I am usually insanely shy about talking about my own female anatomy. However, something happened to me recently where I felt very alone and scared and if I can help someone who also has the same thing as I do, I want to do it.
I am a 26 year old woman and I don’t have the most active sex life at this point in time. Again, I mentioned I was shy about all things sexual or relating to my own body. One night out of the blue I decided to look at myself “down there.” I had been to the Gyno a few months prior and everything was normal but lately masturbating had felt different and I didn’t know why. I had no symptoms. All I knew is that it felt thicker, uncomfortable and less pleasurable during masturbation. I thought I was just extra tight from not having sex in a while but then I thought there could be more. Once I decided to check out if anything looked different, I was horrified.
Where I would usually see an opening to the hole in my vagina, I saw…skin. Excess of it. There were so many pieces of skin that it actually looked like a literal flower on the inside of my vagina. The petals could separate and there was still room for penetration but it definitely looked like something out of “Stranger Things” and I freaked. No, not freaked. Panicked my living brains out.
So naturally, I did exactly what I shouldn’t have done. Googled it. I saw many many responses saying my I had was super normal and it was the remnants of the hymen and how each woman’s looks different when ripped or broken. Some rip to look like flower petals and that’s normal. Then of course there were responses that made it look like what I had was linked to Cancer. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer to find out what was going on and that I NEEDED to seek professional attention or else my own thoughts and anxiety would kill me and I’d lost sleep and my apatite over it.
I immediately went in to see my Gyno the next day and she very kindly squeezed me in and did a diagnostic. Good news, I was absolutely one hundred percent normal but I was right. There was a growth. My doctor said the petals or the flower was the remnants of my hymen but that I had a very benign vulvar lesion as well. I was in tears because I was (and honestly, still am) super insecure about men seeing it and getting freaked out or men feeling like my vagina won’t be as pleasurable to them because of it. I felt like a total freak but my doctor assured me, my situation was comparable to the difference between someone having blue eyes and brown eyes or one toe larger than another. She said 1% of woman all over the world get it. I asked how it could just grow and show up after 26 years and she said it just happens no one knows why. I asked what the removal process would be and she said she could freeze it off but that it would more than likely to grow back. It is officially called Vestibular Papillomatosis and to this day, I am coming to terms with the condition and accepting my body for how it is.