8:49 am - 08/28/2010

UTI and labia burning?

I have chronic UTIs. MY PCP doesn't believe my symptoms are from UTI's. SHe thinks IC. So, I stopped calling her when I had symptoms. So, I've been dealing with symptoms on and off now for over a month.

Last week both sides of my inner labia just burned. By the time I got off work I was in so much pain I didn't even want to sit in the car to drive home. I immediately got in the shower and rinsed off down there. It made the pain "better" for a short time, but didn't do much else.

The next day it had switched only to my right side and has stayed there. Starts of bearable in the AM and is excruciating by the time I leave work. I am anatomically different on that side, with much more skin to my labia than the other. Perfect hiding place for bacteria, right?

Yesterday I finally thought. "It's burning when I pee, not just in that area, but my whole urethra hurts." So, I took a urine sample to work, dipped it and showed it to one of the docs I work for. She gave me Cipro. Again, last night, pain was so bad I was in tears. I even made my boyfriend look at it to make sure there were no bumps or sores. Nothing. He said not even redness. Just this unexplainable burning.

Last night we went to dinner with friends. I had taken my first dose of Cipro, but used some Vagicaine because I didn't want to be in agony with our friends. I also used the Vagicaine right before bed last night. (Roughly 9:30 or 10:00) I also took a second dose of the Cipro.

This morning it feels better. Not 100% but a definite change. I don't think the Vagicaine would still be in effect, would it?

So, can a UTI that had gone undiagnosed cause this severe labial burning?

Before I started the Cipro, I had made an appointment with a uro, a new gyn, and a derm, just because I need to find someone who can help me.

ETA: It's not an STD. I've been tested for them all on more than one occasion because that's what everyone automatically thinks. The boyfriend and I have been together roughly 5 years and I have no reason to believe he would lie to me and he was unfaithful.
archangelbeth 28th-Aug-2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Could you also have a yeast infection?

Or it could have been referred pain from the UTI, perhaps -- bodies are strange! (I can scratch my arm and feel a sharp pain on my back...) I'd go to the appointments with the Urologist, the gyno, and the dermatologist, to see what might be up, if your insurance will cover it nicely. I'd also either get a new PCP, or insist that she pee-test everything -- just because you have IC doesn't mean you don't have a UTI sometimes as well.

A note: you may want to ask your urologist if your urethra is located closer-than-average to your vagina. If so, then if you are sexually active, then you have increased risk of the bacteria getting there. You might need to go on an "antibiotics before sex" routine, plus both peeing and rinsing gently with a squirt bottle -- or also try to get your vaginal environment really really firmly probiotic'ed up, so that the good bacteria will get into your bladder as well and form a protective barrier there as well(they tell the bad bacteria, "Eff off! This is MY turf!"). Doing both is not impossible, but hard -- antibiotics kill bacteria everywhere, including good bacteria in the bladder and vagina.

Even if your urethra isn't closer-than-usual, I'd suggest both peeing after sex (sometimes before?) and rinsing with a squirt bottle. I've heard some VPers have done this, and it's helped them avoid frequent UTIs. I also recommend probiotics, because if you've been on antibiotics a lot, it could've left your bladder in a state where it's easily colonized by the bad bacteria when they come back.

Good luck!
lovelyenchanted 28th-Aug-2010 02:33 pm (UTC)
I've taken multi-doses of Diflucan because I originally thought the same.

I've thought about maybe referred pain, coming from the urethra maybe. But it was just an agonizing burning. Who knows.

I do hop in the shower after sex and rinse off with the shower head. Otherwise I WILL get a UTI. But, we haven't had sex probably in a month-ish because of these off & on again symptoms. The uro I am going to see is also my daughter's uro, and she had frequent UTIs as well. She actually ended up in the hospital this year because she acquired one that was only susceptible to IV drugs. (She's 4!) But he got her cleared up nicely, so I'm really hoping he can help me too.

And I am getting a new PCP. I tried to stick it out with my old one because she knew my family history, thus the reason for some of my "issues", but she just doesn't listen to me or treat me adequately IMO.

I also forgot to mention that I get chronic vaginitis, but nobody can tell me why. The last gyno flat out told me "I don't know." and didn't offer anything further. (Again, I was tested for STDs I knew I didn't have.) I'm wondering if my OBCP can be to blame for this? All of these issues started after I had my IUD put in... I had it for a year and it was nothing but probelems. The only perk was no period.

At any rate, sorry for the book, and thanks for the advice!
lovelyenchanted 28th-Aug-2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Also, is there a specific probiotic you recommend? And should I buy them from one place over another?
archangelbeth 28th-Aug-2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
I would suggest the standby of L. Acidophilus (it's a jack-of-all-trades probiotic), and -- if it's not too expensive for you, Rephresh Pro-B, which contains L. rhamnosus GR-1™ and L. reuteri RC-14™. I'm a little eyebrow-raised at them, because they went and patented those two strains, but they did test them and there are tests published that suggest they're effective in at least some cases (treatment with those and regular BV meds knocks out BV better than the meds alone, from memory), and both L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri are healthy vaginal bacteria.

There is an extremely small chance of getting a UTI from the "good" bacteria. I suggest culturing your infections just to make sure this doesn't happen.

I'd talk to the dermatologist about the burning part -- if it's some kind of skin reaction, a dermatologist would be the one to talk to, even if it's the skin "down there." If the dermatologist can't... Hm. I'd consider trying to find a Pelvic Pain Specialist. They might be the ones who would be best-read on things like vaginitis. (Which it sounds like this might be part of?) An allergist might also be worth checking -- a sensitivity or unrealized allergy to something in your environment (even your partner's semen?) could cause pain/itching/burning.

That the IUD started causing all the problems... Is it a hormonal IUD? That might've changed your hormonal make-up to be more susceptible to issues... I'd look for a gyno who is experienced in IUD insertions and ask them to check?

Must run!

I'm glad your daughter is okay now! That must've been scary! O:(
archangelbeth 28th-Aug-2010 07:51 pm (UTC)
(Also, be not sorry for books. I write novels in the comments all the time. >_> )
lexicalcrap 28th-Aug-2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
Is your IUD non-hormonal? It's possible that you might have a sensitivity/allergy to either copper or nickel. I've seen a couple of posts in the iud_divas community from people having reactions similar to yours after getting their IUD inserted; this post is one of them.
lovelyenchanted 28th-Aug-2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
I had my IUD removed about 3 months ago. I couldn't take the issues any more. (FWIW I had Mirena)
dreammeanyway 28th-Aug-2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
I have IC and chronic UTIs. it is really hard to tell the difference between a UTI and an IC flare. But, now that my IC is under better control, I do not get UTIs nearly as much. Also, IC is associated with vulvar pain like you are describing.

if you can find one, I would highly recommend seeing a urogynecologist- this is their area of expertise. I finally got relief and a diagnosis after seeing one.
lovelyenchanted 29th-Aug-2010 01:58 am (UTC)
In your experience, can activity make IC worse? I was fine all day while I wasn't doing anything, but as soon as I got up and started moving around, it hurt the more I did.

I don't want IC, but if I can finally get a diagnosis I'll be happy. At least I can start treatment.

I'm beginning to wonder if I"ll ever feel normal again. We want more kids someday... but how can you have kids if you're in constant pain "down there." *sigh*
dreammeanyway 29th-Aug-2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
I actually hurt more when I am lying down. but that is just my experience.

IC doesn't mean you can't have kids, and there are a lot of good treatments out there. I have found the IC Association- www.ichelp.org/ to have a lot of good info.

feel free to PM me on this if you want.
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