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Autoimmune Condition Can Cause Scarring and Affect Sex Life

21 Oct

Question:

Dear Belleruth,

I am a psychotherapist and hypnotherapist with a private practice out West.  I am post-menopausal and was just diagnosed this week with lichen sclerosis.

This chronic skin condition affects primarily post-menopausal women, but also affects young women, and sometimes children and men.  It is believed to be an auto-immune disease. It can affect the vulvar and anal areas in women.

If left untreated, it causes scarring and the fusing of tissues in the genitalia area, including narrowing the opening to the vagina.

Needless to say, intercourse may either be impossible or very painful. The treatment I've been recommended is fluocinolone Acetonide ointment and my gynecologist is very optimistic.

It is nonetheless very frightening. I've used and recommended your CD's (and those you offer on Health Journeys) for many years.  Can you recommend which ones would be good for me at this time?

I am married to a loving and very understanding man, and I do hope that my treatment will permit me to resume our once wonderfully passionate sex life.

Again, my doctor is optimistic, but this condition has changed the life of women very drastically, as I am learning.  I am hopeful, but a little scared myself. I would deeply appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

With gratitude for the compassionate work that you do. Thank you.

I might be interested in having my message posted, to get this information out to other women, but I do not wish my first or last name published or my email address, of course.

Answer:

Dear D,

Sorry about the diagnosis. I can see how it could worry you.  But it's great that you're exploring all avenues of healing, allopathic and holistic, and this makes me optimistic for you as well!  

I think that of all our guided imagery titles the one most relevant would be the one for Lupus, as it covers overzealous autoimmune activity and includes focus on the pelvic floor and genitals.  So I'd go with that.
 
If you get tired of it, you can always go to General Wellness or Healthy Immune System imagery (which covers you for balancing autoimmune issues as well, but the primary focus is on immune system strengthening).

Another avenue you might want to pursue is one of the biofield therapies - perhaps finding a Healing Touch practitioner in your area and signing on for some energy healing sessions.  It can't hurt, it is deeply relaxing and could help.

The list of certified practitioners is growing by leaps and bounds, so you should be able to find a good local practitioner, all things being equal.  The Healing Touch International website lists resources. If worse comes to worst, you can do distance healing with a practitioner.  My dear friend and colleague, Rev. Terry Sparks, does this from Oklahoma City and people swear they feel the difference.  

In any case, these are my thoughts.  Wishing you the best of luck with this and please let us know how it goes.  

I agree with you that this is information others can use.  So I'll change your name and remove your state, so you can't be identified.  Thanks so much.  

And thanks for the kind words.

All best,
Belleruth

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award