Painful Urethra not sure what to call it..

by Beth
(Australia)

I am 33 years old and my problem started out in 2006 when I got a UTI (my first ever) and then a couple of weeks later (after that had been treated and resolved) I was hit in the stomach quite hard by a soccer ball. This seemed to cause a burning painful sensation in my urethra/genital area. I had no urgency/freqency but was checked out and given many more antibiotics.

A urologist told me I had Interstitial Cystitis (he told me to Google it) and that there was no real cure. I struggled on with it for over a year and then I got pregnant in mid 2007 and the sensation went completely away. After I had finished breastfeeding my son I had a Mirina (progesterone contraceptive) coil inserted as I didn't want to go back on Depo Provera which I had previously been on for 13 years due to very bad periods. As soon as the coil was inserted (within a couple of days) the symptoms were back full bore. I immediately had it taken out and was put on an Estrogen based contraceptive pill. The symptoms went away completely again. The Doctor said I had a progesterone sensitive bladder and not to use contraceptives with progesterone in them again and I would be okay.

In 2010 I was very heavily pregnant with my second child when I sat on a cold stone wall for 5 minutes (no really that was it!) and the symptoms came back full bore straight away. It was if they had never been anywhere it was bizarre. I gave birth about 5 days later and the symptoms went away completely and did not return for 6 months. 3 weeks ago I sat around in wet bathers on the drive home from the pool (not long, maybe 1/2 and hour) and suddenly between one minute and the next it was back full force again. I went to the doctor and as I am breastfeeding my daughter she put me on an Estrogen cream. So far things seem to be worse and not better and since the only two times I seem to have managed to stop this was getting pregnant and giving birth I have NO idea what to do.

Obviously there is something hormonal going on and causing the symptoms. I do not/have never had any urgency/frequency, just this constant burning pain 'down there'. Do you think perhaps that natural progesterone (as opposed to the stuff in Depo Provera) would help me? I know progesterone levels rise when you get pregnant but I thought they fell when you give birth so I don't know what makes sense. I just want it to stop.

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Jan 02, 2011
Painful Urethra not sure what to call it..
by: Wray

Hi Beth You don't have a progesterone sensitive bladder, but you do react badly to synthetic progesterone. Both the Mirena (levonorgestrel) and Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate) do not contain progesterone. I've no idea what could be causing the inflammation, except for hormones. The synthetic ones lower progesterone levels, and oestrogen also suppresses progesterone, but it's also a known initiator of inflammation. Progesterone levels are high in pregnancy, and evidently it helped, as the symptoms went while pregnant. I think the possible reason they came back when you sat on the cold stone wall at the end of your pregnancy, was that your progesterone levels were already dropping prior to giving birth. But I must admit to being baffled as to why they went after giving birth. You are right progesterone levels drop after birth, I can only assume in your case by not very much. As pregnancy and the high progesterone levels helped you, I would suggest you try it. It is a potent anti-inflammatory, it's given via IV transfusion to brain trauma victims to prevent any inflammation. I suggest you use some in your vagina too. I recommend 100-200mg/day, dependant on symptoms, you would have to experiment with the amount to find the optimum. We do have a page on Pregnancy you might like to look at. Although you've given birth, there are some pointers on using progesterone, plus you could look at our page on How to use progesterone cream. Before starting it please see our page on Oestrogen Dominance first. Take care Wray


Sep 02, 2015
Painful Uretha, Pelvic Floor Syndrome, Interstitial Cystisis etc ..
by: Jennifer

This post is years old but in the event that someone else is reading that can relate hopefully it can help ...

I had this problem too. It started almost 3 years ago with what felt like a UTI. It wasn't. It was the strangest pain in the world. It felt like I had to urinate, other times it burned. It was honestly one of the most horrible things I went thru. My gynecologist was at a loss. My gut told me it was hormonal so I quit my BC (Nuvaring). I then read about interstitial cystitis (which is a scary thing) and after a LOT of research went to a uro-gynecologist who diagnosed me with Urethral Syndrome. They too gave me an antibiotic that did nothing. They also had no advice or treatment for me. I did MORE research and read about pelvic floor syndrome/myalgia and went to get physical therapy. It was a God send. It took my pain from 9-10 down to a manageable 2-3. But it didn't get rid of it completely. A year later, I found out I was hypothyroid. I started treating that and the pain went down further to a 1-2 but it never completely went away. Then ANOTHER year went by and my doctor finally got me on bio-identical progesterone cream (from compounding pharmacy) - I've been on it going on 6 months and while everything is not perfect yet, my pain has decreased the furthest it's ever been. I'm pretty sure my birth control is the cause. I had my hormones tested before I started the progesterone and I was estrogen dominant. My latest workup shows everything is starting to look good so I'm hopeful I'm moving in the right direction - now if I could just get my shedding hair under control ... ;) Thank you Wray for this site - it really has been one of the most helpful comforting things I've found while I've been going thru this!

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