I Temporarily Lost Feeing In My Clit (It’s A Problem More Common Than You Think)

Jan Phoenix

My mother has type two diabetes, and on occasion she’s mentioned that she doesn’t have the best feeling down there. I always brushed it off — mostly because I couldn’t relate to it, partly because I didn’t want to think about my mom in that way. For as long as I can remember, my pussy has been incredibly sensitive. Whenever I heard that many women take a long time to orgasm, I didn’t understand — once I became comfortable with my body, just touching my clit could make me cum in under a minute. I was constantly horny and easily turned on — and I didn’t think that would ever change.

Until, one day, it did.

It started with an itch. Like, a really bad one. I kept scratching — it actually felt kind of good — and chalked it up to a yeast infection. I bought kombucha and probiotics and figured it would go away on its own…but after about a month and some over-the-counter fluconazole, an antifungal medication, my vagina had gone from itchy to numb…So numb that I barely had any feeling in my clit at all.
I started to freak the fuck out.

This isn’t the first time I had an issue down there. When I was on SSRIs briefly to help treat Premenstrual Disorder, I lost feeling in my vagina for a couple weeks. Having sex was an awful experience because I barely felt anything — I couldn’t even tell when my partner came inside me. I ended up stopping cold turkey and riding out the side effects. I never wanted to feel that way again; it was like my body wasn’t a part of me.
But that was years ago, and here I was again — putting an ice cube down my panties to see if I felt anything (I didn’t, really). I was devastated. I had no idea what was going on. Did I pinch a nerve from scratching too much? Was it all in my head? I Googled extensively, hardly finding anything on the internet about numb clits.

I tried massaging it. I tried exercising intensely. I tried leaving it alone. I went to the doctor, and they told me it could be anxiety — which only added to my stress. How could I stop worrying about something that was heavily weighing on me? I identified closely as a sexual person. Who was I without being able to enjoy an orgasm? What if things never improved?

When my partner and I were intimate, things turned to slow motion — and not the good kind. I couldn’t get into sex if my body wouldn’t respond accordingly. Before, it would barely take anything to make me aroused. I wanted it all the time. Now, getting wet took a lot longer, and having an orgasm was almost impossible and not nearly as enjoyable.

I tried to initiate sex anyway, because I didn’t know how long this was going to last and I feared my partner would leave me if it continued long term. He later told me that he wasn’t dating me for sex, and it was okay if I didn’t want it as much as usual. Even though that should go without saying, it was really nice to hear. But it still didn’t change the fact that I didn’t feel like myself anymore.

I sank into a bad depression, unable to focus on anything else.

Depression led to eating my feelings — which was a lot of gluten free doughnuts. I started to develop a giant knot in my shoulder from being so stressed out.

Then the tingling started in my fingers and toes. I ignored it and drank half a bottle of wine.

When I woke up the next morning, my whole body had pins and needles. It was like when you fall asleep on your arm — but it didn’t go away when I got up.

I started crying hysterically and called my mom. What was happening? Did I pinch a nerve in my back? Was that why my clit had lost feeling? Or was it something else? I remembered my mother talking about numbness in her limbs and struggling with sensation below because of diabetes. I wanted to know if it was happening to me. I wanted to know what I could do to stop it.

I haven’t always had the best connection with my mother. But lately we’d had a much more adult relationship without either of us having hormonal mood swings. She told me calmly that she struggled with tingling and numbness a lot, and had gotten to the point where she just learned to accept it. She said that doctors ran countless tests on her and she still didn’t know exactly what was wrong. She didn’t think anyone wanted to hear her complain about it.

When we got off the phone, I looked up search results for losing sensation due to diabetes and found a forum where a woman described how she regained feeling below by changing her diet. I took this as hope that I could reverse my symptoms. I usually lived a really healthy lifestyle (plant based, no sugar, no alcohol, no processed foods), but I had been going through a tough time previous to these symptoms and had been falling back into old habits. I decided that I couldn’t afford to slack anymore, and if I was going to feel like myself again I had to step it up.

I threw away the rest of the doughnuts, and after about a week of cutting out sugar my numbness and tingling started to disappear. How do I know it wasn’t a coincidence? Well, I juiced half a watermelon in the hopes of eating “good sugar” and within an hour or two it felt like tiny fire ants were biting my fingertips. This happened a number of times as I worked through trial and error. I had always believed that fruit couldn’t hurt my body like processed sugar did — but I was starting to realize that I needed to become more educated in what I could eat. I researched blood sugar and what foods were low on the glycemic index. While I used to eat a ton of processed sugar growing up and never had pins and needles or loss of sensation, I’d always had intense mood swings and watched my mother struggle with them as well.

Months later and some dietary changes, the fire ants in my fingers and toes are gone. The feeling in my clit has slowly re-appeared — although it’s not completely back to normal. The stress in my shoulders and depression has lifted. But as much as I remember how horrible the experience was, avoiding bad habits is still difficult, and I continue to get mood swings or tingling in my toes when I don’t eat as well as I should. I watch my mom struggle with her diet too and wish that there was more support for emotional eating instead of junk food ads on TV — although she’s been taking a cue from me and trying to eat better.

Some people say that type two diabetes is avoidable if you take care of yourself properly — and some say that it doesn’t matter because genetics win in the end. For me, I like to believe that taking action now will have a say in how things play out — especially because I was able to revert my symptoms already. For someone like my mom who grew up where processed foods weren’t seen as bad for you, I know she feels overwhelmed by what to eat and discouraged that things will ever get better. But I hope they will — because I’m no longer able to brush it off when she tells me she’s trying some sort of supplement to regain feeling down there. Just like me, my mother is a sexual person as well — and even though I don’t like to think of her in that way, she’s a reminder of a very real future I could have. TC mark

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Image Credit: Jan Phoenix

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