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Increase in female problems?

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#1 Dale's girl

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

Hello ladies. Although I have had mulitple symptoms for years I wasn't diagnosed with CREST until this April. (I'm 55) That was when I finally found a doctor who would listen to me after my symptoms were getting worse. Anyway, with the diagnosis things are still new and sometimes a little scary to me and it seems I have so many questions! I wonder at every twitch if that is the sclero or not.
Here is what I would like to know. I've noticed an increase in vaginal infections. I was checked out by my OB/GYN last fall (before I knew I had CREST) and everything was fine but I just seem to get infections easier now. Has anyone else had the same problem? I have waited for weeks to ask this question in this forum because I am a little embarrased. But I just wondered if anyone else has had the same problem? If so, how do you deal with it?
Thank you in advance!!
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

#2 perfect


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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:44 PM

Hi Dales Girl, I am so glad you brought this up. Before I knew I had CREST, I had been suffering for the past three or so years with reacurring vaginal infections that would lead to UTIs and then to severe bladdar infections where I thought I was going to die. Now if I get any type of discomfort in that area, I am worried I have something started again. My primary care physician a couple of years ago prescribed a estrogen cream for the vaginal area because it was very very dry. I thought it was my age, now (56) I was blaming everything on my age, stress, etc. Now I think it had to do with the whole scleroderma picture. I really do not try to blame everything on this disease, but when I finally got diagnosis this past Jan. it was a light bulb went off, and I started to connect the dots. So I would say go back to your doctor and ask about the estrogen cream or such, because a lot of times when we have the discomfort it is really just dry. Really I am not a MD so I hope I do not sound like I am giving medical advice just my own experience. Good luck to you.

#3 Jeannie McClelland

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:51 PM

Hi Dale's Girl,

I couldn't find anything directly linking scleroderma and an increased susceptibility to vaginal infections, but candida (a fungus) overgrowth in the GI tract is not uncommon in scleroderma patients. I wouldn't be surprised if some of us did have more infections that we'd been used to. Another thought is that at 55 your hormone levels would probably be haywire and you might be experiencing some vaginal dryness - either due to scleroderma-related sicca syndrome or menopause. I think that can predispose a woman to infections, but I'm no doctor! And then there is the effects of certain medications~ At any rate, here is a good link from Medscape:

Treatment of Vaginal Fungal Infection: Risk Factors for Candidal Infection

We also have a good page on Scleroderma and Sexuality that you might want to have a look at.

I know when I was first diagnosed, I was perfectly willing to blame every little thing on scleroderma. Fortunately that wears off! I'm sure my rheumatologist was glad it did. :lol:

Best wishes,
Jeannie McClelland
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International Scleroderma Network

#4 Dale's girl

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:02 AM

Thank you ladies! I am definitely at the stage where I wonder what is the sclero and what isn't. This is such a great forum for me since I can't seem to find a doctor in Washington yet who is familiar with this. And my health insurance is not the best (that is putting it lightly) so I feel like I have to be as educated as possible in order to be a better advocate for myself. My dentist seemed to know more than my regular doctors!
This forum is a great place to come and get familiar with my disease. It's such a comfort to have a safe place to ask questions and just feel like I am not the only person with this. Thank you again for your replies!
Have a great day.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

#5 Lynnie


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Posted 04 June 2010 - 11:49 AM


Firstly you have no need to ever feel embarrassed asking what you need; we are all ladies and all suffer the same things lol :happy1-by-lisa-volz:n I am 52 and for a couple of years suffered awfully with sore groin areas and sore "bits", thrush/candida problems, and no matter what I did/didn't do it would come back and be a pain, age and menopause and sclero doesn't help things, but I have found having a nightly emoillient bath and putting a bland moisturiser used for eczema and the like on my whole body and a good application in the nether regions has stopped it in its tracks and also helped to make things so much more comfortable in the intimate side of things!! If you want the names of what I use please send me a personal message on my profile and I'll tell you, okay?

Hugs and warmth,
Lynn :emoticon-hug: