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  1. #1
    ICN Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Potential help for vaginitis, irritated vaginal skin and urethra

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    For the year prior to my IC symptoms starting, I battled either a yeast and/or vaginal bacterial infection. Even when I had a temporary break from the infections my skin was super thin, red and easily irritated. My doctor recommended eating yogurt (now that I have IC, I just take a pro-biotic, it has the good bacteria found in yogurt in pill form, the one I have used and really had luck with is Florajen). She also recommended that I do sitz baths in something called Instant Ocean. THis can be purchased at a pet store. It is used in salt water aquariums. She and another doctor had found that it helped patients regulate the pH in the vaginal area and also helped toughen up the skin. BE CAREFUL NOT to use this product if you have any tears, IT WILL BURN. Use the mixing ratios as directed on the box. I put warm water in a tupperware tub and mix in Instant Ocean and sit in it with my knees up to my chest (obviously might be better ways, but this was faster and easier for me, plus, for some reason I thought I remember reading that this position helped the pelvic floor muscles, it is similar to the position you would be in if you were say peeing in the woods). Make sure you rinse the area that was soaked very well. It can irritate your skin otherwise. I try to sit in it for about 15 minutes, but sometimes my skin may only tolerate 5 minutes. Do what is comfortable. I do these sitz baths when my skin starts to feel itchy or I feel my urethra is becoming overly sensitive. Please use caution when doing this. I don't want to be the reason for anyone's additional pain if your skin or urethra is very sensitive. YOu can buy a box of Instant Ocean at PetSmart for around $11.
    Last edited by stacey02; 08-18-2008 at 12:51 AM. Reason: forgot to add a few bits of crucial information

  2. #2
    ICN Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    important additions to the Instant Ocean sitz bath

    I just went in and corrected my post but I had forgotten to add that you should rinse the area very well after doing the soak. It can irritate and burn if you don't. I usually try to soak for about 15 minutes but sometimes my skin may be too sensitive and I only do about five minutes. Do only what feels comfortable.

  3. #3
    ICN Staff ICNDonna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Thank you for sharing. I definitely advise people to talk with their physicians before trying this.

    Have you checked the ICN Shop? for US & Canada for all others

    Patient Help:


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    AUA Guidelines:

    I am not a medical authority nor do I offer medical advice. In all cases, I strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

    Anyone who says something is foolproof hasn't met a determined fool

  4. #4
    Support Volunteer leelee88's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I agree Donna! And please do NOT do this if you think you might have Vulvodynia!!

    Signs and symptoms:

    The word "vulvodynia" means "painful vulva." Your vulva consists of the pad of fatty tissue at the base of your abdomen, the labia, the clitoris and the opening of your vagina.

    The main vulvodynia symptom is pain in your genital area, which can be characterized by:

    Painful intercourse

    The pain you experience may be constant or intermittent and can last for months or even years, but can vanish as suddenly or mysteriously as it started. A similar condition, vulvar vestibulitis, may cause pain only when pressure is applied to the area surrounding the entrance to your vagina.

    Vulvar tissue may look minimally inflamed or swollen. More often, your vulva appears normal.


    Doctors don't know what causes vulvodynia, but contributing factors may include:

    Injury to or irritation of the nerves surrounding your vulvar region
    Past vaginal infections
    Allergies or a localized hypersensitivity of your skin
    Muscle spasms
    Changing estrogen levels that occur with menopause
    Many women with vulvodynia have a history of treatment for recurrent vaginitis or vaginal yeast infections. Some women with the condition have a history of sexual abuse. Vulvodynia isn't sexually transmitted or a common sign of cancer

    ONE Second, ONE Bite, ONE Breath, ONE Pill, ONE Minute, ONE Teardrop, ONE Hour, ONE Sip.. ONE DAY! I will Prevail from this disease! IC Hoping for a Cure!

    Link to Patient Handbook:

    Diet Reference Sheet:

    Meds For IC: Lyrica-25mg Glucosamine-500 MSM-500mg, Prosed Ds -When Flaring

    Other Meds: Levlite- Continious Birtcontrol, Micardis-40mg for High Blood Pressure

    Meds I have Tried:
    Topamax,Tofranil, Elmiron, Atarax, Cymbalta, Elavil, Enablex, Detral La, Prydium.
    Lexapro< Bad reaction to this med!
    Intstills, could not continue them due to some kind of reaction after 3rd instill. Tasted the lidocaine in my mouth, tongue and lips went numb then went into what seemed like a panic attack. Shaking, racing heart, tingling face/head, blood pressure shot up..

    Dx With IC in Nov 2006 with Hydro/Cysto
    Hydro/Cysto Caused Bladder to Rupture.

    Other Dxs-Vulvodynia,Fibro, Endo, IBS, HPV, Migraines, Spastic Colon, Mild Dysplasia.

    ICN Volunteers are not medical authorities nor do we offer medical advice. In all cases, we strongly encourage you to discuss your medical treatment with your personal medical care provider. Only they can, and should, give medical recommendations to you.

  5. #5
    ICN Member Angeles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Sitz bath

    Thanks for the tip on the salt. I hope it si not too rough on an already irritated skin.
    I have never had a sitz bath but....question... do you actually sit in something resebling a big bowl with water in it? do you soak all at once: anus, vagina, etc? sorry if my question sounds silly it is just that I read/ hear sitz baths recommended for vulvodynia, anal fissures, etc. all the time. Sitz baths with aveeno soothing oat and some use Epson salts.

    Wouldn't it be better to soak a large cotton ball or wash cloth with whatever helps with V V and apply it directly to the vulvar area only, for a few min?

    I just think Sitz bath may be great for men... but for women, it may be a little risky, b/c of potential vaginal infections from bacteria from the anus swimming in the water, if you are sitting in the same water that soaks all at once. I'm probbably exagerating a little but, why risk it?

    Now, if you are just soaking the vulva and not the anus (although they are so close, then cool beans!)
    Laser cervical surgery after abnormal pap (moderate dysplasia) in 3/2004
    UTIs since mid 2004
    Recurrent yeast infections since mid 2005
    IC dx 3/2006
    V V dx 12/2006
    Other conditions: IBS, allergies, dry eyes.

    Current IC medications:
    Elavil (since 12/06) 10 mg;
    Cysta Q (since 5/07)
    Rephresh acid jel every 3 days
    D-mannose, fish oil, Calcium Citrate, Multivitamins & garlic pills (sometimes)
    Probiotics Femdophilus or other brands
    Gy-Na-Tren for yeast infections (started using it as needed since 2010)
    Other Rx:Omeprazole 20mg; benadryl as needed, Restasis

    Past Meds and why I stopped them:
    Elmiron: March to September 2006: headaches
    Lyrica:2 weeks in 2006: headaches
    Cystoprotek: from Jan to April 2007: nausea

    Femcon Fe (2/07 to 10/07):caused spotting/bleeding
    BCP:Loestrin (since Ocotber 2007) to stop spotting for 2 months. V V worse. Stopped the pill in Nov 07.

    "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it"

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