Me and My Surgically Created Vulva: A Love Story

My own pride n’ joy was created under the gifted and extremely skilled hands of Dr. Pierre Brassard of Montreal, Quebec Canada

A NOTE FROM RACHEL’S MINISTRY OF PUBIC AWARENESS

Before we *ahem* delve into the delights of my female anatomy you’ll probably want to move on if you are a younger person and/or are offended by words beginning with the letter V. I really do try and keep this site as family friendly as possible despite dealing with the nitty-gritty of transgendered life—but at times it’s simply impossible.

Okay, now that that my debt to social responsibility has been paid, I’d like to discuss the realities of life when one possesses a surgically created vulva. I’d use the more commonly used word, vagina, but apart from sounding like a certain Swedish automobile, vulva is the more accurate term insomuch as it encompasses more of the female anatomy including (but not limited to) the clitoris, and labia majora and minora—all of which I now possess.

Some may wonder why I would chose to discuss such a private and intimate subject in a public forum but the reason is quite simple. There remains a lot of misinformation and curiosity surrounding transsexuals—especially post-operative ones such as myself. So in the interest of furthering our collective knowledge and perhaps dispelling some falsehoods in the process I offer the following observations.

I was operated on by Dr. Pierre Brassard of the Clinique de chirurgie esthétique at 995, De Salaberry East Montréal Québec on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008. So as of this writing I am 4 years post-operative. Wow! does time ever fly!

The name of the procedure is called vaginoplasty. Various techniques exist but I’ll simply focus on the specific procedure employed by Dr. Brassard. And what better way to answer the details of Dr. Brassard’s technique than to do a quick cut and paste from his own website:

The technique used is the one step penile inversion. It is done under general or spinal anaesthesia as an inpatient in the hospital. The duration is 2 ½ hours. The scrotal skin is removed along with the testicles. The neoclitoris is fashioned from the tip of the penis (glans) keeping its blood and nerve supply (neurovascular island flap).

The labia majora are formed with some of the penis skin, the hood and the labia minora with urethral mucosa and penis skin.

The space for the vagina is dissected behind the meatus (urinary tube) between the bladder and the rectum. The penis skin is inverted to line the vagina and the thinned scrotal skin graft is sutured to the end of the penis skin tube. Hair roots on the scrotal skin graft are destroyed with the cauthery. A urinary catheter is put into the bladder, a packing of cotton covered with a condom is put inside the vagina. The prostate is not removed.

Source: http://srsmontreal.com/2009/09/08/vaginoplasty-description/

Well, I certainly hope that got your juices flowing. Yeesh!

After a few days the catheter and cotton covered condom is removed. And it’s a case of getting familiar with your own portable sitz bath and walking awkwardly (what we called, the Montreal straddle, hobble, waddle, etc…). The days immediately following surgery are not much fun to say the least. The most obvious challenge was sitting down to eat. I confess I did a lot of eating while standing at the dinner table. 🙂 Nonetheless, the near euphoria obtained from finally looking like a woman down there; not to mention the effect of post-operative medications contributed to a general state of well being.

The operative expression here (pardon the pun) is no regrets!

Obviously, the most frequently asked question about all this is can you orgasm? The answer is an unqualified, yes! I had my first inkling as to how things were going to work in this regard during the flight back from Montreal. Knowing I’d be out of commission for some period of time during my stay in Montreal I wisely brought along a few books to read. Notable among these was Holly Black’s excellent “Tithe” Trilogy (I blog about Melissa Marr and Holly Black elsewhere on this site). It’s an epic romance fantasy adventure seated within the urban faerie genre.

Holly is a great writer and there’s some mild but undeniably hot scenes in Tithe. Well, I came across one of these erotically tinged vignettes and reacted pretty much as you might expect a woman to react. My new anatomy responded with an involuntary spasm that sent an unmistakable signal of pleasure to the dopamine receptors in my brain. I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I contentedly thought, “So this is how this is going to work!”

Just over a week post-op I was able to experience my first full-blown orgasm. The things I am aware of when it comes to my female orgasm as opposed to the ones I had as a male is that now I tingle all over my body and I’m aware of extra sensation both in my nipples and toes. While I have not had sex with a man post-op I have tried out a little vibrator I picked up at a sex-toy party one of the girls from work hosted. My only complaint—I should have purchased a larger model!

My clitoris is gloriously sensate but it can be super annoying if a stray pubic hair happens to come in contact with it; which has happened on occasion. Fortunately, it’s mostly just a little pleasure bud awaiting some gentle stimulation in order for it to perform as intended.

With regards to sex with men—I am in a permanent life-long committed relationship with a loving, attractive female so in my case that admittedly tantalizing prospect is off my bucket list. However, I welcome my post-op sisters who have had that experience and do not mind discussing it to post their comments here.

With regards to a related question: How deep is your vagina? In my case I have a depth of 5 inches which according to my gynecologist and Dr. Brassard is entirely satisfactory for male-female coitus. Of course, I can hear the comments of some men from here:

Not deep enough for me baby!”

These are the guys that show up at the local drugstore determined to buy the product designed especially for them:

Vanity marketing? Do you have these in XXL?
All Prices are Canadian 🙂

My vagina also lubricates. Part of the reason for that is the presence of my prostate gland. Does it bother me that the prostate wasn’t removed? Frankly yes, but the rationale for its presence postoperatively is that it does help lubricate my vulva. Keep in mind, my trust in Brassard’s expertise when it came to entrusting my self to his care was pretty near absolute. Therefore, his insistence on maintaining the overtly masculine gland was accepted albeit with a tinge of regret.

Does my vagina smell like a cisgendered woman’s? Yes. However, I lack some of the naturally occurring bacteria that help keep a woman’s vulva fresh smelling. Therefore I have to be more vigilant with regards to my hygiene. It’s not overly concerning, but something I need to be aware of. In my case, disposable wipes handle any outstanding issues nicely.

Does my vulva look like a cisgendered woman’s? Again, the answer is yes. My wife can certainly affirm that but so can my gynecologist. Yes, I get one of those now too 🙂 I see him only infrequently but I must say I was delighted with his comments following my first appointment. I guess he did not have many post-operative patients but what he said warmed my heart—if not my vagina—those instruments are cold!

He looked up from where he had been inspecting Dr. Brassard’s handiwork and he said to me with a voice that resonated with a respect that bordered on awe.

“I want you to know that the man who did this was extremely [he then paused for dramatic effect] extremely skilled.”

Of course I had to ask outright—does it look like other vaginas you see?

The answer was an unqualified Yes.

Well, I think I could have floated out of the room at that point. I was certainly on cloud 9.

Again, I try and keep this blog generally accessible for all  but you can see examples of Brassard’s surgical outcomes at the following website:

http://www.annelawrence.com/brassard.html

Dr. Lawrence takes a critical and objective analysis of Brassard’s work but generally rates him highly. I know I certainly do!

In order to maintain my vagina’s depth I am required to dilate a recommended time of 15 minutes once a week, but life being what it is generally results in a more frequent schedule of once every two-weeks. It’s a bit uncomfortable as I have to insert a stent inside my delicate lady bits.

Ahhh… The Stuff Dreams are Made of

The dilators come in a variety of widths and you generally progress from smallest to largest as your new anatomy continues to heal. Since I have been post-op for so long I get to enjoy the company of “Mr. Big” the number 6 in the set I was given. Of course, when not in use they make lovely candle like decorations when displayed to effect! I’m joking! I’m joking!

Am I glad I had the operation? Yes! Yes! Yes!

Again, I have “no regrets” at all. If I had to do it all over again, I would—but sooner! For me the whole process of transitioning has been like Goldilocks finding that specific bed, porridge, and chair and concluding just as she did that “this one is just right!”

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17 Comments

Filed under Transgender

17 responses to “Me and My Surgically Created Vulva: A Love Story

  1. Awww Rach, love you girl. I remember when you announced you were going to begin the process, so proud of you and owning who you were deep inside and owning it fully.

    You made me laugh, and your writing resonates with your personality. Love it. Love you.

    ~Moon

    • XxRacheygirlxX

      Oh Moon girl!!! Miss you lots. You “always” resonate with such a warm femininity. Women like you really are my role models and my inspiration. Thanx so much for commenting here… it means a lot to me ❤

  2. Jo-Ann

    Love your writing Rachey. You always make me giggle and are able to put the delicate of subjects in a wonderful light. xox JoJo

    • XxRacheygirlxX

      Thanx Bon Bon 🙂 Your encouragement means a lot to me. I really try and make these things fun to read and try and put in a little humor to make them enjoyable but informative to. Thanx so much for commenting here. Love you! ❤

  3. You realize Rach, not everyone’s “nerve ending” is as sensitive as yours? :p

    • XxRacheygirlxX

      Yes—lots of individual variables in all this. One of those “your mileage may vary” posts lol 🙂

  4. six

    hey..Saw your link from Transgender Canada. More than very informative. I had read some articals here and there. But your the Best . I know it came out out your heart to educat MTF and the others.
    I wish you all the Best..Bye

    • XxRacheygirlxX

      Thanx so much for that very kind response. There’s so much misinformation out there about us that I try and do my part in bringing a little more understanding to things.

      Much love,

      Rachel

  5. Bravo! You have infused an often-awkward subject with such charm, wit and delicacy yet packed it with honest indelicate information. Brilliant.

  6. XxRacheygirlxX

    Thank You so very much Jules ❤

  7. Hmmm, Lucky girl! I am over two months post op and haven’t ignited yet. I can’t believe a week post op you even could tell! I was just numb and sore! I have hope because I do have more and more feeling happening down there, but more than anything it’s just been frustrating when I search for those fireworks. I’m sure it will…. er… come, but I know there are no guarantees and everyone is different. It doesn’t help that I am dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil in my life. And maybe I need to read more lol. ;P But good for you and this was fun to read. 🙂

    • XxRacheygirlxX

      Oh I was definitely sore… but the nerve endings were waking up. One of the girls dubbed our post-op bits (in the days immediately following surgery) Frankenpussy 🙂

      But on a serious note, who performed your surgery? Also it is still too early to tell if orgasm will be denied you. I pray you continue to heal and that everything will function as it should in due course.

      Thanks so much for commenting. It is really appreciated. ❤

      • My surgery was done by Bond. James Bond. Oh, I mean Brassard. Dr. Brassard. And zomg the last day at Ascelpiade he came and talked to me while I was dilating, entirely naked and exposed. Reduced me to blabbering idiot he did. 😛

        Thanks. I am confident it will happen. I do have a fair amount of sensitivity there. I think it’s just a matter of the soreness and swelling going down enough to not distract me and me figuring out how to make my own kitty purr. I know everyone is different, even ciswomen.

        One of our girls dubbed it an “angry bulldog” lol. I’m pleased with how much happier everything looks. 🙂

        Thank you hon. 🙂

      • XxRacheygirlxX

        Well, with a sense of humor like you have, doll. You’ll be alright regardless of what kind of curve-ball life throws your way 🙂

  8. Leona

    -the prostate is wheer the Gspot is in cis women, and made of similar tissue, and giving similar experiences when stimulated 🙂 So I’d say enjoy 🙂
    -there are probiotic pessaries like Intrafresh or Femina Flora. They install a healthy flora. Quite a few people use them from time to time and say they never have a y. infection 🙂
    -the neovagina reacts to estrogen like a vagina. So levels shold be high enough, above menopausal levels. Menopausal levels might even lead to some atrophy or dryness. So hormone levels well in the female range 😉
    It can also help with orgasmic abilities. Simply levels of an active female 😉
    BTW there are studies showing with the presence of estrogen a neovagina can turn into a mucosa over time 🙂

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