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public: anatomy, health & wellbeing: lichen sclerosus  
lichen schlerosus: her story  
April 24, 2004

Since this ordeal with Lichen Sclerosus has begun, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my vagina. I prefer not to call it a vulva, even though I know that is the proper technical term..just doesn't seem to be me.

Anyhow, I have had this skin tag for a while. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure if it was an unnatural growth or if it was part of my clitoris. I am a highly educated, intelligent woman, but when it has come to knowing my own body, I am a complete ignoramous. And more to the point, I've been lazy about educating myself in this area, in large part, because I've been embarrased to discuss this with anyone. My friends and I can talk about vibrators and anal sex, but our own anatomy has seemed to be off limits. The truth is, my friends are as clueless as I am!

Over the last few months, have sex seemed to be less and less pleasurable for me. I was always very sensitive down there, but lately it had been nearly impossible for my boyfriend to touch me orally or otherwise there, even with the lightest touch.

One morning, I could not take the anxiety any longer and had my boyfriend inspect me. He wasn't sure what was what. He said that in his experience all vaginas looked different, so we were perplexed.

I went to see my gyno later that week, who confirmed I had a skin tag or polyp as they call it. Gave me a shot to numb the area. (I screamed loud enough to shake the office waiting room!) and removed the skin tag to send it out for a biopsy. It was at that point that she noticed the skin in the area seemed white, the skin over the hood of my clitoris has begun to fuse to the clitoris and suggested that she test for Lichen Sclerosuss.

One week later my doctor confirmed the diagnosis of LS. Told me it was not contageous, but was more of a skin "condition" not unlike eczema. No known cause, no real cure. I turned to the internet and read everything I could find on the disorder, and scared the shit out of myself from the case studies of women with advance stages of the disease. In some instances, the labia disappears, the skin turns white everywhere and, and it can extend to your anus and other parts of your body.

I am currently applying Clobestol, a steroid cream to the area. No major change yet. I have been spending a lot of time with a hand mirror, trying to figure out what has actually fused together, and what it's "supposed" to look like. Still a bit in the dark to be honest.

My boyfriend and I have begun to have sex again, and while there is no real problem in that area physically, mentally I have felt a hesitation.

I no longer feel any embarrassment about my body. I feel very strongly that I have a duty to other women to share my experience, as I know there are others who have a variety of vulval issues they are as clueless about as me. I will check in and report again in another 4 weeks to discuss my progress.

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