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  • really OCD-need advice

    Hi i am very OCD about getting another infection since thats how my IC started. It was my first infection and im so scared to get another one. I also developed vulvodynia and have been obsessed about making sure i am clean down there. Sorry if i get graffic i just want to know if i am being too paranoid. I change my underwear twice a day if not more. And when i do change it i was wash my hands extremely well before touching my underwear. Or if i have a pad on during my period. If anything touches my underwear on the inside, for example, my pants or hands i change them again. If i have any discharge i change them even more. Not to mention when i wash them in the washing machine i use lots of detergent and rinse them atleast 5 times to make sure all the soap is gone. Then i wash my hands to make sure no bacteria is transfered. i wash my pants the same way. it takes about 5 hours to wash two loads of laundry. My hands are cracking because i wash them so much but i am scared i will get an infection if i dont do all this. I also go through so much toilet paper because i rinse myself off with water a couple times a day too. and if the toilet paper touches my hand i throw it away, especially if i am not home and at a gas station or work or something. i go through 4 rolls of toilet paper every couple of days. Not to be gross but even if i fart i am terrified it will give me an infection. What do you guys do to be safe? am i being too OCD? i dont know what to do to be clean but not obsessive. I am so scared. any advice, especially from vulvodynia patients would be great. my main ones are what do you do for
    1.) laundry
    2.)farting in your underwear
    3.) changing underwear
    4.)washing your hands
    5.) toilet paper
    i dont understand how people get infections, i mean i know to wipe from front to back, etc. but i dont know if something touches your underwear like dirty hands if you can get an infection. please help!

  • #2
    Dear Scared & Confused,
    Sounds like you're going a little overboard. Have you had trouble with recurrent urinary tract infections, meaning you have a lot of them in a short period of time?
    If so, your doctor can help with treatments for that-- to prevent them.

    Generally for vulvodynia, wearing white cotton underwear & washing your underwear in a soap like Dreft or Ivory Snow once and running it through the rinse cycle twice is enough. The heat from the dryer also helps with killing bacteria.

    For intimate personal washing, Basis or Dove bars or Very Private wash (available for sale in the ICN shop) are generally the gentlest on sensitive inflamed tissues. Washing can be once a day or twice a day if menstruating. Changing pads every 3-4 hours is usually enough, unless the menstrual flow is heavy & then it should be more frequently. It can also help soothe irritated tissues to rinse after urination with a perineal wash bottle filled with room temperature water & using plain white toilet paper to wipe front to back.

    Many bladder infections come from sexual activity, so it's important to wash hands and private parts before sex, also to urinate before & afterwards.

    It sounds like you're very anxious about this. If the skin on your hands is cracking & bleeding, that's a sign that you're washing too much. Have you seen a counselor or therapist regarding the OCD? Many IC patients have trouble with anxiety & panic attacks. Research has been done that has found that anxiety & panic attacks are a concurrent condition with IC - meaning many of us also have it, but it doesn't cause IC. IC, however, can make anxiety & panic attacks worse because it's stressful to have an illness that can change so much of our lives.

    Many of us have sought counseling for IC and the changes it's caused in our lives & relationships, and many of us have also sought counseling or educational programs to learn to manage anxiety & panic attacks, it sounds like it's something you should strongly consider...

    Wishing you better days soon,

    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.

    New favorite quote: "God gives us only what we can handle. Apparently God thinks I'm a bad-ass" ~Author Unknown
    Source - Pinterest

    Current treatments:
    -IC diet
    -Elavil 50mg at night
    -Continuous use birth control pills (4-5 periods/year)
    -Heparin/Marcaine/Sodium Bicarb home instills at night 3-4x per week, more often if needed
    -Pyridium if needed,
    -Pain medicine at bedtime daily, as needed during the day several times per week
    -Antibiotic when doing an instillation to prevent UTI
    -Colace & SmartFiber to treat chronic constipation from meds, Fleet enema as needed
    -Dye Free Benadryl 50 mg at bedtime
    -"Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain" dvd, walking, treadmill at gym
    -Managing stress= VERY important!
    -Fur therapy: Hugging the cat!


    • #3
      If I follow your post you say the UTI which started this was your first and your fear is of having another? One is certainly not excessive. It happens. I would suggest you speak to your doctor about this as they can give you a better idea of what's to be expected regarding risk & rates of UTIs. Perhaps the information will help to ease your concerns.

      I kind of went the same direction, though not as far as you've taken it. I definitely went overboard in my own attempts to avoid UTIs, but it didn't work. -Which only served for a while to make me take my attempts further. None of this may apply here though since in hindsight, I don't think I was experiencing infections but rather IC flares that my doctors wrote off as infection for an easy solution.

      "The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have."


      • #4
        You may want to research taking Goldenseal to prevent UTI's. I thinks some other people on here had found that to be helpful. You can buy it at any health food store and I think WalMart may sell it too. Some others take a low dose of Macrobid - my Dr. gave me a low dose of this to prevent UTI's when I was cathing at home. I don't take it anymore now. Something like one of these may ease your mind.

        We are not HUMAN BEINGS going through a temporary SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. We are SPIRITUAL BEINGS going through a temporary HUMAN that we may become more SPIRITUAL.