Nov 302011

in the showerI’m in agony. Well, no, not really – but I am pretty uncomfortable. There’s a burning sensation around my urethra, just below my clitoris and above my vaginal opening. I’ve been experiencing this discomfort for about 5 or 6 weeks. I’ve gone through two courses of antibiotic, which of course means that I’ve had to battle vaginal yeast infections. I went to pee in a cup a couple of days ago because I still felt the burning, but this time, there were no white blood cells, no infection.

I did some internet research on urethral pain with no Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). I found a lot of women with this problem with varying diagnoses. They talk about how difficult it is to have sex when everything in the vaginal area feels bad. They discuss all of the tests they’ve had and things they’ve tried, but it makes it sound like they will be in pain forever. I started to panic. I can’t feel like this for the rest of my life!

The physical sensations are bad enough. I have managed to keep having sex, but it isn’t as nice as it usually is. How could it be? And often, I just don’t feel sexy. The worst part, however, is emotional. This particular feeling at my urethra triggers flashbacks of childhood abuse. It makes me feel really yucky. I absolutely cannot cope with these feelings every day for the rest of my life. I’m doing pretty well a day at a time, but I will lose it if we can’t resolve the pain. How do women cope with this?

I went to see my doctor. She rocks. We talked for a while about different things that could cause this pain. Sexual transmitted diseases are a possibility. My last tests were fairly recent and everything was clean. I haven’t had any new partners. It does remind me that it might be good to check in with my partners and their partners about current safer sex practices. We haven’t had that conversation in a while and it can’t hurt. My doctor mentioned that I could have a micro-tear or something that I keep reopening with sex. That would suck. It’s possible that something I’m doing during sex is causing repeated injury. I hate this thought. I love my sex life. And I’m pretty careful – I use good lube, I pee after sex, and I use good hygiene. I find myself offering up little prayers like, “Please don’t let it be fisting.”

My doctor did a visual, vaginal, and pelvic examination. My kidneys seem fine. Everything checked out, except that my urethra burns. Ultimately, we decided to wait and see if the urine culture revealed an infection after all. She gave me a prescription for a medication that numbs the urethra. I can only use it for a few days at a time. It turns my urine a bright neon orange, makes it unwise to wear my contact lenses, and upsets my stomach, but I think it’s worth it. Love is not supposed to burn.

I’m trying to keep my freak-out under control. My doctor is working with me to discover the cause of the pain so we can treat it. It’s possible that things will resolve themselves. I’m going to keep trying to have the best sex life I can manage, including not having sex when it feels bad. I’ll keep getting through a day at a time until I feel better. There will be a time when I am not constantly aware of my privates in a negative way. My urethra just has to get better!

  • Hardin Reddy

    My primary lover has experienced UTIs in the past and they are no fun for either partner.  I hope your partners are giving you lots of warm, accdepting loving even when you don’t feel like sex.

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  • Naamah


    I feel you.  I won’t go into details of a similar situation I was in for a long time, but . . . yeah, I feel you.   I hope this is something that, at worst, will heal with a little rest.

  • EverydayAverageHousewife

    My best friend has always had pain in that area, to the point of saying she prefers anal sex.  There are always alternatives to vaginal sex…

    On another note I’ve had a tear before too, it’s not fun. Give yourself about a week break then slowly start enjoying your sex life again.  If you’re in pain just relax and do what you can.  It can be frustrating (try having sex with a kidney infection :( ) but a lot kissing and upper body touching can be nice too.  Think of it as prolonged foreplay.