In a previous How Odd Is My Bod post, I wrote unabashedly about my body with a post about a pain in my clitoris.
TW // transvaginal ultrasounds
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The Un-Fun Wand in Your Vag
Despite my reservations about a doctor’s visit, I contacted my OBGYN, who recommended an ultrasound. It seemed an odd step, but I scheduled one anyway.
I’ve had ultrasounds before. I’ve had them on my uterus, breasts, throat, and in my vagina. Yes, I’ve had that fantastic procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound. Sometimes, I have ovarian cysts, and if you want those checked, you’re gonna end up having a non-fun wand up your vag. Fun wands are a different story entirely.
I remember how much conversation there was about mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds when Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds first leaned heavily into her anti-choice crusade. Once I needed said ultrasound, I understood and respected the necessity of them, but I also realized how, without consent, such a procedure was akin to assault. Transvaginal ultrasounds don’t usually hurt, but they’re not comfortable and require a great deal of trust. Plus, if the techs aren’t trauma-informed, they should be.
In any case, I remained unconvinced that I needed the ultrasound. That, combined with an over-the-counter treatment that I was trying, made me decide to cancel the procedure.
My Twinkified Body
While I’m embarrassed to admit this, I also had a lot of itching. It had been years since I’d had a yeast infection. I must’ve forgotten that was a possibility. I became even more swayed by the possibility when I read that, yes, you can develop sores and blisters from a yeast infection. So, I bought Monistat for my poor, confused body.
Now, I was not about to have a transvaginal ultrasound or a pelvic exam done when my vagina was oozing medicinal cream. Hence the other reason for the canceled procedure. In the meantime, I let Monistat work for my body. Mostly.
I bought a seven-day dosage, and on day three, I was unbelievably grossed out. I chatted with some friends who were like, “Monistat is TEH WORST!”
For the uninitiated, Monistat is an injectable cream. Put it inside the vagina with an applicator before bed, and you spend the night and next day oozing.
I described it as feeling like a Twinkie. It’s the opposite of delightful.
But the itching was letting up, so I restarted it. I guess I can be a Twinkie a little longer. (I said Twinkie, not twink, you dirtybirds.)
The pain, unfortunately, is still there. Sort of. It moved. And now I suspect I had multiple issues.
The Multilayered Complexity of the Human Body a.k.a. Throw a Dart and Pick a Problem
First, I’m confident I had a yeast infection. As I adjust to wearing period-absorbent underwear instead of menstrual pads, I know now I’ve been wearing them too long. Again, I know. Gross. But in my head, the point of period underwear is being able to set it and forget it.
I can’t imagine working in a corporate job and having to change my period underwear at work halfway through the day, then carrying the dirty ones around. I don’t care if they sell bags for that. The things we do for the environment, I tell ya. My body is not prepared for that kind of lifestyle.
Regardless, I gotta change my menstrual pads more. Some days, I wish for menopause already. (But I’ve been advised against that.)
Second, I do think I had a blister from the yeast infection that was closer to my clitoris, which is why I thought I had a pain inside my clitoris. That’s probably why my OBGYN recommended an ultrasound. I wasn’t using precise enough language, which is a massive problem for vulva owners. I appreciate my OBGYN giving me credit for being smart enough to use the proper language. She knows me well. Unfortunately, I faltered in my medical self-advocacy by falling into the mess that is genital confusion.
ASIDE: If you’re not convinced about the confusion regarding vulvas, check out this subreddit. The constant mistake of referring to vulvas as vaginas causes arguments and confusion. Hell, we can’t even agree on how to keep our bits clean!
Third, once the blister appeared to, um, pop (so fucking gross), the pain shifted to along my inner labia (labia minora). We discovered it was likely dry skin, so I talked with my OBGYN, and she suggested a diaper rash cream. I was like, “I’m done with being a Twinkie,” so I used überlube instead. No, I’m not an affiliate. Yet. That shit works, y’all.
Fourth, I realized there’s a hard lump further down my labia minora. And that’s how I ended up reading about Bartholin’s cyst. Who is Bartholin? I don’t know. That’s a post for another day, and I fully expect it to be a white dude who experimented on women of color without using anesthesia. What I do know is that Bartholin has a helluva thing named after them.
If that’s what this is, I’m hoping it’ll easily resolve with some sitz baths, which I’m getting ready to go do.
If that’s not what it is, well, I still have my pelvic exam scheduled.
How much did I learn about genitalia in January? Everything a 45-year-old should already know. That’s why I write these posts.