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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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thanks,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!!
:-(
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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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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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Hello,

I remember reading this thread when I was booking in my Fenton's Procedure so I thought I'd come back and share my experience with those who might be in the same boat as me.

I'm 26, never had a child and the reason I underwent FP is because I would tear during sex (it probably started occurring frequently in the last year, I've always been tight down there). It was causing a lot of anxiety for me when it came to sex, I was originally misdiagnosed with Vulvodynia.

I went into surgery on Friday and it's now Wednesday (6th day in). The surgery was quick. I was in at 8am and home by 10:30am. I would describe the pain as a pulling, throbbing pain, it's more uncomfortable than anything.  I was given lignocaine which is a soothing creme for the area and paracetamol/codeine for pain (it'll also knock you out :D)

The paracetamol/codeine tablets pretty much had me sleeping through the first 4 days, and I couldn't really move about without hurting (rolling over was painful). The tablets also stopped me from going to the bathroom (which I was dreading) so definitely buy some Movicol (or other gentle kind of laxative - metamucil, prunes, licorice etc, do not get the aggressive laxatives, they'll cause you grief, trust me). I also had to go buy some haemorrhoid relief suppositories. My whole downstairs area was a hazard zone haha.

Oh also get an ice pack (and make sure it's small enough to fit in your underwear, my nurse recommended using a condom, I didn't understand why at the time, but I had a full size ice pack and had to squeeze it between my legs lol) the ice pack will help immensely with the swelling.

They say you'll be walking about day 2 or 3, I wasn't walking around until day 5 and even then it's more of a waddle haha. I took the week off work as I've only just begun sitting today. My surgeon said it'll be fully healed in 3 - 4 weeks. So I'll come back and let you know how everything goes :)
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Hiya,
I'm 18 and had the procedure about 2 months ago now. At the time I was convinced it was the solution to all my problems but now after waiting the correct time and massaging as instructed I am still having issues. A new tear has occurred which isn't as bad as the first (before the op) but is still very uncomfortable. I'm going to go back to my GP as I can't go on like this for much longer. From other comments it seems that the Fenton's procedure works miracles for some women but it unfortunately I can't say the same yet whilst still having painful sex.
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Hi everyone, I'm glad I found this thread.  It's really good to hear from some people who have been through this before.  

I'm 34 and have never had a baby, but about 5 years ago started getting the occasional tear at the base of my vulva where the lips join up after sex.  It would heal within a day or so.  But as time went on it happened more frequently and got to the point where I couldn't have penetrative sex at all. And every time I would have a smear test or an examination the doctor would gently stretch the area and unintentionally tear it again.

I finally saw a doctor about it and they said I needed to see a specialist.  Well I saw the specialist a few weeks ago and they recommended the fenton's procedure.  When I asked about possible complications she said the worst case would be that it would leave me in the same situation I'm in now.  Which I figured didn't sound too bad for odds.  However, after reading this thread I'm a little concerned I could actually make things worse.  I cycle to and from work every day and I'm worried that this might be something I wouldn't be able to do any more.  Can anyone comment on whether it made cycling better/worse?  Cycling doesn't cause me any pain at the moment.
How long after the operation did you have to wait before you could ride a bike again?

Also, as far the doctor can tell there doesn't seem to be any underlying reason for the tearing.  I don't see anything unusual and all the doctors I've seen have said everything looks normal down there.  I'm just a little worried about having a surgical procedure when I don't understand the underlying cause.

I have my pre-op appointment at the end of the week, and I will be going in with a truck-load of questions!

Thanks for your thoughts.  And best of luck to those out there going through similar experiences.

Delyth
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Said I'd come back to say how everything went, and it's been almost a year haha.

Let's see, physically everything is okay, once the swelling went down completely (3-4 weeks later) I could do everything I could normally do, go to gym, ride a bike, etc. Mentally I wasn't ready for sex again, and I think I held off for 3 months before I was even prepared to try. Even now I find a brace myself for pain, and I can be my own worst enemy, so there's still some getting used to that I'm doing.

I haven't torn at all since the procedure, and that's great. If I had to describe it and it's going to sound odd, but for lack of a better word it feels like a funnel. I know I've still got all feeling down there, but because the skin was cut away it feels different, there's no tight entrance to squeeze through.

It didn't occur to me at the time that this would happen, but my vagina also looks different and that took awhile to get used too (it's a bizarre feeling).

Overall I'm happy I got the procedure done. I wish I tried to battle the mental side of it first (needing to relax, opposed to tensing up). But I was told I was smaller than average, so I don't know how much that could have helped my situation. I'm still fighting those mental hurdles, and that will just take time.

I hope that's helpful to someone out there :)

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I feel so much better reading some of your comments. I'm so frustrated I'm on week 3 and I feel like this uncomfortable pain is never going away. Hard to sit and I still feel that pulling feeling. I made the mistake of loking down there and it looks so wide and scary. I haven't had sex in three years due to tearing and pain. I'm hoping and praying this will work but mentally I have so much anxiety to try. I wasn't aware that it would take this long to be pain free.also did any of you have a discharge while stitches were healing. It's so annoying.  
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I had this procedure done two days ago. I had two children through natural childbirth, but unfortunately tore during labor and the Dr performed an episiotomy, both times. My deliveries were 4 years apart. The last was in 1977. I have suffered with painful intercourse for over 30 years. I recently went to a new gynaecologist and during my yearly exam asked me if I had been experiencing pain during sex. I had a scar tissue nightmare. So he has rectified this I pray. Time will tell. I currently am in quite a bit of discomfort. Hurts to try to sit or get comfortable. I go to Dr on Friday for a suture assessment appointment. I know I have quite a few stitches. Some light bleeding. Painful urination. So I will see. Just wanted to try and help. I couldn't find much info on this , and just wanted to give some information to others. I'll keep you posted, as my recovery continues.
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I had this op done yesterday. I opted for sedation and local anaesthetic. The sedation really helped as I was also having merina coil removed and a smear taken. I'd been so nervous of anything being inserted into me because it was so painful that I'd been putting off all examinations of any sort! Am smothering area regularly with vasoline as instructed and taking pain relief (paracetamol). Not too bad although uncomfortable to sit on. Seeing nurse for "trainers"(?) info on Friday. So hope that my sex life can begin again as it has been dormant for 10 years because of this problem. No idea what "trainers" are though!
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Hi, I just had this operation done and wanted to add some additional information that I thought was missing from this otherwise excellent forum.
1.  I had my operation done under local (having previously agreed a general, it was not available on the day owing to a lack of beds in our glorious NHS).
2.  Local was not painful but very uncomfortable: the cleaning felt vicious,  I could sense the pulling and tugging and stitching.  Op lasted for about 30 minutes, but staff were very supportive.  My advice is don't go for this pain relief if you have psychological issues, otherwise do, as recovery is much less traumatic.
2. My doctor signed me off work for 5 days, a bit irritating, since he didn't tell me beforehand and I couldn't get a clear understanding of the recovery path.
3.  I definitely needed the first day off: I slept most of the day, could not sit or crouch, and resisted standing.  The stool softener was a boon.
4. Second day I still felt woozy (the psychological side of having a trauma to the body) and chose not to go in to work.  I work as a teacher, so a high stress, no break type of work.  I also decided not to drive.  But I wouldn't have gone in if I was an office worker either as I still can't sit for long without discomfort.
5.  I will be able to work tomorrow.
Other than that, all fine so far.  Good luck to you, and thank you to those who have already posted.xx
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I recently had fissures which were literally tears around my clitoris that made it impossible to even think about sex...this can be caused from a hormone imbalance...birth control can be what causes them or even just stress or that time of the month...before you go through with a procedure I would slowly cut back on the amount of hormones that you are putting into your body which is what worked for me...I am no longer experiencing the pain and didn't have to pay for a pricey procedure...this was a recommendation my doctor made before attempting anything as serious as a surgery so maybe ask your medical adviser if they think this could be the cause
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