wasn't even aware of, I had just put the pain down to the eczema...I think we would have been on our way back to things being normal, but because sex was still painful - all the techniques we were given, although great - sex was still painful, hence no progress.
It was only 12 months later, after sticking my head in the sand all over again, and probably having sex twice, purely through guilt, that I went back to my GP and was sent to Gynie. Thats when the web of skin/scar tissue was discovered and the fentons was recommended.
Its so frustrating, because I could've got this sorted in a relatively quick time, but through the complication of having two separate things going on, its ended up spanning almost 10 years - quite sad really.
I brought up the topic of sex lastnight, and it was awkward - think were both as nervous as each other, and don't really know where to start...so think were going to go back to relate, for the support more than anything...sounds stupid, but a third person advising and suggesting takes the pressure off either one of you.
Good luck, whenever you manage to take the plunge :-) x x
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thanks Heidi,I ll keep that all in mind....
Deex
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hi. just make sure you understand that it is a vaginal reconstruction and that a) you really want to do it, b) you've tried the other non surgical ways of dealing with vaginismus and 3) that your [artner supports it. My wife had this but we were misinformed by the surgeon who simply said she would have her tough hymen surgically removed. When we discovered stitches and discovered he's done a fenton's operation I felt betrayed and as if she'd been raped.  I was so angry.  My wife then went off and had her first sex with some idiot who was able to get his jollies off and give her sexual attention without the history of stress. 20 years later she still lived with the effects of guilt.
Surgery can be great when it's really needed , but if there's another way, it's pretty barbaric.
At least your doctor is giving you the chance to get informed. Ours should have been sent to jail.
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Hmmmm,

Tried intercourse for the first time since my op 8 weeks ago...disaster, although not painful and initially good, my partner panicked when he saw some blood and upon inspection I had split where the wound had healed. I might point out that this was very gentle and cautious, hence didnt warrant a split.
Rang my consultants secretary and she got me in for an appointment tomorrow, so who knows where we go from here. Im beginning to think maybe I was destined to be a Nun!!
H :-(
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So sorry to hear about the split, I hope it's not the beginning of the end of things for you, it shouldn't be.

Lifelong member of the Nun's Club here :/

Keep us posted
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I had a Fenton operation back 2 years ago and it took a long time to heal. Once it did I have had Thrush and Cystitis & pain on bladder & constant urgency to pee. Does anyone else have this and how have you treated it as the usual Thrush cream and tablets have not worked. It is so painful and annoying I don't know what to do anymore?  : (
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i had the fenton op well over a year ago - when i was in my early 20's, in fact. I am now 45. The op was done under general and i had no complications . Although i wasn't in any pain during or after sex, my gynae suggested i have the op. Not really knowing what to expect, nor knowing in detail what the procedure involved, I agreed. Dr always knows best!  This is the first time I haveactually researched anything to do with the procedure and i am only researching it now because my 2 year old niece has had a problem with her labia not seperating properly and I was wondering if there could be a connectrion of any sort. I am also wondering if painful sex would have developed at a later stage if I had not had the procedure done when i did. Also, i had to have an emergency caesar for my first baby since I couldn't diate past 4 cm..my next 2 chidren were planned caesars in order to avoid any possible complications.  Does anybody know if having had the Fenton done before childbirth could have contributed to me not dilating enough to deliver naturally?
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I had the fentons procedure over a year ago now as for as long as I can remember, I had been experiencing pain after sex. It would burn when I went to the toilet afterwards and sting fOr a gOod few hours afterwards. After going back and forth to many docters and getting tested for all sti's and urinary tract infection and trying creams and antibiotics etc- my gynocologyst suggested that I might need a fentons procedure. I was so happy that I finally had a solutiOn to the problem and went in the following week to have the procedure.

I was out of the hospital the same day and although uncomfortable to walk and sleep for the next few days, everything healed within a week or so but waited 6 weeks until I has sex again.

Unfortunately, I still experienced pain after sex- a stinging, burning sensation which, as had done previously, bought me to tears as it was so painful. I went back to the Gyno and she examined me and said that everything was fine- she took a urine sample which came back fine and basically told me there's nothing she can do. She made a joke about it all and made me feel very stupid and as though it could be a phsycological thing which made me feel even more redundant!

As I said- its been over a year now and I am still getting pain everytime I have sex. It feels as though the area is swollen and sore but I feel as though I shouldn't go back to my doctor as the expert has alreay said she cant see anything wrong. I am surcummed to just not really ever having sex, maybe once every month or less, and as a 22 year old this doesn't seem right!

I don't know what to do next?!? Could it be something to do with my ovaries as I hear about internal scans and I never had one of those done but I don't think that would cause swelling of the opening?

HELP! X
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Sounds like you need a new doctor, just because she can't figure out what the problem is doesn't mean there isn't one! Where do you live? Maybe go to Gp and tell them you want to c the best there is!
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Hi all, im so glad i found this post.  After having my daughter 2 years ago i have had intercourse several times and its so so painful and bleeds.  I went to my GP and she refered me to a gyneo and he examined me and knew exactly what it was and explained the Fentons procedure to me which sounded right to me...im booked in for 2 weeks today.  So very nervous about the general anathetic as never been put to sleep before :-/...i really really hope it works, iv read mixed outcomes from this operation.
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this is the only good feedback ive read so far 7 was very happy to read it tbh,
i had my lg november 2011 i had forceps delivery with episiotomy & 2nd degree tears, ifelt i may have been rushed whilst being stitched up afterbirth due to bleeding etc,
my stitches came open or they dissolved before id healed i dont really kno then to make matters worse a month after birth (xmas eve) i ended up in emergency doctors with constipation due to suffering with constipation during pregnancy & iron tablets etc & also being scared to do bowel movements due to stitches so after this i kept going to my gp (a former gynae) who said i would heal & everything was clean & uninfected (which was very lucky really being as i was more open than i should be between my vagina & anus sorry tmi ! :/ so before my post natal she didnt really take me seriously & i thought maybe she would after my postnatal but no still no luck, it took me to go for a routine smear test & to ask the nurse to have a look before doing the test what she thought she confirmed there was a gape & said that nhs doesnt do operations just for cosmetic reasons ithen explained it wasnt just how i looked it was getting me down & affecting my life massively my (very respectful & considering fiance) hasnt had sex since before my pregnancy, not only that i was sore on a daily/weekly basis due to being more exposed/open ! she then told me to ask to be referred so i did & my gp did do so then i went to a current gynae who told me i also had a tightening? which i never knew i just thought it was to open & thats why i was sore so they put me forward for the op to redo episiotomy & fentons procedure there was a long waiting list my lg was 3months when they said i could have an operation shes now 11months & ive had the op done i was a bit dissapointed/upset when i came home & had a little look to see i could still see the muscle inside my vagina 7 still seemed more open i thought the stitches would have pulled my innerlips back in to join together near the perenium  but its very early days as i only had op done this morning i just hope it fuses together somehow  can anyone shed any light on this for me ????? oh after the op theyd left a gauze just inside & said it would fall out when i went to the toilet but it never so i gently moved it (part of it was between where my stitches were i hope this hasnt affected them being open!!!!! oh & iv also been given 2 types of laxatives to use daily for 28days even though im not constipated to avoid tearing the stitches open thanks
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iv just wrote a huge post regarding my op (which was today) ps dont worry about being put out under general anaesthetic id never had an op before either & even though the hospital had no beds to start off with 7 all of us women (in there for different things) had to keep going in & out of different rooms to have our bloodpressures etc etc done before the op which was a bit annoying as we were all nervous for our own reasons & could have done with it being a bit more relaxed,,, when i actually got on a ward & was waiting to be taken to theatre it was a lot better & even walking to the anaesthetist room right by theatre i felt nervous but built myself up that much i just wanted it done out the way & before i knew it i was awake & being took back onto the ward for tea & toast so really dont worry youll be fine its the recovery that scares most ithink x ps iv just realised uv probably had yours done as this post was obviously before mine oops :/
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I just had the Fenton's procedure done yesterday and I have virtually no pain.  Slight burning, that's all. I have had 2 c-sections in the past, though, so they told me that I know surgical pain and this would be nowhere near the pain that I experienced with the sections (makes sense).  I had this procedure done due to painful sex.  They weren't able to put me out with general anesthetic though because I had a cold, so I had to have a spinal (like an epidural).  The pain from the injection sight for that is actually more painful today than "down there".  It was very weird to be awake for the procedure and have my legs up in stirrups with a bunch of people staring at me down there, but it was a very fast procedure, so it wasn't that bad.
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Hello

I never had any problems during intercourse, no pain or anything. But lately when my husband enters me during intercourse I feel as if he has to get passed a ridge which is just after the opening of my vagina and which is very painful. I don't suffer from vaginal dryness although I am 48 and peri-menopausal. I'm not sure that this is the same problem as others are describing here, but maybe someone recognises the same problem and could advice me?
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Hi

I had a Modified Fenton's repair yesterday.  I checked out this website beforehand, and i found it really helpful and reassuring, so i thought i'd post up my story incase it can be of help to others too.  I will also update this in a few weeks to let you know how recovery is going.  At the moment i'm not in too much pain, although there is a bit of bleeding every time i go to the bathroom.

I'm 27, have never had any kids, and I've been with my partner for 8 years now.  For the first few years sex was pain free.  Then, about 5 years ago, things started to get progressively worse.  It took me about a year to see my GP about this (due to being embarrassed and thinking maybe it was in my head).  I think i got lucky as my GP turned out to be one of the few doctors that knows about vulvodynia (unexplained vulva pain) and referred me to a gynaecologist at the hospital.  I've heard that many women just get told it's in their head and there is nothing that can be done, which must be devastating to their self esteem.  The gynaecologist confirmed the diagnosis and noted i also had a skin bridge across the entrance of the vulva that was splitting when touched.  She initially prescribed me dermal cream, which relieved the pain almost immediately.  Unfortunately i then developed an allergy to the cream (go figure).  Over the past few years i've seen a physiotherapist to work on biofeedback.  Unfortunately i didn't get much pain improvement from this.  I did however get given a numbing gel (lignocaine) which allowed me to still have sex with pain only on entrance, but also with very little feeling (kinda takes away the appeal of it).
I left things as they were for a few years, which resulted in my partner and i breaking up for a while (due to the mental issues associated with the condition). After we got back together it seemed like the only way forward was to opt for the surgery (a modified fen ton's procedure and vestibulectomy).  Last minute however i was advised to see a physiotherapist.  This turned out to be a really positive experience that helped me to acknowledge the condition and increase my communication with my partner.  After seeing her for a few months we decided that i still needed survey to remove the skin bridge as this was visibly splitting and was not pain just associated with negative feedback pathways (like the vulvadynia).  Once my wounds are healed i will begin trying dilation techniques to assist with the vulvadynia, and continue seeing the physiotherapist.
During the surgery they also noticed some pale skin, which may be lichen sclerosis.  I had never heard of this until i read this forum, so i'm very glad that i had at least a brief understanding of this before the surgeon mentioned it.

It's been really helpful to read everyone's stories and know i'm not alone in this, so thank you everyone for posting.    
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* when i say physiotherapist in the previous post i actually mean psycotherapist, the computer just autocorrected and i didn't notice sorry
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Ok, so 8 days since the op.  Somehow the stitches have all split open and now i just have a raw wound.  Went to my GP (it's the holidays so i can't contact my surgeon) and they said this happens sometimes and that i just have to go on antibiotics and wait for it to heal from the inside out.  Likely to be quite extensive scarring now as the skin has to grow in from the edge.  Really disappointed as i was so careful.  Pain's not too bad most of the time, altho it's been unbearably itchy and sore at times, especially when i try sleep. Going back to a different hospital on Monday to reassess.
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Hi StaceyLo
Do hope the hospital you see give better advice and help, to leave the wound like that, without attaching the edges together again will leave you with a bigger scar, and that's not what you need down there.
Do report back on here
Best Wishes
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Hi There,
I am 32 years old. I have never had a child but I have the issue of tearing at the base  of my vagina when I have sex. The type tearing someone would have if they gave birth but I didn't give birth! If I use lubricant it's not as bad and in a couple days I can have sex again. Although, sex it's that enjoyable because I always had a little tear!  At first my Gyno said I had thin skin down there and gave me estrogen cream to thicken the skin. This did not work. I developed scar tissue (from repeated tears) and my gyno thought it was the scar tissue that was ripping repeatedly every time I have intercourse. She removed the scar tissue (not a full fenton's.. because she did this in her clinic with just a local anesthetic and I don't think I had any widening done.. well she didn't mention anything about that). Anyway I waited two months to have sex again and when I did, I ended up tearing very badly (the whole area where she removed skin) which is bigger than my original tear was.   So instead of having to wait 2 or 3 days now to have sex again. I have to probably wait a good week and a half or two weeks to let it heal up because this tear is so much bigger. (I guess it's kinda like a cavity, the dentist has to drill a bigger hole to give you a filling, well she had to remove a bigger section to make sure she got all the scar tissue). Anyway, now I have a bigger tear (but I don't have any scar tissue, that was all removed). It's my actually operation site that is tearing! I'm at my lowest point! :( I'm so stressed out! I don't sleep or eat worrying about this! My boyfriend lives away right now and he knows I have issues but he doesn't realize the extent! And how much more damage has been done! I don't know what to do. I scared to get the full Fenton's in fear it will only make me tear even more!!! or even bigger! (with a longer heal time).  I don't really understand the procedure either? does it remove scar tissue and WIDEN the vagina so there is more space ( less stretching at the opening). Can someone give me some advice? or has anyone ever had this done with success to help the issue of thin skin??? or widening the vagina to reduce friction or tearing. I have read many success stories but mostly with people who have had children and the birth causing the tears not just because they have thin skin, etc.... PLEASE HELP!!!!  Thanks!
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I'm so sorry to read what you are going through. I've not had the Fenton done because I didn't know what it was, no one explained it to me so I cancelled the op.
From where the Gyne took your scar tissue away, that in itself will produce scar tissue, did she not think about that.
Would changing sexual position lessen the chance of tearing for you?
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Hi Anne

I really feel for you.  That sounds really terrible.  You've probably read my story above (posted a week ago).  I've also never had children and had tearing every time i had sex.  Same as you, i had to wait a few days before we could have sex again.  On top of that i have vulvadynia, which means i experience pain around the opening and inside with no actual symptoms.  Just touching it with a cotton bud is painful.  The tearing on the outside was caused by a skin bridge across the bottom of the opening, and apparently i also have a really small vagina.  I had a modified Fenton's procedure a week and a half ago to remove the skin bridge and widen my vagina.  Currently things arent great since the wound got infected and split open a few days ago.  I've been to see the Gynae unit at my local hospital and the answer seems to be there is nothing that can be done and i just have to be on antibiotics and then let it heal from the inside out.  This may or may not cause excess scarring which may have to be operated on again.  It took 2 days at the hospital and being passed between 8 doctors who all had a prod around before i finally got a full explanation from someone (i spent three days thinking i had done something wrong to cause the stitches to split).  One of the doctors today just started putting a speculum in (what they use when they do smear tests) without even telling me why!  I told him he couldn't and he said he was just going to have a look, which he attempted to do until i was in tears from the pain.  I still have no idea why he was doing it!!  The wound is all external.  He also initially looked at the wound i have at the top of my leg from a cyst removal at the same time and proclaimed that my stitches were actually still in place!  This is after telling him what procedure i had done, which as far as i'm aware can only be performed on the vagina.  Horrible experience in general.
My partner said it's looking a bit better now though, so i will keep you posted on how my recovery goes, and whether i have tearing when we eventually try sex again.  I seem to have very sensitive skin around the whole area down there, so maybe we are similar.
In terms of what could help you right now, i would highly recommend seeing a psychotherapist.  I was lucky to find one who has dealt with vulvadynia sufferers.  She actually advised me against getting a vestibulectomy on top of a Fenton's procedure, which i am so glad of now.  She is also just amazing at listening to me and talking to the doctors for me.  Many doctors don't seem to worry about your mental state (which is hugely effected by an issue that is so private and central to your relationships) and generally go straight to the most invasive options to try fix things, without giving you all the facts, or at least not in a way you understand them.  She used to be a surgeon, so she knows both sides of the picture.  To be honest it's just helped my mental state hugely to have a medical person i can pour all my worries and experiences out to.  I hope that you can find someone like her who can talk with you and decide what's best for you, rather than what may have worked for other people.
On that note though, one thing that did work for me for a while (until i developed a reaction to it) was dermal cream.  It just seemed to help the skin in that area. But that was pre op, so i'm not sure if it would help now.
Best of luck though.  I understand your pain and anxiety, and it's totally justified.  I will let you know how my recovery goes.
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Thank you StaceyLo,
This is one of the most frustrating things ever! I feel like I'm a disappointment to my partner! He lives away now and he's home on a vacation and I can't even have intercourse with him! He's understanding but at the same time I know he's disappointed! We have done other sexual activities, but still! He's understanding now, but this wasn't such a problem for me before!  Like I mentioned earlier, we could have sex after a couple days, because initially my tear wasn't so severe. I mean, it was workable but still not what a normal person should be like. And I am upset with my doctor because she said "well try it, because it can't make it any worse...and it did." I just wish I had left well enough alone... And I think we have the same situation because my doctor told me I am also VERY SENSITIVE down there! I don't have any other conditions that I know of, but I do have a lot of yeast infections. I am getting those under control more now in the last couple month (by using a pro biotic) but I think that has added to the problem!  Thin Skin, lack of elasticity, not enough self lubricant and irritated skin, which caused the initial splits! Now it's just prone to split! As for the Psychotherapist, thanks for advice and I am really glad it's helping you! I'm pretty sure that there isn't one in my community! I live in a pretty small town!  What is dermal Cream?? What was it's purpose? It's just one giant issues, my tearing causes anxiety and my anxiety causes stress and affects other areas of my life, my eating, sleeping etc. I would appreciate so much if you would update me on your progress! and let me know if it worked for you! I have read by a few people in our situation that it doesn't work. But a lot have said, I just had it done! I don't see anyone saying, yes I had it done for tears (no childbirth) and it worked. I don't tear anymore! I haven't seen one single person say that. I have read success stories but It seems to work best for the ladies who have NORMAL vaginas but had tears due to giving birth! Which makes sense. They have normal skin there! I want to know if it helps you! Cause if it helps, then I will consider trying the Fenton's. Maybe widening the vagina will reduce the friction and more than that make it so that it doesn't stretch so much during penetration! Like I said before My biggest fear is that I have a vertical split now and if they cut a diamond shaped and sew horizontally (as I read it's done... can you help me with this too?? how does that widen the vagina?? maybe you know more about how that works) that if I split again horizontally also, it will be one giant hole! A horizontal opening and then the vertical opening... Can you imagine how long that will take to heal?? so upsetting!  Anyway, thank you for your response. You are the only person that has responded to my posts! I am interested to know if this helps you not tear anymore! Thanks and best of luck to you! I know what you are going through!
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Hi Moonstone,
Yeah I guess the Gyno didn't think of that! And I knew it would create a new scar but I thought maybe the new skin on skin would hold up better for tearing then the old scar tissue! I don't know! I should have left it alone! I can't believe this is such an unfix-able issue! I read someone, They can turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man, but they can't stop my vagina from tearing when I have sex.. SERIOUSLY! I'm sorry, I'm just frustrated and stressed! It's been 4 days and my vagina is just beginning to heal up! I've used antibiotic cream to help with the itching and healing! I just know as soon as I have sex again this is gonna be my routine! Not acceptable or anything to look forward too!
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I saw a GP in the practice who used to be a Gynae, I went to her because my usual GP thought she would deal with things better being a Gynae. I had already been prescribed heavy duty course of anti-thrush meds. Gynae GP looked and said you don't have thrush, took a swab which was very painful. She then went on about wanting a smear done. I explained I didn't need a smear doing, she said one needs doing, either here or under GA at hospital. For a GP and a Gynae she didn't seem to read the notes on the screen, about my having vaginitis, vulvodynia and thrush. I went away and a couple of days later I had a phonecall off her, she said you've got thrush, she didn't apologise for telling me adamantly in the consultation room that I hadn't got thrush. She said I've left you a prescription. The prescription was several applicators for canestan, I find those things nigh on impossible to entertain, so they are still in the boxes. Due to the fact she told me to stop the heavy duty anti-thrush treatment my GP put me on, the thrush is now back. I will have to book and see my GP and have a chat with him. I seem to suffer repeatedly with thrush, I've tried everything to rid me of it, and I do wonder what long term thrush can do to you down there. Please let me know how you get on with everything. Try a different position in bed and see if that lessens the tearing.
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Hey Anne

Yes it's a diamond shape they cut and then stitch up horizontally.  Unfortunately i got an infection and the stitches broke down, meaning i now have a diamond shaped wound of raw flash.  I've been told it can't be restitched so i just have to let the diamond shape heal from the inside out, which i think will mean scar tissue, and i don't know how painful that is going to be.  But i guess at least it means it shouldn't be able to tear the actual wound site open as thats already happened?
In terms of how they close it it looks like they just stretch skin from inside the opening backwards.  It's meant to be very stretchy down there (for normal women), but i'm guessing mine isn't that normal, so maybe that put extra pressure on the stitches?  The surgeon said she also suspected i have lichen sclerosis (due to very pale skin down there which was only noticed during the op), so she's sent the removed skin away to be assessed for this.  I don't know much about it, but it sounds like it just causes pain down there is general, and can cause the entrance of the vagina to narrow.  I think it's treated with steroid cream.
Ahh thats such a bugger you can't see a psychotherapist.  I know it's not actually treating any of the physical problems, but it's amazing how much it can help restore mental health.  My partner (of 8 years now) and i broke up a few years ago almost entirely due to this.  I wasn't dealing with it properly.  My way of coping was to ignore it, which meant sex was extremely painful.  This made me resent it, and resent my partner because he didn't feel any pain.  Every time we had sex i almost felt abused, but every time we didn't i felt terribly guilty and hated myself.  I never talked to him about this, and of course one thing led to another.  Luckily we did get back together, and got some counselling (although initially not with someone who knew about my condition and could take that into account).  He's come along to some of my psychotherapy sessions and we've gotten much better at communicating through that.  Maybe you could Skype a psychotherapist? Or if you have medical insurance would it cover you flying out to see someone?  Don't underestimate how big a part mental health plays, and from what you're saying you really need someone there to bat for you!
I'm with you regarding not understanding how such a seemingly simple thing is unfixable!! Hearing my friends talk about their sex lives around me just kills me!  How can it be so enjoyable for them and so hideous for me?
My partner was 18 when we got together, so he's had to listen to all his friends talk about wild crazy sex, and all the time he's had to hide what he's been dealing with.  After our break up i told him to talk to a few of his friends about it, so at least he now has people around him who understand and who he can talk to.  It's hard because it's such a private issue, not something you can just bring up with people.
If i was you, i think the next best option is to research doctors who actually know about things like vulvadynia and lichen sclerorus  (which are problems that arent just associated with pregnancy) and save up to go and see someone.  You just need to make sure it's someone who actually has some people skills as well, so they don't leave you feeling worse.  Whereabouts do you live?  I'm in New Zealand, but i could try asking my therapist incase she knows people internationally?
In terms of my progress, things are feeling a little better today, although i still have some bleeding.  But hearing my partner yesterday say that it is actually looking a little better has just made me feel a million times more positive.
Hang in there Anne.  It's so easy to let this all seem overwhelming and hopeless, but we gotta keep believing that there's something we can do to fix it! x
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Oh No! You're doctors seem to have their heads in the sand as much as mine! What is the problem with the canestan? is it the cream? or tablets that you insert? You can't insert them? Have you tried the over the counter Pill for yeast infections! I have used those and really have found that they are the only thing that work! Also, get yourself a pro biotic that you take orally everyday! or you can get it in a pill or liquid form! It's for digestion but helps with yeast infections too!  So far it has been helping me! It will maybe make you have more frequent bowel movements (sorry for the details here, but just though I'd let you know) but that also dies down after taking them for a while.  I've been taking it for 2 and a half months with no yeast infections (the longest I've went in a long long time). I think that is half of my problem. I had yeast infections for a long time and they made my skin sensitive (when I had them) and I didn't realize the damage the sex with a yeast infection was doing. It damaged my skin and then they gave me steroid cream to help the sensitivity and then the skin got thin and well you know the story! We use different positions usually. Do you know any specific ones that are worst for causing tears? I am not sure which ones are best or ones to avoid. Cause if I did I would definitely avoid them!
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I live in Canada and in a remote area of Canada. So I can't research doctors and find someone who has experience with this. I basically have to go to my family doctor and be referred to someone. I have insurance yes, because everyone in Canada does but that also makes it harder because I can't go privately to find a doc. My gyno sent away the skin from my initial operation (where she removed the scar tissue) and the lab said it was just scar tissue (no other conditions), well I'm assuming they would have check for that. I don't think I have Vulvodynia, because I don't have any other pain with my vagina, well nothing major. It's sensitive but not to touch or insert tampons. I am sure my nervousness now about tearing doesn't help the situation though. I'm not as relaxed during penetration as I use to be.

I understand what you are saying about the friends and their sex life! I feel the exact same way! I hate hearing about them enjoying sex and even more than enjoying it, I hate hearing that they can do it whenever they want to or whenever them and their partner are in the mood. I can't do that! I am glad you have such a supportive partner! My relationship is new! We are actually living in different parts of the country and trying to work on being together! He knows about my condition but doesn't realize that it's so hard to treat! He asks to have sex more often on this visit (cause this i only a recent thing, my first surgery that made things worse was mid October and this is the first time I saw him since then) and he kinda pushes for it but I tell him I can't. He's supportive saying don't feel bad and it's not my fault, but I feel like a failure! a disappointment to him.  I've showed him my tears so he can at least see what is going on down there. My biggest frustration is that the first op made it worse. I was dealing with this the best could and it was manageable, then try to make it even better and messed it up completely!

Okay, one more question about the surgery itself? Is the diamond they cut longer horizontally or vertically!  My skin is clearly not that stretchy either! But my other skin on my vagina is very stretchy. The labia minora is very stretch... I don't understand why that one area (the base) is so not stretchy.

Well at least your surgery looking better! I am not sure how that works with the wound healing from the inside out! It will leave a scar for sure and scar tissue doesn't stretch properly but neither does our normal skin either so what's the difference really. But the widening itself may help with less stretching!  And thanks for offering to check for me for doctors etc, It's appreciated and if I was in New Zealand I'd surely take that opportunity. And yes, please keep me updated! :) Thanks again!
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Hi Anne
I've found the tablets more effective than anything else. I do like chocolate and with the Christmas period upon us, nearly New Year I got my fair share of sweet things to eat as presents, as you might know sugar is bad for thrush, it encourages it's growth. I used to take a pre-biotic capsule Acidophillus from the health food shop, I'd take about 6-8 a day as instructed by an alternative health therapist who put me on a very strict diet. The combination must've helped somehow but didn't clear the thrush completely. What brand of pre-biotic do you take? I was on solgar.
I'm thinking being on top of your partner would be best for you as you can control things and lessen tearing.
Do Drs not think if they give you steroid cream to use down there that it will thin your skin and give you more problems.
Keep in touch
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Hey Anne

Hmm you guys must have a different medical system to us.  We don't have to have insurance here.  I do have it now, but i didn't get it until after i had been diagnosed with vulvadynia, so none of that is covered, which means i have to either go through the public system and wait (which is what i did) or pay full costs privately, which we can't afford.   Although i have decided that if this isn't successful we will try save up to go privately so it can be done on my terms rather than theirs.  And i would be able to choose my doctor.
My partner and i are going travelling this year, and then actually moving to Canada for 2015 to work for a year (assuming we'll get our Visa's).  Booking that trip was one of the things that pushed me to go ahead with the surgery, because as i said i had just been ignoring the problem for such a long time, which badly affected my relationship.
It must be very difficult with a new partner though.  I think it's good you've shown him what's going on.  I've learnt that communication is vital.  I hope he can understand this is something you need to work through together and support each other. I know exactly what you mean when you say you feel like a failure and disappointment.  There have definitely been times where iv'e thought maybe i should break up with my partner just so he doesn't have to deal with this and can have a normal sex life with someone else.  He's only 25, and he's been dealing with this since he was 20!  But we've been through a couple of break ups and we always end up back together, so i know now that this is just something we have to deal with openly.  
The wound itself seems to be longer horizontally than vertically.  Maybe 2.5cm vertical and 4-5cm horizontally.  I feel really annoyed that it was made that big just to remove a small piece of skin though.  I was told it had to be like that to enable them to stitch it, but seeing as the stitches have all fallen out anyway and it has to heal on its own i would rather they just made a smaller cut and left it open from the beginning.  But i guess it's all hindsight now.  And i'm hoping you're right about it not needing to stretch as much in the future if they have made the opening bigger anyway.
In terms of recovery, it still looks like a completely open would from the surface, but i'm definitely feeling better, and less sore, so it must be healing underneath.
Just a note about the thrush you mentioned.  I haven't had many problems with it, but my flatmate is on a probiotic called 'candex' that is specially targeted at avoiding thrush.  It has yeast as well as bacteria.  Just thought i'd mention it incase you haven't heard of it before.
  
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Hey
Just an update on my progress.
I'm feeling WAY better.  Almost no pain at all now (except the remains of my stitches are still stuck in the sides of the scar and are like nylon so keep poking into me when i walk).  The wound has healed on the sides but is still a bit open at the bottom, with a little bit of infection left by the looks of things.  Once that's healed up i'll start looking into things i can do to help with the horrible scar tissue.  Anyone have any suggestions?
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Hi Moonstone. Sorry it's taken so long for me to reply but I have been just having a very hard time and I was stressing myself out so much I couldn't talk about it anymore. I have no idea what my doctors though. I honestly right now have just avoided the problem. I know that's not solution but my BF isn't here right now and I needed sometime to think about things and decide what I am going to do. I haven't had any Yeast infections since I started taking the pro biotic.  I just take a over the counter bottle from walmart. The brand is Jamieson, but there are all different brands. I've taken the 2 billion, 5 billion and 10 billion active cells and they all seem to work so far. I take one tablet (just as the bottle says) daily with a meal. I hope you can find one that works.
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Hi , I am very sorry it's taken me so long to reply. I have been so upset by this I just had to not talk about it for a while. I was/am so stressed out I guess with my bf gone, it's been outta sight outta mind but I know that doesn't solve the problem.  I am so glad that you are feeling better and that you are healing much better. And thank you for letting me know the size and more details about the surgery. You updated over a month ago, so I wonder now how you have come along since then. Has it healed completely? and do you notice that the opening is wider? I hope you are having success with it. Anyway, I was just looking at my vagina today.I inspect it now and then. (my Boyfriend has been gone for over a month now so the tearing from sex has completely healed.. has been for a while) and I just stretched the skin a bit to see how stretchy it was. Well I got a slight tear just from stretching it myself. That's how sensitive and easily the skin gets torn. I think I'm gonna go to my family doctor and talk to her... I wanna see if she can maybe suggest a gyno in a bigger city about 7 hours away (there is only 1 here and she hasn't done a fenton's, and she did my first surgery and we know how well that worked, she just doesn't have any experience with this). I want to see someone who has done this before and more experience with this procedure. Also, I only ever see my bf for a few weeks at a time. I don't see him for extended periods of time, I know that this problem won't solve the problem, but I wonder if eventually will my vagina stretch on it's own to accommodate him (for better lack of a word) and maybe this tearing will be lessened.. I'm not that hopeful about that but one can wish I guess. Anyway, have you had any sexual intercourse yet, or now that it has healed more, does it appear that the vaginal opening is much wider! Because that's definitely what I need, a wider opening so there is less stretching, less stretching means less tearing. Like I said before, I am sorry I haven't replied! I've just be very upset! But truly thank you for your help!
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What do you mean scar tissue? To get rid of it? I am not sure how you'd get rid of the scar from the surgery or is that now what you mean?
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Hey anne

I'm really sorry to hear you're having such a hard time at the moment.  I really hope you have someone close to you you can talk to about this.  Yes i used to get tearing just from stretching the skin myself without actual sex too.  I definitely think you should go back to your GP and really emphasise your need to see an expert about this.  And you need to make sure they understand how much this is affecting your life and your mental wellbeing.  There's no way in the world they should be sending you away without giving you some sort of options that can give you hope again.

In terms of my recovery, all seems to be going well.  The stitches never dissolved and had to be dug out a month after the op, but that wasn't too bad.  We haven't had sex yet as i want to see a physiotherapist about dilation techniques first, but i haven't had a chance in the last few weeks.

Best of luck x  
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Oh i'm using avocado and rose hip oil on my scar and it seems to be helping a bit.
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Hi,  Well it makes me feel better to know that I'm not completely abnormal with regards to just the stretching it myself and it can tear. I really don't have anyone to talk too. I have a friend that knows about it and she tells me the same as you. That doing nothing about it isn't good enough. My boyfriend and I aren't together anymore. It had nothing to do with this as such it was just the stress of us being apart so much, but basically we had to make a choice to do a long distance or move on. But that in no way solves my problem. In fact, it makes it worse because now if I meet someone else I have to go through all of this again, and have the fear of being rejected, etc. Well I'm glad you're healing up there. And yes, please keep me posted on your status. Also, I know what dilators are, but what is the purpose? Does it help the skin get use to stretching?  There is a sex therapist in a city about 7 hours away. I wonder if she could offer any help for me, not for the actual tearing but with the rest of this roller coaster ride. She may never suggest the dilators for me . I may be able to visit the city if I can get an appointment with her, however, I wouldn't be able to see her on a regular basis of course, being 7 hours away. I am really glad that you are recovering well. Please keep me posted! It helps to have someone to share their progress so I can get my head around how to go about helping myself here. Thanks again! And take care!
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I saw my gyno today and she's telling me that it's the band of skin across the base of my vagina that isn't stretching enough. It's called a fourchette. She is going to removed that band of skin and stitch it up on the sides (rather than stitching it up in the center) so that the skin band cannot heal back together. The band of skin that doesn't stretch will be gone which will make the opening of the base of the vagina slightly larger and it won't have to stretch as much during penetration. This is not a fenton's but almost like the reverse of what someone has done to "tighten" their vaginal opening after childbirth, etc! Does anyone have any experiences with this?
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Hi, Just wondering how you are doing and if you have made any further progress!? I really hope so! Keep in touch!
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Hey

I still have quite a bit of pain associated with touch around the area, but i think that is mainly the vulvadynia.  I'm seeing a specialist the week after next so will let you know if i have any progress with her.
When are you having the fourchette?  It seems like a logical step.  Although weird that your gynae didn't mention it as an option earlier?
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi Stacey! I hope you make some progress with the specialist and please let me know. I am glad to hear that you are healed though. Do you have pain only when you touch the area, or do you have pain off and on with no touching?  
I honestly don't know if I am having it removed! I don't know if it's going to fix the problem, since the scarring extended back a way toward the opening of the vagina (like a line from the fourchette about half way up to the opening of the vagina) and I am not sure she is going to remove back that far (the whole scar will be removed) and all I am afraid it will only cause scaring at the base of the vagina  (the stitches have to meet together somewhere in the middle even if she does stitch up the sides) which will also tear! I am very nervous to try anything else, since it didn't work last time and only made matters worse. And just like you said, why didn't she suggest this initially, and she, as far as I know, hasn't done this procedure before! I am scared it's not going to work and once the skin is removed there isn't anything further that can be done with it! so I went to my family doc (she was zero help) and I asked to be see a specialist who has experience with this issue or that procedure and she said she didn't know any and it would be just a stab in the dark to see one and maybe they have some experience with it. She also said that I can't see two at once (two gynos) and to pick one and she also said that I can't see a new gyno and also a dermatologist at the same time because it's "over loading the system"... soooooooooooooo supportive!! She was completely unhelpful! I explained how this is effecting me and she said nothing! I am currently on a wait list to see a dermatologist and I am going to see what he/she has to say about the skin there before I have the surgery (if I even decide to have it). and before I do have it I am gonna meet with my gyno and ask her the questions I have. Although, last time she said it wouldn't make it worse and it did.  I am scared it is just going to make it worse AGAIN, especially since the gyno can't tell me if this will work, or any experiences of success that people with this issue have had by having this surgical procedure. I am not sure that makes sense! and it's going to take months and months to see a dermatologist. and I am honestly so sick of this situation, I want it fixed yesterday! But at the same time, I am scared to get the surgery and it only make matters worse! (like it did last time). No sure what to do from here, I just feel like giving up and just being alone for the rest of my life! Then I don't have to worry about it! :(

Please update me on your progress though! and Thanks for your response!
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Ohhhhhhhhhh thats sounds so terrible!  I really don't understand your health system at all!  I'm currently on our public health system, but i'm free to see whoever i want privately and just pay (which is what i did to see the specialist).  The specialist was really good actually, although it wasn't exactly what i wanted to hear.  She had a look and said unfortunately not everything has healed completely, and also a small hole/tunnel has been created which may be harbouring infection.  She said the only way to deal with this is more surgery.  She also said my skin has very little elasticity and a whitish tinge, which may mean i have lichen sclerosis.  I've booked in (privately - so will cost heaps but at least it's quick) to see a dermatologist who may be able to help with this.  The specialist i saw said she thought i may have an autoimmune condition which is most likely to have been triggered by the use of topical thrush medication many years ago.  She advised not to put anything topical on my skin, and to use pinetarsel instead of soap.  She also said that the skin condition i have seems to only ever occur in european women with blonde hair and blues eyes.  Would this include you also?  She's currently given me dilators to help stretch the skin in the area, but has warned i may require more surgery.  Potentially a Woodruffs repair?
Ahhh i'm so frustrated for you about your situation.  How can you make a decision without being properly informed.  Maybe do doe research by looking at journal articles into the success rates of the procedures?  Although everyone's different so it doesn't help hugely.  I would definitely say try to see the dermatologist first before you consider surgery, as they may know whether you skin is likely to be able to handle it or not.  ***** that it means waiting though.  Maybe you could try something like dilators as well and see if your skin can handle gentle stretching (seeing sex is generally pretty rough on the area).  My specialist did recommend that once i can tolerate the size 3 dilator my partner and i should start having sex again, as apparently the skin gets weaker when not being used.
Let me know how you go.  I'll update again after my dermatologist appointment.  I really really hope you can get some positive results soon
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Hi,

Thanks for responding Stacey! It helps to have someone to at least understand how I feel. And to understand that I have good reason to be scared about all of this. I also though of reading myself about this. But since I have no idea what the doctor is going to do exactly, or if this is even a routine procedure (has a name), it's rather difficult to look up success rates, or how it 's performed or why?. There are just to many unknowns.
Our medical system is probably like your system except you cannot see doctors privately. You can see some types of specialists privately. For example, you want ages spots removed or a boob job (bigger ones) ALL cosmetic stuff, you could see a private doctor..  but for any surgeries or other specialists you have to go through our public health care system. I actually found out today that if I want here in my town I will have to wait 6 months to see the dermatologist.( he comes every 3 months but I will be out of town on the exactly days he comes in 3 months and I can't cancel this trip). However, I learned today that I can go to see a dermatologist 7 hours away in May. So I am going to do that. Book the appointment and drive there. I agree. I definitely want to see the dermatologist before I have any surgery! and I am sooo frustrated also. How can I  make a decision when I have no idea if this has been done before?, what the results are? if the doctor will even be able to successfully do this (since she hasn't done it before)? and what's even wrong (specifically). Living in a such a small town and remote area doesn't help! Less people means less experience for doctors. There may be many people like us, but many suffer in silence also.... There is a sex therapist there also so I am gonna try to book an appointment with her also. If I can! Definitely the Dermatologist though! Maybe the sex therapist will be able to inform me on the dilators. She is a private doctor. But I'll pay the money for any help I can get. AT least I can say I tried that route. I do have blue yes, and I'm European. I don't have blonde hair but 85% of my family does! I have Swedish and British ancestors. and What condition is that? The autoimmune condition on the skin?? I used A LOT of Topical Yeast Infection Creams before this issue started! I always had them. Now that I take a pro biotic, It seems to have helped that issue. What is pinetarsel?

Well I am glad you found out what is causing that bit of discomfort you were talking about! And I hope the dermatologist can give you some info on the lichen sclerosis. Had you ever had a biopsy done before from that area. I also wondered about that myself for me! But When my gyno did the first surgery, she said she sent away the tissue removed and it came back to just be scar tissue. I would assume if I did have that condition, it would show up when they tested that tissue. However, I do notice a whitish look to the skin. I think though it's the scar tissue I'm seeing. But the dermatologist will be able to confirm that I hope (for both of us).

As for another surgery! GOSH! It's unreal how difficult it is to have a solution to this issue... It's almost unbelievable! What is a Woodruffs repair? But if it will work, it's worth it!   I am sorry I have 101 questions! Best of luck and keep me updated!
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Hey Anne

Excellent that you are seeing a dermatologist soon.  My appointment is in May also, so i'll let you know how that goes.  They did send some skin away to check for lichen sclerosis when i had my op, and apparently it came back negative, but will be good to see what the dermatologist says about that too.  I got the report from the specialist i saw and she notes that the skin is very thin, has little elasticity and tears easily.  I knew it already made it very real seeing it written up like that.  So frustrating.

The potential autoimmune condition is called vulvodynia.  Apparently half the medical community thinks it's a chronic pain condition (pain thats initially in your head but then becomes reality) and the other half thinks it's an autoimmune condition.  Basically even a light touch causes burning, cutting pain.  It's a condition that can be localised (around the entrance, like me), or general to the whole area, and can be constant or provoked.  Not nice.

Thats good to hear about the probiotics.  Pinetarsil is a soap alternative thats meant to not irritate your skin at all.  The specialist thought it was worth a shot.
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