Monday, August 3, 2009

Biopsy Results

Yes, there were results! Singular. The biopsy of my vulva returned the result of "plasma cell vulvitis." I asked the resident if that's more of a descriptive term or if it's an actual condition, and she said it's kind of both. They don't know what causes it and they don't have a sure-fire way to treat it but it's definitely an entity in and of itself...hey...sounds familiar!

The way I see it, "plasma cell vulvitis" means my skin itself is showing symptoms of the overall pain entity living in my coochie. The doc says they usually treat it with topical steroids, so I guess those are next in the round of things to do.

But I'm also going to try to get tested for antibodies to H. pylori. I mentioned this article a few weeks ago, about a study relating peptic symptoms (stomach ulcers), a positive test for H. pylori antibodies (H. pylori is the bacterium associated with ulcers), and localized vulvodynia. And what luck, I do have symptoms of an ulcer! Mild symptoms that I could control with diet change and wouldn't worry about...except for this vulvodynia thing...(and not being able to drink wine since late last year...!).

My friend Emily suggested I write to the author of the paper asking for advice on how to get a doctor to care about his findings (worded nicer). He suggested (he replied!!!!!!!) I go to a gastroenterologist and focus on the stomach symptoms without mentioning the vulvodynia. So I got a referral today from the student health center, but not without some twisting and turning -- the guy was like, "take antacids." Ugh. WHY do you make me stretch the truth??!??! Just give me the referral!

I got an appointment with a gastroenterologist on August 21, but I'm going to see if I can persuade my gynecologist to order the antibodies test before then. It's cheaper on the overall system, cheaper and probably quicker for me, and much more straightforward. My gynie is open to thinking outside of the box and might be okay with doing the test. She might also see "plasma cell vulvitis" as an indication of a possible infection, which some parts of the internet speculate it may be.

So even though the biopsy didn't really tell us anything we didn't already know ("your vulva is irritated"), I am so glad that a test finally returned NOT normal!!!!!!! That just makes me feel like my problems are DETECTABLE by the external universe! I'm not a crazy lady!!!! YES!


  1. Please be careful with those steroids - you yourself are probably already aware that while they are a valid treatment option in some vulvar conditions (lichens sclerosus comes to mind, and I've used them for short-term injury therapy - maybe not the smartest thing I've ever done but I did it,) they can sometimes backfire in vulvodynia patients. You might want to ask about supplementing the topical steroid with some estrogen gel to fatten up the tissues.

    I'm sorry that you're going through this, but I am glad that the biopsy results showed a definite *something* going on downstairs. Maybe now the doctors'll pay attention.

  2. Esther.....that is progress!! I am so happy that you have a plan and are moving forward & hopefully getting some relief soon!

    YAY! ((HUGS)) I will pray that you get some relief soon.


  3. Congratulations on your "abnormal" results!! We never thought you were a crazy lady ;) Good luck continuing on your quest for a cure! Thinking of you all the time:) Love, Kelly

  4. Yay, something definitive! That must feel really good... well, really good emotionally, anyway. ;)