What is a vaginal discharge?
Normal vaginal discharge also known as leucorrhoea is thin, small in quantity, white/ transparent/ translucent, odourless (or occasional slight odour) discharge which is nothing but secretions of the genital organs of a female which keeps the vaginal area clean, moist and fights infection.
Normal vaginal discharge may vary through the menstrual cycle of the female but any change in colour (greenish, greyish, pus-like, yellowish), odour (unpleasant), texture, with itching, redness, burning of the vagina, blood-tinged discharge is not normal vaginal discharge and on appearance should be treated.
Common causes of vaginal discharge are:
Physiological (leucorrhoea)- normal vaginal discharge
Prepubertal – postnatal – premenarchal
Reproductive life – mid cycle – premenstrual
2. Infections (sexually transmitted) -
Prepubertal– n. Gonorrhoeae, c. Trachomatis, trichomonas vaginalis, hsv, condyloma acuminata.
Reproductive life– trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis, n. Gonorrhoeae, c. Trachomatis, hsv, condyloma acuminata, genital ulcers.
3. Non sexually transmitted infections -
Prepubertal- entrobius vermicularis, shigellosis, mixed enteric organisms, streptococcal and staphylococcus, candidiasis.
Reproductive life– candidiasis, pid, tubo-ovarian abscess, septic abortion, puerperal sepsis.
4. Postoperative -
Reproductive life– cryotherapy, uterine artery embolism.
Postmenopausal- post hysterectomy vault sepsis.
5. Malignancy of the genital tract -
Prepubertal- vaginal adenosis
Reproductive life– cervical cancer
Postmenopausal- cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, vaginal cancer, vulval cancer, fallopian tube cancer.
6. Atrophic vaginitis -
Reproductive life– following castration/ premature ovarian failure, post partum atrophic vaginitis due to estrogen deficiency secondary to prolactin excess.
Postmenopausal- estrogen deficiency
7. Pyometra (pus accumulation in the uterus) -
Reproductive life– endometritis, cervical stenosis, endometrial tuberculosis.
Postmenopausal– senile endometritis, endometrial or cervical cancer
8. Miscellaneous -
Prepubertal- ectopic ureter, fistula, meningocele.
Reproductive life– fibroid polyp, vulval dystrophy, post-radiation
Postmenopausal- vulval dystrophy, post radiation
9. Foreign body, allergy, chemical irritants may also cause vaginal discharge.
Homoeopathic treatment of vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge profuse watery, sometimes yellowish with acridity; excoriating the parts which come in contact with the discharge
The vaginal discharge causes soreness and smarting and red spots and itching on the vulva, always with great debility; leucorrhoea preceding menses.
It is so acrid that it causes the pudenda and thighs to swell and itch.
Nitric acid -
Corrosive, greenish, foetid, obstinate leucorrhoea; the presence of fig warts and condylomata
Periodical, thin watery leucorrhoea with very sensitive organs. Albuminous leucorrhoea in the daytime. Sensitiveness goes vagina would cause increased sexual desire in a woman.
Acrid, corrosive leucorrhoea accompanied by right ovarian inflammation.
Clear, copious and albuminous leucorrhoea having an unnatural heat to it. Leucorrhoea midway between menses with great nervousness, white as starch, perfectly bland without pain.
Profuse, very thin, white mucus, occurs in gushes, leucorrhoea associated with pains in the lower abdomen and weakness of back in pale young girls. Leucorrhoea more profuse in the morning when rising.
Leucorrhoea transparent or of yellow mucus, very profuse and ropy, greatly exhausting, as it is very rich in albumen, occurs chiefly in the daytime.
Calcarea carbonica -
Leucorrhoea is profuse, milky, persistent or yellow and accompanied by itching and burning. It suits leucorrhoea in infants and young girls often recurring before puberty, leucorrhoea before menses or in recurring attacks between the menses.
Leucorrhoea in little girls which is very profuse and weakens the child very much.
Milky leucorrhoea which becomes watery, acrid and burning from being retained in the vagina. It is a mucous, thick, creamy, white leucorrhoea sometimes replacing menses, with chilliness, disposition to lie down and lowness of spirits.
Weeping is marked.
Leucorrhoea of yellowish-green colour, slightly offensive and often excoriating. It is milky, worse before menses with bearing down; there are pains in the abdomen and pruritus.
Excoriating, watery, yellowish or yellowish-brown leucorrhoea, which is profuse and is accompanied by bearing down in the pelvic region.
Tenacious, thick, ropy leucorrhoea with the erosion of the cervix, leucorrhoea which is profuse and debilitating
Yellow, ropy, stringy leucorrhoea.
Acrid excoriating leucorrhoea smarting and burning, swelling of external genital organs.
Purulent greenish-yellow leucorrhoea worse at night; heat
Brownish and offensive leucorrhoea
There are many more medicines of vaginal discharge in homoeopathy and medicine can be selected only after thorough case taking and individuality of the case.
Management of the case with vaginal discharge -
Leucorrhoea is a medical condition in women in which there is an excessive release of a yellow or white thick, sticky, and odorous substance from the vagina. This problem is experienced by almost all the women during their reproductive years. There are no such symptoms and signs of the problem than the release of a thick and sticky substance but at times it is accompanied by itching, burning sensation, redness, and irritation. There can be a number of reasons for this common problem such as weak immune system, unhygienic settings or infectious genital tract.
There are number of causes which varies from hormonal imbalance to food habits and lifestyle like consumption of alcohol and smoking, constipation, hormonal disturbances or imbalance caused by trauma or mental stress, improper vaginal sanitation or hygiene, consumption of excessive unhealthy, spicy and oily food, indigestion, excessive sexual activity, diabetes, anemia an inappropriate lifestyle and food habits during menstrual cycle.
There are a number of symptoms of Leucorrhoea and many of them are shared by other medical issues also. It is advisable to consult the doctor about the symptoms before consuming any medication or treatment for Leucorrhoea. Discharge of thick, yellow or whitish bad smelling substance from the vagina, pain during sexual activity, itching and redness in the vaginal area, burning urination, weakness and tiredness, pain in lower abdomen, thigh and back pain, urge to pass small amount of urine very frequently, indigestion and constipation are some of the symptoms of Leucorrhoea.
Ayurvedic treatment for Leucorrhoea -
In Ayurveda, Leucorrhoea is known as Shwetapadara. Ayurveda believes in three prominent elements, namely Vata, Pitta, and Kapha which are important in suitable balance for good health and well-being. Leucorrhoea is caused by an aggravated Kapha Dosha. There is a number of ayurvedic gynaecological therapies like yonidhavan, pichu, etc.
Take Away -
Leucorrhoea is a common problem experienced by almost all women. Though this problem is common, it can lead to serious health and medical issues if not treated properly and on time. There are a number of medications available in Ayurveda for the treatment of Leucorrhoea accompanied by some changes in food habits and lifestyle.
Vaginal discharge is a normal physiological phenomenon, in which the consistency of vaginal discharge varies throughout the cycle. Healthy vaginal discharge is clear or white in colour, with normal and non-offensive odour. Sometimes right before menstruation, your vaginal discharge may hold a brownish tinge.
The consistency of the discharge varies mostly on the hormonal changes in the body. When the levels of oestrogen are low, the cervical mucus that is liberated as discharge may be perceived as sticky and thick. When the oestrogen levels rise up, the discharge becomes wetter, more stretchy and clearer. Also, after ovulation, the consistency becomes thicker again.
When should you worry about the vaginal discharge?
Greenish, greyish or absurdly brownish in colour
When the discharge appears thicker than normal
When the discharge is more than normal
When it smells absurd like fishy or rotten meat like smell
White with cottage cheese-like discharge
When the discharge is associated with bloody discharge and burning sensation, rash or soreness.
Diseases caused by vaginal discharge
Yeast Infection: The vaginal discharge is cottage cheese-like and may be associated with itching of the vulva. This is also called as thrush. It can be treated easily with antifungal medications such as Fluconazole or Cotrimoxazole.
Trichomoniasis: This disease is asymptomatic in most cases and you may notice purulent discharge.
Menstruation is the monthly discharge of blood from the vagina, which lasts for about 5 to 6 days. It is the shedding of the inner lining of the uterus, when pregnancy does not occur after the release of egg from the ovary. Menstrual periods are generally often accompanied by painful cramps in the lower abdomen, heavy bleeding, weakness, water retention, irritability and malaise.
What is Menorrhagia?
Very heavy or prolonged periods are medically termed as menorrhagia. It is abnormally heavy bleeding if there is a requirement to change sanitary napkins or tampons several times within a very short span of time. Passing large blood clots, night time bleeding, bleeding for over 7 -8 days, are other symptoms that one might be suffering from menorrhagia.
Common Causes Behind It
Fibroids, cysts or polyps in the organs of the reproductive system, which includes the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
History of miscarriage or failed pregnancies.
Use of contraceptives
How can you treat heavy bleeding during menses?
Some non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may be prescribed to reduce the blood loss.
Certain hormonal therapies to regulate the hormonal imbalances and menstrual irregularities.
Increasing magnesium intake to balance out levels of oestrogen.
It is best to stick to natural remedies, as it generally does not create complications in other bodily functions.
If the bleeding cannot be controlled even after a change of diet and home remedies, you must visit the gynaecologist as soon as possible. Heavy bleeding is a serious problem, especially if accompanied by dizziness, fluctuations in the blood pressure, nausea and weight loss. Severe cramps and constant bleeding can hinder daily routine, therefore, the earlier you receive medical attention, the quicker you will get relief.
Pruritus Vulvae is the most common cause of vulvar soreness and abnormal discharge in adolescent girls. The growing years are a transition phase where most body parts are undergoing changes to reach the adult stage. While some changes would be obvious externally, there are a lot of internal changes, which would not be very apparent. And for growing girls, especially the changes that they see in their private parts are worrisome, sometimes unpleasant and uncomfortable. About 50% of them would not even discuss these with someone to avoid embarrassment.
Some amount of vaginal discharge is normal and contains bacteria, which are essential for normal genital health. It also provides lubrication and keeps the area clean. However, the amount, colour, and type of discharge can vary and is a good indication of any underlying abnormal condition. Most genital tract issues manifest with a change in the vaginal discharge along with irritation or soreness.
In adolescent girls, the most common problem is pruritus vulvae, which is itching of the vulva region. It is a variant of contact dermatitis caused by irritation. In the growing years, the vulva is thin and delicate with a neutral pH. This makes it easily irritable, unlike in mature women, who also have the protection of pubic hair, thick skin, and labial fat pads. This irritation leads to a condition called pruritus vulvae.
Causes of soreness:
These are primarily non-infectious and infectious (genital).
When the girl is complaining of soreness and itching, it is best to visit a doctor to get a thorough examination and manage accordingly.
Today most of the women are suffering from chronic diseases. In the extremely busy life of today, women try to solve their issues by taking medicines themselves which provides temporary relief but does not cure it.
Homeopathy is a branch of medicine which successfully treats and cures the complicated issues that women face with their health and body. Some of the major diseases of women that can be treated by homeopathic medicines are:
The condition is also known as candidiasis. It is caused due to the overgrowth of the fungus candida which is present in the vagina.
Irritation and itching in the vagina
Pain, burning sensation and soreness
Swelling and redness of the vulva
Vaginal discharge of white color
Homeopathic Medicines for Vaginal Yeast Infection-
Some of the common medicines for treating it are Graphites, Helonias, Lycopodium, Natrum Muriaticum, Pulsatilla, Sepia, Thuja, Staphysagria, Candida albicans.
It is the most common symptom of menopause. They are caused by the hormone fluctuations in women during menopause.
A sudden warm feeling on face, neck and chest areas
Irregular heartbeat or rapid heartbeat
Homeopathic Medicines for Hot Flashes-
Some of the common medicines are Amylium Nitrosum, Belladonna, Glononium, Folliculinum, Lachesis, Sepia and Sanguinaria Canadensis.
PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome-
It is a group of emotional and physical symptoms which is related to the menstrual cycle of a woman.
Changes in appetites which include craving for certain foods
Feeling irritated, tired, tensed and anxious
Swollen feet or hands
Swollen and tender breasts
Disinterest in sex
Wanting to be alone
Homeopathic Medicines For Treating PMS--
Some of the common homeopathic medicines for treating the condition are Lachesis, Folliculinum, Pulsatilla, Lac Caninum, Natrum Muraticum and Sepia.
All the homeopathic medicines that are mentioned above should always be taken after proper consultation with the homeopathic doctors.
Vagina is an elastic, muscular canal lined with nerves, and soft and flexible lining that provides lubrication and sensation. It connects the uterus and cervix to the outside of body, allowing for menstruation, intercourse and child birth. It is a delicate organ which is prone to injury and infections.
Complications related to urination, menstruation and sexual intercourse, all affect the vaginal health. Here are few questions associated with vaginal problems that are commonly experienced but rarely discussed.
What is vaginal discharge?
Vaginal discharge is a fluid made by glands in the vagina and cervix. It contains a mix of vaginal secretions and cervical mucus. Normally vaginal discharge starts after a girl gets her first menstrual period. It naturally keeps vagina clean and provides lubrication during sexual intercourse.
Is vaginal discharge normal?
Vaginal discharge is most often normal. The amount, odour and colour (clear to milky white-ish), can vary depending on the time of menstrual cycle. E.g. - More discharge during the time of ovulation. However, there are certain types of discharge that can indicate an infection and especially if associated with vaginal itching or burning one could be having infection or other condition. Abnormal discharge may be yellow or green, chunky in consistency or foul smelling.
What is vaginitis?
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms like discharge, itching and burning sensation.
What causes abnormal discharge?
Any change in vagina’s normal bacteria can affect the smell, colour and consistency of discharge. Few common causes that can upset normal balance are (A) Antibiotics and steroid uses. (B) Bacterial infections. (C) Yeast infections. (D) Sexually transmitted diseases. (E) Diabetes. (F) Douches and scented soaps. (G) Thinning and drying out of the vaginal walls during menopause, etc.
Normal vaginal discharge does not need to be prevented. Taking some precautions can sometimes prevent abnormal discharge.
Bacterial Vaginosis is a vaginal disorder, which is caused due to a bacterial infection, and is characterized by abnormal vaginal discharges and foul vaginal odor. This is a mild disorder, which persists for only a few days and it happens when the bad vaginal bacteria outnumber the good vaginal bacteria.
The common risk factors of Bacterial Vaginosis are:
The womb or the uterus is a muscular structure that is fixed in its place by the ligaments and the pelvic muscles. If these ligaments or muscles become weak or stretch, they no longer will be capable of holding the uterus, resulting in a prolapse. Uterine prolapse happens when the uterine slips or sags from its usual position into the birth canal or vagina. The main indications of uterine prolapse are recurrent bladder infections, constipation, a tug at the pelvic area, the cervix or uterus protruding out of the vagina, problems during sexual intercourse, increased discharge and vaginal bleeding.
What causes it?
1. Age is the most important reason for this condition to manifest itself.
2. A dip in the estrogen level as this hormone keeps the pelvic muscles strong.
3. Damage to the pelvic tissues and muscles due to pregnancy or during childbirth can also contribute to this condition.
4. A woman who has undergone multiple vaginal births is at an increased risk of this condition.
5. Any physical activity that exerts pressure on the pelvic muscles can also result in this disorder.
6. Chronic constipation and obesity, over time, can lead to this disorder.
How it can be treated?
1. Nonsurgical methods:
2. Surgical treatments:
However, such procedures should not be opted by women who plan on getting pregnant.