Saturday, August 22, 2009

Starting the Steroids

Last Tuesday I started the steroid treatment prescribed by the dermatologist. I'm supposed to apply the steroids five days a week, weekends off, and take two (generic) Diflucan once a week to stave off a steroids-created yeast infection. Of course, I forgot Monday, and I couldn't decide which day of the week to take the Diflucan so I haven't taken any yet. LOL -- I was considering and considering and considering what the maximum-benefit day would be for the Diflucan and of course I never decided. I'm thinking Tuesday. But of course, any day would work! I'm not feeling yeasty yet, thank goodness.

FYI, the steroid is Triamcinolone 0.1%. I'm applying it throughout the inside of my vulva, clit to perineum, and trying to tuck it up in the vestibule (GOD! That thing is inaccessible!). I have pain in my clit in addition to the vestibule/urethra area, hence the large application zone. I don't have pain in between those two parts, and I don't in my labia.

I'm not supposed to drink much on the Diflucan but the doc never said how much was "much"...hahaha, no, August got too hot and then too cold/rainy/unaligned-with-my-schedule for me to continue my Ace of Base + hard cider afternoons on the balcony, so I probably won't be pushing the limit.

And as a reminder, all of this treatment is in response to the biopsy result -- Plasma Cell Vulvitis.

I really think the steroids might help, and I mostly think that because so far they don't *hurt*. I don't know if you v-girls are the same way, but I can apply NOTHING to my coochie without making it worse -- nothing except Vaseline. That it's not any worse is a good sign as far as I'm concerned. It at least means I'll be able to give the steroids a full try.

Of course, I am still going to puzzle away at what CAUSED the vulvodynia (plasma cell vulvitis, whatever) in the first place. I'm thinking of going to see an allergist to see if we can tease out anything there. As I might've mentioned before, plasma cells, according to Wikipedia, are white blood cells responsible for making antibodies, which are an immune reaction to SOMETHING...IF AT ALL POSSIBLE I'd like to know WHAT so I don't re-get vulvodynia if the steroids manage to get rid of it.

Also, many sources describe plasma cell vulvitis as very rare. Many say stuff like "there are 32 known cases in the world, ever." Which boggles my mind. I tend to assume that my vulvodynia is like any other vulvodynia -- whatever the symptoms and cause are, I'm going to be lumped in with the majority of the other girls. Is the low count due to lack of biopsies, or is it really that rare to have a gajillion plasma cells in your vulva if you have vulvodynia?

I guess I've read lots of sources that say biopsying vulvodynia usually doesn't yield anything abnormal. And I do feel lucky the biopsy returned something -- I feel like it's the biggest clue yet, and if those plasma cells are due to the same cause as my pain, figuring out what they're in reaction to might resolve the whole thing.

I feel like I can't write in a real language today. Sorry if this is unintelligible :)


  1. Hey, Esther, how have you been getting on with the steroids lately?

    1. Glad to see your post but not happy for YOU dealing with this. I have been at this now for at least 8-9 years. Started with little needles in my vulva area. About a year later diagnosed with Cervical Cancer..thus radical hysterectomy. I have often said to the many Dr.'s I have seen that I feel like I douched with a jalapeno! Seriously I have tried everything...just on my 2nd week of stearoids..I don't have a ton of hope but trying. My Dr. said if this doesnt work we do biopsy, seriously cant recall if I have done this or not, it's wrenching and ruins relationships! We girls / women need help! BWT: I have a feeling HPV has something to do with all this, what do you think?