A woman has described her agony trying to understand why she could never have sex because even the slightest penetration felt like ‘pouring acid on an open wound.’
Sarah Bradley, 25, has Localized Provoked Vulvodynia (LPV), which makes inserting even a cotton swab or tampon unbearable.
Until March of this year Sarah’s condition went undiagnosed, but now she is finally receiving the correct medical care to help her achieve a normal sex life.
‘The pain is excruciating,’ said Sarah who works as an office assistant in the ER facility in her hometown of Decatur, Illinois.
‘It’s a very intense burning, like pouring acid on an open wound.’
People with LPV have extra high density pain fibers in their private parts so contact in that area feels horrific.
‘I have never been able to tolerate more than half an inch of penis, an inch at most, because it’s absolute agony,’ said Sarah.
Distressingly, doctors were unable to diagnose Sarah’s condition until she was 24-years-old, telling her she was simply suffering from anxiety.
‘I kept thinking ‘if I calm down everything will be fine’ but it never was,’ said Sarah, who realized she had a problem at age 13, when she tried to insert a tampon for the first time.
At age 19, Sarah started dating, but when things got intimate she was unable to proceed.
‘It made dating almost impossible, the pain was intolerable and I would start associating the person I was seeing with pain, I just couldn’t do it,’ she said.
‘A few guys I tried to date thought that they could cure me somehow*I think it’s really appealing to the male ego to be the one who will fix it, take my virginity and make me enjoy it.
‘They would say things like ‘it’ll be different with me’ and I’d be thinking ‘good luck with that.’
‘I have a high tolerance to pain, I ran a 10k race with a torn meniscus once, that pain was nothing compared to this.’
Until March of this year doctors had always told Sarah that her condition was rooted in anxiety, so she began to doubt her sexuality.
‘I was thinking ‘what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I enjoy this? At one stage I even thought I might be a lesbian, maybe it’s because men don’t do it for me?
‘So I tried to date girls for a bit in college but I found out I was definitely not a lesbian. I just wasn’t attracted to women.’