My vagina hates me: adventures at the sex clinic part 2
AKA the Chronicles of Poonarnia: part 2
And so continues the section of my increasingly large body of writing on vulval pain etc. in which i discuss my treatment. Elsewhere, if you’re interested, you can find discussions of how this condition (provoked localised vulvodynia, AKA vestibulodynia, previously known as vulvar vestibulitis) has impacted my personal and sexual life and how i still have great sex.
You can also read Adventures at the sex clinic: part 1 here.
So, on with the show!
My vagina hates me: adventures at the sex clinic part 1
This is AKA The Chronicles of Poonarnia part one.
((AKA the lying, the itch and the hospital ward robe???) it doesn’t really fit my own symptoms or my experience, but it sounds darn neat…)
And so begins a new section of my increasingly large body of writing on vulval pain etc. in which i discuss my treatment. Elsewhere, if you’re interested, you can find discussions of how this condition (provoked localised vulvodynia, AKA vestibulodynia, previously known as vulvar vestibulitis) has impacted my personal and sexual life and how i still have great sex.
Vulvodynia in Sex and the City. Sort of.
I just remembered that Sex and the City has a storyline in which Charlotte apparently has vulvodynia. The unprovoked kind.
What i like about this is that vulvodynia got mentioned. That has to be a good thing. The more people know about it, the more likely it is to get addressed and treated and resolved. What i didn’t like is part of how it was framed.
a) It’s one episode. One small part of one episode. And then it’s never mentioned again. In reality, vulvodynia is a tricky condition to treat that usually takes a long time to resolve.
b) The whole ‘depressed vagina’ shtick. That’s not what it is. But antidepressants (tricyclics like amitriptaline) are often prescribed to treat the pain—as they are with lots of chronic neuropathies, like shingles. So that’s not that bad—and it’s not like this is a medical show so i wouldn’t really expect them to go into why an antidepressant can treat chronic pain. Overall, not that bad.
c) The suggestion that Charlotte’s self-image (of her vulva) is somehow responsible for her pain. In reality, the cause for vulvodynia is not clear and i think setting it up in this way sort of suggests that it’s a psychological problem first and foremost and it simply isn’t. Having said that, i think it’s a very good idea to become visually acquainted with one’s genitals, if you can. If nothing else, know thine enemy… that’s what i do.
Overall, despite its shortcomings, i think the presence of vulvodynia in such a hit show as Sex and the City is a good thing.
The weaker sex?! X-chromosomes are genetically stronger
This is pretty interesting. A new study, published in BioEssays, attempts to illuminate why members of the so-called stronger sex succumb to “man-flu”: scientists believe their immune systems typically can’t keep up with those of wives and girlfriends because of the double X-chromosome. This appears to be on account of microRNAs - short strands of RNA (ribonucleic acid; related to dioxyribonucleic acid, which you better know as DNA) encoded on the chromosome… [edited for brevity]…
Can I get the full citation for this? I would like to read the study..
Mostly because strictly genetically/evolutionarily, it makes sense: the X chromosome is “stronger,” aka more heavily conserved within cell nuclei because it is needed for reproduction, since those with the eggs who dedicate their bodies to produce children have the double-X chromosomes. So naturally you’d want the person carrying around children to have a higher resistance to infection, disease, etc. and thus they have better immune systems.
It doesn’t make sense, then, why those with an XX chromosome are actually hugely disproportionally prone to autoimmune disorders like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
ETA: this is just generally speaking. I’m aware that some bodies with XY chromosomes can carry children too! :)
Full article is currently online.
Pinheiro, I., Dejager, L. and Libert, C. (2011), X-chromosome-located microRNAs in immunity: Might they explain male/female differences?. BioEssays