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Twinkie50 03-14-2010 04:08 PM

cramps with vaginal atrophy
[B]Hi - 51 years old. Had hysterectomy many years ago and removal of one ovary and cervix. Still have one in there. Having symptoms of vaginal atrophy again. Had a bad bout of it years ago and was prescribed a cream. Had a urinalysis the other day which was negative. Having some burning, clear vaginal discharge, urinary frequency off/on but also cramping really low especially after peeing. Doctor also had me go for vaginal ultrasound on Friday - waiting on results and nervous thinking I may have ovarian cysts. I have some low back pain too. I have no uterus so just wondering why the cramping? Anyone???? [/B]

estria 03-15-2010 05:55 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy

This is the very first time I have heard your symptoms described as vaginal atrophy. I am currently experiencing the same problem. I don't know if my own story may shed some light on yours.

Back in 2007 I was diagnosed with a large (8 cm or so) ovarian cyst (simple) and I opted to watch it for a while. After 18 months the cyst had grown so I had surgery to remove my left ovary and tube.

Shortly after the surgery (about a week), I began to experience bladder spasms at the end of urination (what you call that cramping feeling down low). I also experienced some slight burning but not a whole lot (I did notice that when the spasms were there so was the slight burning). When my doctor phoned me with the pathology of the cyst (benign), I told her about these symptoms and she told me to keep using my anti inflammatories. I did and the problem went away ... only to come back the following month. For four months this problem would seem to go away and then return. I also happened to notice a lot of dryness down there when the problem would occur.

After four months I spoke to the doctor again and she consulted with a urogynecologist. The uro told her either a low dose of Elavil or sipping water with dissolved tablets of potassium citrate throughout the day. Both of these treatments are used with interstitial cystitis. I chose the potassium citrate because the Elavil is an anti-depressant (used in smaller doses for cystitis) and I did not want to suffer the side effects. Potassium Citrate, on the other hand, is used chronically by kidney stone patients to help avoid more stones and it has little to no side effects. I went on it last September and the problem immediately went away .... only to return the following month but less strongly. Over the following months the problem would always return but less and less everytime.

Over the past two months I have noticed the problem returning, sometimes for about a week and it always seems to be a few days after my period is done (I am 42 years old and still premenopausal but not far from menopause). This last time it has been happening, I have also noticed the thick, clear vaginal discharge and at first I thought I was ovulating early (I may have been because I always experience a specific pain at this time and I did have pain a few days ago) but now I am not sure.

I am experiencing almost to a tee your symptoms but I was always under the impression that this was some form of urethritis / cystitis due to the catheter inserted during surgery. I have suspected for a while (in the back of my mind), however, that I may have some form of vaginal atrophy starting because of the dryness (and now the occasional discharge at this time of the month). I am wondering if vaginitis and cystitis go together. I could SWEAR that this has something to do with my cycle because the problem always returns in earnest a few days after the end of my period .. when my uterus is cleaning itself out. It it known that a period of vaginal dryness follows the menses.

To tell you the truth, I too am afraid of another cyst on my one remaining ovary and don't want to have to make the decision to remove this one last ovary (although for a cyst, they would probably only remove the cyst and leave the ovary). I somehow doubt it though because my symptoms began shortly after my surgery and I doubt another large cyst could have developed so quickly.

Vaginal atrophy makes a lot of sense to me and I am wondering if the dryness and discharge are somehow causing irritation and inflammation of the urethra resulting in the burning and bladder spasms. I did begin to experience very slight burning shortly after turning 40 (but no bladder spasms until after my surgery at the age of 42) so perhaps my problem had already been brewing even before I had surgery.

You are the first person I have seen to experience these exact same symptoms (with the bladder ... the spasms are as I am approaching the end of urination and sometimes afterwards, just as you describe). You may want to consult with a urogynecologist to see what he or she says.

I hope I have shed a bit of light on your situation. If you happen to find anything more about this, please let me know as this is still a mystery for me as well. Everytime the problem returns, it is extremely depressing and I think that I will never get rid of it.

Take care of yourself and all the best.


lKaz 03-16-2010 12:18 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[QUOTE=Twinkie50;4204045][B]Hi - 51 years old. Had hysterectomy many years ago and removal of one ovary and cervix. Still have one in there. Having symptoms of vaginal atrophy again. Had a bad bout of it years ago and was prescribed a cream. Had a urinalysis the other day which was negative. Having some burning, clear vaginal discharge, urinary frequency off/on but also cramping really low especially after peeing. Doctor also had me go for vaginal ultrasound on Friday - waiting on results and nervous thinking I may have ovarian cysts. I have some low back pain too. I have no uterus so just wondering why the cramping? Anyone???? [/B][/QUOTE]

:wave:[FONT="Arial"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Navy"] Hi ladies!
I had my left tube & ovary removed in the late 80's due to cysts as well. Since your uterus was removed [B]Twinkie[/B], how is it that you know you're having vaginal atrophy? This is a question I have about yours. I mean, what are the symptoms of that? Normally, atrophy happens during menstruation otherwise.

However, since you still have one tube and ovary left (as do I), I'd suspect that you could still be ovulating (which can cause discharge and even cramping). Although I'm not a doctor, this is my first assumption. If that is it, it's nothing to worry about.

Nevertheless, is very good you're getting medical testing to make sure! Is always better to know than not. So good luck with your tests, thank you for sharing, and know you're not alone! ~lKaz[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

estria 03-16-2010 05:35 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
Hi Twinkie and Ikaz,

Actually vaginal atrophy occurs mostly in menopausal and post menopausal women so no period is necessary for this to happen. It is most often due to the lack of estrogen which is required in order for the skin of the vagina to remain flexible and moist. Twinkie, the cream you were given many years ago was probably either an estrogen topical cream or a progesterone cream as this is often what is prescribed for vaginal atrophy.

I did some reading yesterday and it seems that vaginal atrophy and urethritis / cystitis go hand in hand. This is because the lining of the urethra is a lot like the lining of the vagina so if the vaginal tissue is dry and inflexible, the urethral lining may also become that way. Twinkie, this means that if you were already diagnosed with atrophic vaginitis, it is not a far stretch to say that your bladder spasms are due to the same problem. If nothing is found on your ultrasound, your doctor will probably prescribe the same cream again. Don't be afraid to get a referral to a urogynecologist as these specialists know a lot about these specific problems.

I am not sure about your discharge. Most likely it is from the vaginal tissue. Nothing should be able to come out of your abdomen if you had your cervix and uterus removed. Usually you are sewn up just past the vagina where the cervical canal would begin. Your doctor should be able to look and see where the discharge is coming from. If it is clear discharge, it is probably not too worrisome but best to have it checked out in case you have an infection or something.

Twinkie, come back and let us know what the doctor says. Hope all is well. If either of your ladies have some additional information, I would love to hear from you as would a lot of others I am sure.

Take care of yourselves.


Twinkie50 03-16-2010 01:39 PM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[B]Thank you both SO MUCH for replying. I am suspecting the vaginal atrophy because I had similar symptoms a few years back and went to my ob/gyn and they gave me a cream to use - I used it for about 6 weeks and felt immediate relief.

I did get my results from the ultrasound. I have a 2.2cm simple cyst on my ovary. And I just made an appt for this Friday to see my ob/gyn. My regular doctor is the one who ordered the pelvic ultrasound.

I absolutely wonder about cystitis too - I have all those symptoms off/on. I have fibromyalgia also and IC is common with people who suffer from this. I also have irritable bowel which is acting up!! I am a MESS from under my boobs to my upper thighs!!!!

MaryAnn :dizzy:[/B]

Twinkie50 03-16-2010 01:40 PM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
With moderate to severe vaginal atrophy, you may experience the following vaginal and urinary signs and symptoms:

Vaginal dryness
Vaginal burning
Watery vaginal discharge
Burning with urination
Urgency with urination
More urinary tract infections
Urinary incontinence
Light bleeding after intercourse
Discomfort with intercourse
Shortening and tightening of the vaginal canal

estria 03-16-2010 05:32 PM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
Hi MaryAnn,

Ha ha, I too am starting to feel like an absolute mess these past years. I began with irregular bleeding which progressed to pelvic pain, then an ovarian cyst which then progressed to post operative urethritis / cystitis. I don't dare ask what's next.

The cyst will most likely go away by itself as it is small and a simple fluid filled cyst. Many menopausal women get these (estimated at around 20%) and most of the time they go away on their own. They don't know why this happens since menopausal women are not supposed to ovulate. Premenopausal women obviously always have these cysts on their ovaries since they are ovulating so most of these are just normal functional cysts that come and go. With the advent of the ultrasound they also now know that menopausal women also continue to make cysts on their ovaries sometimes. I guess the poor ovaries haven't read the medical text books and they keep on trying to do what they were created for.

All the best for your appointment with the gyne. Take care.


Twinkie50 03-18-2010 02:48 PM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[B]thanks -- going tomorrow and will let you know what he says!!! :)[/B]

lKaz 03-19-2010 10:44 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
:wave: Thanks estria for the information, very interesting. And thank you too for the symptoms of vaginal atrophy twinkie! All very informative! Good to know. Wishing you the best, ~lKaz

Twinkie50 03-21-2010 06:49 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[B]Well, pelvic exam was fine - apparently I am still making eggs because I keep making cysts!! He said the discharge can be from ovulating. He told me that when you only have one ovary, it can be in hyper-drive because normally the ovaries alternate each month. He examined the discharge under microscope and said it was normal - sent out a urine culture and pap smear - said it could be some vaginal atrophy starting a bit, but not severe. They can tell by looking at the tissue inside the vagina. He gave me a cream to use at bedtime for 2 weeks. Years ago when I used it, it made all the difference.... the cysts, which I knew, are nothing to worry about as they are simple fluid filled ones. :dizzy::dizzy::dizzy: MaryAnn[/B]

estria 03-21-2010 12:03 PM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
Hello MaryAnn,

Glad to hear that all is well. I am sure that if the cream worked way back when you had the same problem, that it will work for you now. Yes I too think that the vaginal discharge is probably fertile mucus. In my case, it stopped after a few days so this makes sense also. Too bad our bodies don't come with an instruction booklet .. it would make our lives much easier.

Take care.


lKaz 03-22-2010 03:42 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[FONT="Arial"][SIZE="3"]:wave: [COLOR="Navy"]LOL, so true estria! I need an instruction booklet please, lol! And glad to know everything is well MaryAnn! ~Karen [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Twinkie50 03-22-2010 05:10 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[B]I certainly could have used an instruction booklet in all aspects of my life!! Thank you both for responding to me - it helps alot. Wonder what will come next??? :dizzy: MaryAnn[/B]

lKaz 03-23-2010 05:09 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
[FONT="Arial"][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Navy"]:wave: Hi & yw MaryAnn.
Very glad the doctor visit went well! And I try not to worry about "what's next," the "what-if's," because the best way to live is really one day at a time. I mean I've learned from personal experience that STRESS, worrying, can cause health problems all on it's own. Been there, done that LOL.

I do still worry of course, as it's human to do so, but TRYING not to IS where it's at. I just know I'd be crazier than I already am if I worried about all the "what-if's" in menopause, LOL. :dizzy: :p

Is also SO good to laugh about this time of life. It is a natural course for us women anyway. So making light of it helps me to not feel sorry for myself, and to not get stuck in a rut. I've been there too and it can take on a life of it's own, making it harder to get out of that rut as time goes on.

So, wishing you all well! Take care & I will too.
Luv, ~Karen[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Janaly 03-23-2010 11:22 AM

Re: cramps with vaginal atrophy
Hello Twinkie,

I think your ultra sound will show something? Have you already had the

I had an ovarian cyst years ago.....I am now 56yrs. But when I was
having symptoms with my ovarian cyst they specifically were discomfort
during urination (not cramps though). Also intimite relations were very
uncomfortable up until which time I had my ovarian cyst surgical procedure.

It was a laparoscopy I had done. Since that discomfort has all but went

Have a good day,


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