Vulvar Irritation In A Post-Op Transsexual
During the first few years following my gender re-assignment surgery, I have
had to develop means to eliminate or reduce irritation in my newly created
genitals. The sources of the irritations include yeast infections, urinary
tract infections (UTI) and chemical irritations. Following is a number of
protective or corrective measures:
- Proper hygiene. Daily washing of the vulvar
and rectal areas is important. A scent-free or mildly scented cleanser or
soap should be used. After each washing, ensure that the areas around the
vulva and the rectum are kept dry and clean.
- Proper wiping of the vaginal and rectal
areas. A woman should always wipe from front to back to avoid
contamination of the urethral area by the yeast and fungi in the fecal
matter. A separate tissue should be used for rectal area.
- Adequate flow through the urinary system.
One should urinate regularly, at least once every three to four hours. To
ensure that one does urinate regularly, one should be consuming adequate
fluids throughout the day and night. I drink two to four litres of fluids
per 24-hour period. Following a visit to the toilet during the night, I
drink a glass of water to ensure that the fluids continue to flow. The
regular voiding of the urinary bladder helps to reduce the likelihood of
urinary tract infections (UTI) and to prevent damage to the bladder caused
by stretching it with too much fluid retention.
- Douche regularly. One will not remove all
yeast cells during treatment or douching. The remaining yeast cells will
establish a new culture. By douching regularly, one keeps control of the
yeast population. I douche three times per week, as this seems to keep the
yeast under control without over-douching. Also, for us transgirls who have
deeper vaginas, I have developed a special douching technique, which is
described on A Yeast Problem In Transsexuals.
- Vaginal Lubricants Whether one is dilating
or having sex, a sexual lubricant is usually required. One's choice of
lubricant should avoid scented or flavoured. The addition of a chemical
such as a scent or a flavour introduces a possible irritant.
- Sexual pre-activity and post-activity. You
can reduce the risk of infection if both you and your sexual partner wash
your genitals prior to and following having sex. Also, it is a good idea to
urinate after having sex.
- Wearing the correct underwear. One should
use soft, 100-percent cotton panties and avoid wearing panties made from
synthetic fabrics. The synthetic fabrics reduce air circulation and
encourage the moist, warm environment that invites bacterial growth. Also,
the panties should be properly sized as panties that are too tight
contribute to the problems.
- Change of underwear. Panties should be
changed at least once each day. This removes any bacterial culture
build-up. On hot days, panties might need to be changed at least twice per
- Proper washing of underwear, pantyhose, shorts and
pants. One should use a mild soap that is not perfumed or scented.
Also avoid detergents that contain chemicals such as bleaches, whiteners,
softeners and the like. Wash these clothes in hot water. I do three loads
of wash per wash cycle: (1) whites and brights, (2) colours and darks, and
(3) specials (panties, pantyhose, shorts, pants, and anything else that
remains close to the vulva.)
- Sleep without wearing panties. I wear a
negligee to bed, without any panties. This permits air to circulate near my
vulva, thereby fighting infections.
- Cut back on sugary foods. When one
increases the intake of sugar, the excess sugar increases the sugar level
in urine. A moist, warm vulva that is supplied with sugar is an ideal
environment in which yeast, fungi and bacteria can grow.
- Cranberry capsules. (This one is a courtesy
of and a recommendation from one of my aunts.) Once a day, take a cranberry
capsule that is equivalent to a 8 - 10 ounce glass of cranberry juice. I
use capsules produced by "Swiss Natural Sources" (1132 mg per capsule) and
the daily taking of the capsules has improved my vulvar hygiene. An
alternative to taking the cranberry capsule is to drink a 10-ounce glass of
cranberry juice daily.
Basically, to lessen the likelihood of vulvar irritation, one needs to
observe four things:
- Maintain proper vulvar hygiene.
- Avoid exposure of the vulva to chemical
- Avoid exposure of the vulva to biological
- Avoid exposure of the vulva to mechanical
When I feel the possible onset of a urinary tract infection, I do three
things to abort the infection.
- Increase fluid intake, to help flush the urinary tract.
- Increase my intake of cranberry capsules to four 1132 mg capsules twice a
- Wash my vulvar at least twice a day and apply antibiotic cream to the
vulva after each wash.
This usually clobbers my infections within a day.
I hope my suggestions help you to avoid the aggravation and the agony of the
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Last Updated: 22 March 2009 (site moved to new server)