In this blog, I’ll share information about clitoral fusing and introduce you to a fantastic woman. This warrior was able to reverse her severe clitoral adhesions without a medical procedure. And she did it within a few months.
One of the most common questions I get when people are first diagnosed with Lichen Sclerosus is: What will this do to my body? The next question is: Can I do anything about it?
Unfortunately, having Lichen Sclerosus (LS) puts you at risk for vulvar changes, including fusing/scarring.
But here’s the good news: Surgery isn’t the only option for treatment. Of course, everyone’s LS journey is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. But knowing all of your options can help you decide what’s best for you and give you conservative measures to try before opting for surgery.
Let’s learn a little more about clitoral fusing/scarring.
What is clitoral fusing?
Fusing or scarring, as referred to in medical terms, is one of the more severe symptoms of Lichen Sclerosus. It can happen to different parts of the vulva, such as the labia minora sticking to the labia majora or scarring around the vaginal opening or urethra. Clitoral phimosis is a type of adhesion that happens when the clitoral hood fuses over the clitoris. Learn more about architectural changes and fusing here.
If you’ve searched the internet about this topic (and I recommend that you do so carefully!), you’ll likely find the most extreme cases of clitoral fusing. It can be very scary and disheartening. The clitoris is an extremely important part of our anatomy. The idea of clitoral fusing causing a loss of sensation or chronic pain is horrible.
Jaclyn is a Lichen Sclerosus Support Network member who, like me, experienced clitoral fusing. For her, the fusing began with a tingling sensation and skin that was sticky to the touch. At the time, she didn’t know what was happening or that her skin could even fuse together.
“I finally mustered up the courage to look at myself down there, and I was horrified by what I saw,” remembers Jaclyn. “I had no more labia minora by that time because it took 10 years to get my LS diagnosis, it meant that was 10 years for the condition to progress. Then I realized that there was a lot of scarring on my clitoris. I couldn’t see the glans.”
Jaclyn experienced some catastrophic thinking and mental roadblocks around her sexuality and her ability to feel pleasure and orgasm. Eventually, she found herself in a better place, where she was able to experience enjoyment and orgasm, even with a fused clitoris. She had no idea about the better news that was yet to come.
Can clitoral adhesions be reversed?
The short answer is that, in some cases, it can.
Surgery may be an option for reversing clitoral adhesions, but there are several downsides.
- It is expensive.
- It may be difficult to find an experienced surgeon
- There’s a chance that you may experience fusing again after the surgery.
In Canada, surgery wasn’t an option for Jaclyn since she didn’t have an emergency case. Going to the United States for surgery wasn’t financially feasible.
As you’ll soon find out, Jacyln was able to reverse her severe clitoral adhesions without surgery with a very intentional process. But mine happened by accident.
I was at a point where I had no libido, and I didn’t want to have sex. But I decided to use my LS treatment as an opportunity. In LSSN, we always talk about the importance of finding pleasure or creating a fun routine around your treatment so that you continue to do it. For me, that was masturbating when I put my steroid on. It was fun ,and I looked forward to it. I didn’t realize it then, but the way I was putting on my Halobetasol was helping to reverse my clitoral adheshions. A year and a half later, I was completely unfused.
It’s important to know, though, that ultra-potent steroids alone will not reverse these kinds of changes. From what we know about steroids, they’re incredibly effective at reducing inflammation and managing Lichen Sclerosus. But alone, they cannot reverse anatomic changes that have already occurred.
How can you reverse clitoral adhesions without surgery?
Like me, Jaclyn reversed her clitoral adhesions. With an intentional process, she was able to do this in just six to eight weeks. So how did she do it?
Jaclyn credits a combination of three things for her reversal: testosterone, clitoral myofascial release, and prolonged stretches.
Clitoral Myofascial Release
Myofascial release is a gentle hands-on therapy used to manipulate muscles and tissue. With clitoral adhesions, myofascial release may help break up some scar tissue to encourage more mobility.
Jaclyn learned about clitoral myofascial release through an LSSN membership interview with Dr. Rachael Rubin. During the interview, Dr. Rubin discusses this type of therapy and demonstrates how to do it. In our video blog, you can watch the edited interview on the nonsurgical lysis of clitoral adhesions with Dr. Rubin.
After watching the interview, Jaclyn reached out to her pelvic floor physical therapist, who, thankfully, was familiar with this type of therapy. Jaclyn learned multiple techniques at her appointment for the type of fibrosis she was presenting.
A couple of weeks after working with her pelvic floor physical therapist, Jaclyn had an appointment with a leading vulvovaginal specialist, Dr. Amanda Selk. She asked about options for her clitoral adhesions and discussed issues she had from a build-up of Keratin Pearls.
These sand-like grains get stuck between the clitoris and the clitoral hood, but with her adhesions, Jaclyn had no way to clean them out. This caused a lot of pain and the possibility of infection.
Dr. Selk suggested using topical testosterone to enlarge the clitoris. While it’s prescribed off-label and experimental for those with clitoral adhesions, the idea is that growing the clitoris will help loosen some of the adhesions. The use of testosterone and related growth is only temporary.
Jaclyn stacked the cards in her favor doing as many things as possible to help reverse her clitoral adhesions. So she headed to the compounding pharmacy for her testosterone prescription.
The third part of Jaclyn’s process was prolonged stretches.
“I would do the clitoral myofascial release, and then I would do these sustained stretches where I would kind of mimic the movement of retractions. I started at two minutes and worked my way up to ten minutes at a time,” explains Jaclyn.
To make sure that her nervous system was calm and she wasn’t overdoing it, Jaclyn only did stretches up to a level three discomfort level. She moved gently and increased her stretches slowly to avoid tearing or flaring up.
An Unbelievable Outcome
After a few weeks, Jaclyn’s skin began to feel different. She experienced some pain and discomfort, which she had heard could happen when the skin unfuses. By week four or five, she thought she could feel some of her clitoral glans.
A trip to her regular gynecologist and later with Dr. Selk confirmed what she had hoped: her clitoris was completely unfused. In eight weeks, she had completely restored her anatomy!
“I never thought it was possible for someone like me,” admits Jaclyn. “I remember saying, ‘That’s great that happened to you, Kathy, and I’m happy you unfused, but that’s not my reality, not without surgery.’ And I believed that wholeheartedly. So to end up in this position with full retraction, full mobility, full sensation — and I didn’t need surgery. That was pretty phenomenal.”
After unfusing, can you experience clitoral adhesions again?
One of the reasons doctors may not perform surgery for clitoral adhesions is that there is a high risk of fusing again. They avoid putting patients under for surgery they may have to perform again in a few months. Even though the risk still exists, there are ways to prevent or reduce the likelihood of it happening.
In Jaclyn’s case, she’s decided to continue with her myofascial release and sustained stretches for maintenance.
“I do it just to make sure things stay open, things are staying mobile, that there’s blood flow to the area,” she explains. “I’ll do it once or twice a week for five minutes or so. No one told me to do this, by the way. There are no papers on this; I was not told this by a medical professional. This was just how I wanted to do it, and I don’t think this is harmful.”
Get started on your journey to reversing clitoral adhesions!
Are you interested in learning more about reversing clitoral adhesions?
A great place to start is this blog post written by Jaclyn on “Architectural Changes & Lichen Sclerosus”. It walks you through the changes that can happen and how to prevent, slow down, and reverse these changes.
If you’re not into reading, watch the interview with Dr. Rachal Rubin on the nonsurgical lysis of clitoral adhesions in our video blog. In it, we discuss how her procedure helped 76 % of women reduce pain, improve satisfaction with sex, increase sexual arousal, and even help 64% of women achieve orgasm for the first time.
You can also try finding a pelvic health physical therapist to teach you how to do myofascial release techniques so you can start working on your clitoral adhesions. If you’re unfamiliar with pelvic health physical therapy, watch this interview with Dr. Ashley Stump on how PHPT can help with Lichen Sclerosus.
Have you managed to reverse your clitoral adhesions?
Have you stumbled upon a way to unfuse your clitoris? Are you going to try? Let us know in the comments below. Or better yet, join us at the next LSSN Virtual Meetup and tell us in person.
We meet every other Saturday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM EST. Get more information and signup for updates today.