TACKLING THE PROBLEM OF VAGINITIS
A 30-year-old woman came to my clinic complaining
of an offensive discharge from the vagina. She could get foul smell
all the time and was embarrassed that someone else may also get it.
There was also a lot of itching and she had a constant desire to
itch the genital region.
This was not the first time she had this discharge. It had been on
and off problem since a few years. I asked her what was the colour
and odor of the discharge and she described it as being grayish white
in colour and having a peculiar fishy smell.
This woman was suffering from a case of Bacterial Vaginitis, which
required the correct treatment to eradicate.
WHAT IS VAGINITIS?
Vaginitis is the medical term used for inflammation
of the vaginal tissues. This is a very common problem experienced
by women during some time in their life. It is also seen during pregnancy
in some women where it can be a real problem.
There are different types of vaginitis depending on the cause of
the inflammation. Here I have described the most common types.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis
2. Yeast or Fungal Infections
4. Atrophic Vaginitis
Normally in the vaginal area of a woman there are
two types of bacteria always present, good bacteria and bad bacteria.
The good bacteria outnumber the bad bacteria and therefore we do
not suffer from infections all the time. However when this balance
is disturbed and the bad bacteria multiply more than the good bacteria
then the problem of bacterial vaginitis takes place.
This problem can spread through sexual contact but can also occur
in people who are not sexually active. Women who use intra-uterine
contraceptive devices (like copper T) are more susceptible to these
Signs and Symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis
1. The woman will complaint of a offensive discharge
which has a peculiar fish like smell.
2. Vaginal irritation and constant desire to itch the genitals.
3. Sometimes there may be pain during intercourse.
4. The colour of the discharge is mostly whitish gray.
5. There may be a burning sensation especially while passing urine.
6. Sometimes there may even be slight bleeding from the vagina.
YEAST OR FUNGAL INFECTIONS
These are one of the commonest types of infections
of the genital region. These kinds of infections occur when there
is some external or internal factor, which affects the environment
of the vagina. This disturbance in the vaginal environment can cause
an overgrowth of a microscopic organism known as Yeast or Candida
albicans. Again this type of infection is not considered to be sexually
transmitted. Most women suffer from this infection atleast once during
their lifetime. This fungus can also cause problems in other moist
areas of your body like mouth, skin folds, nails etc…
Factors that increase the risk of getting a fungal
infection of the vaginal area are:
1. Taking certain medications like antibiotics or steroids, which
suppress the immunity.
2. If you are diabetic and your sugar levels are not under controlled.
3. Changes in your hormone levels like during pregnancy or menopause.
4. If you are on birth control pills.
5. Using vaginal contraceptives can increase your susceptibility
to vaginal infections.
6. Wearing tight fitting clothing.
7. Keeping the area damp and unhygienic.
Signs and Symptoms of Yeast infections
1. Here intense, uncontrollable itching is the
2. The discharge is normally thick and white in colour.
3. It is curdy in consistency and is sometimes described like cottage
cheese (like soft paneer).
4. There may or may not be pain during intercourse and urination.
5. A foul smell may be there with fungal infections.
This is a sexually transmitted disease caused by
a microscopic organism known as Trichomonas vaginalis. This infection
spreads from one partner to the other who does not have it. It also
causes infection in the urinary tract of men however there are many
who have no symptoms and therefore do not know that they are carrying
Signs and Symptoms of Trichomoniasis
The symptoms of this infection are similar to the
ones written above. The only difference is that the discharge is
usually greenish yellow and frothy in consistency.
In this type of vaginits the symptoms are not caused
by any infection but by the changes in the oestrogen levels especially
during menopause. Due to this change in hormone levels the vaginal
tissues become thinner and drier which sometimes leads to the symptoms
of vaginitis. There may be a burning, itching sensation due to the
Sometimes vaginal sprays, detergents, soaps, contraceptive
products etc…. can cause an allergic reaction and this irritates
the delicate skin causing inflammation. This gives rise to symptoms
of vaginitis like burning, itching and pain.
HOW CAN VAGINITIS BE PREVENTED?
Here are a few tips on how you can prevent vaginitis
1. Always use a condom while having sexual intercourse
if you are unsure of the person. This is the best way to prevent
sexually transmitted diseases especially HIV.
2. Wash the soap of completely from that area during
a bath to prevent irritation and keep the area very clean and dry.
3. Always use toilet paper after going to the toilet
in order to keep the area dry. However make sure you wipe from front
to back and not the other way round.
4. Only wear cotton underwear. Avoid synthetic
undergarments as yeast thrive in moist areas.
5. Avoid using bubble baths, douches or other vaginal
contraceptives if you are prone to these infections.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR VAGINITIS?
The treatment for vaginitis depends what is causing
the problem. Most Gynaecologists will prescribe some creams to apply
and tablets to consume orally or insert into the vagina. Though effective
these treatments do not help to cure or prevent these infections
from occurring again. Also many of these just help to suppress the
Sometimes both the partners should be treated otherwise the vicious
cycle of one infecting the other will continue.
In Homoeopathy we treat the female according to her set of symptoms
and signs. We also take into account the cause and her constitution.
The colour, consistency, odour of the discharge are very important
guiding symptoms. Here are a few remedies used to tackle the problem
of vaginitis when the symptoms correspond.
Here the discharge is acrid, so profuse that the
woman feels as if it will run down to the feet. The discharge is
transparent in colour, ropy in consistency. There is lot of burning
in the genital area due to the corrosive nature of the discharge.
The affected areas are inflamed and so painful that even walking
becomes difficult. The patient will complaint of a constant desire
to itch the area.
All these symptoms are worse during the daytime and after her period.
The only thing that gives relief is washing the genital area with
Alumina 1M, should be thought of when these symptoms
When the discharge appears like the white portion
of an egg think of this remedy. It is pasty in consistency and feels
hot. She says that there is a sensation as if warm water was flowing.
There is severe itching of the vulva, which causes a lot of discomfort.
In Borax the symptoms normally come on or are worse either before
or after the period. The desire for sexual intercourse is greatly
Borax is also an excellent remedy in cases of membranous dysmenorrhoea.
Borax 200, 5 pills 4 times a day should be given
in order to cure the infection.
Graphites is one of the most effective remedies
in treating cases of Vaginitis. Here the discharge is pale, white,
thin in nature. It is excoriating and acrid. The discharge comes
in gushes day and night. All these symptoms are aggravated either
before of after the menses. The patient also complains of backache
along with this discharge.
Graphites is also useful in cases of skin problems like eczema of
the vulva and herpetic eruptions in this area.
Give Graphites 200, 5 pills 4 times a day till
complete healing takes place.
This is an excellent remedy in cases of problems
relating to the female genital tract. There is a peculiar sensation
that the Sepia patient experiences, she feels as if all the pelvic
organs will escape through the vulva. This bearing down sensation
is so apparent that she has to cross her legs and sits in order to
In Sepia the discharge is greenish yellow in colour and therefore
effective in cases of Trichomoniasis. There is a lot of soreness,
redness of the labia and the surrounding areas. The patient has no
desire for intercourse, which is painful.
Sepia should also be thought of in cases of white discharge in young
girls. Here the discharge is whitish, lumpy curd like in nature.
According to the case the potency and dosage of
Sepia should be determined.
Please do not self-medicate or try over the counter
creams and tablets in cases of Vaginitis. Consult your physician
or Homoeopath if you are suffering from this problem.