Leucorrhoea / White Vaginal Discharge
Definition and symptoms
Vaginal glands normally secrete a certain amount of mucus like fluid that moistens the vaginal membranes, which is often increased at the time of ovulation (between two menstrual periods), and also stimulated by sexual excitement, whether or not coitus takes place.
Excessive discharge, however, may indicate an abnormal condition.
White to yellow viscid discharge, which sometimes can be sticky and foul smelling from the vagina or uterine cavity is called as Leucorrhoea. It may be associated with severe to moderate itching, associated with other issues like sleep problems, irritation, anger, burning in urination (burningmicturition), general body weakness, leg pain, backache, pain and cramps in the calf muscles, mood swings, vaginismus, burning and severe irritation of the vagina after and during sexual intercourse leading the woman to refrain from intercourse and other sexual activity etc. It can also be a result due to infections occurring from not keeping the genitals clean.
A thinner discharge, such as one that seems to be clear mucus, usually indicates that the disorder could be chronic, which becomes clear in a proper case evaluation by the physician.
In Ayurveda, Leucorrhoea is known as ShvetaPradar, where Shveta means ‘white’, and Pradar means ‘discharge’
Causes according to modern medicine:
Trichomoniasis, candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis are some of the major reasons.
The discharge in trichomoniasis is usually yellowish, with foul odour, and pruritic. Candidiasis can be distinguished by a thin to thick white discharge associated with irritation and itching. Women with bacterial vaginosis often complain of a grey to yellow discharge with an offensive, foul smelling- fishy odour.
Other causes include infection of the cervix during childbirth, irritating the mucous glands of the cervix, causing them to secrete excessive mucus. Sexually transmitted diseases are also common causes of leucorrhoea. Other bacterial and fungal infections can cause leucorrhoea, which can occur through infections of the genital tract originating from foreign bodies like tampons/ sanitary pads, diaphragms etc. that are left in the vagina too long.
Leucorrhoea sometimes can be an early indication of cervical cancer, or of benign conditions, such as polyps and fibroids. It may also be caused by pelvic congestion associated with heart disease, by malnutrition, or by inflammation of the fallopian tubes as a result of tuberculosis.
Why Leucorrhea should be treated immediately?
Complications of Leucorrhoea if not treated for a long time can be hazardous.
- Uterus, vaginal and the entire gynaecological system become weak, infectious and hence there can be problems to conceive.
- Chances for a miscarriage may increase and it can have an effect on the new born child’s health.
- New born can be immuno -compromised.
- Male partner can have repeated infections on and within their genital parts and this can reduce their sexual power.
- Patient’s immunity is compromised and her body becomes ground for multiple diseases.
- Skin can become dull, with decrease in overall energy, less enthusiasm in sexual intercourse and overall feeling of weakness could be there all the time. Leading to low confidence, irritation, anger and mood swings.
- Gynaecologists may advice to remove the uterus due to repeated infection, excessive bleeding etc. leading to further hormonal complications and inviting other metabolic disorders such as joint pains, weight gain etc.
Causes of Leucorrhoea according to Ayurveda:
Factors that are responsible for leucorrhoea or which aggravate the condition are:
- Excessive stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Sleeping during day time
- Over intake of alcohol/tea/caffeine/fizzy drinks and other stimulants
- Increased intake of sour/salty/spicy taste
- Excessive intake of oily/ sweet/cold or refrigerated foods/ fermented food like breads/ yogurt and other bakery food
- Over intake of the south Indian dishes like idli/dosa
- Overindulgence of meat and sea food
- Excessive consumption of milk, butter, cheese and other milk products
- Following an improper diet and lifestyle during menstrual cycles
- Improper vaginal hygiene leading to bacterial infection etc.
Conditions which can also be directly responsible for Leucorrhoea or which aggravates this condition include: repeated abortions, D& C procedures (dilatation and curettage of the cervix and uterus), psychological conditions such as depression, feeling low, anger, and anxiety. Stopping natural urges of urination, excretion, flatulence, sleep, hunger, thirst etc.
Reason According to Ayurvedic principles:
Ayurvedic principles clearly state that the entire gynaecological system is mainly made of blood, plasma, fat and muscle tissues. All the above reasons (a mix of some of them, or even a single reason in excess) can lead to major toxicity in the plasma and blood tissues, which then spread toxicity to the muscle and fat (fat also known as adipose tissue). Thus leading to hyper-toxicity in the entire gynaecological system, which leads to leucorrheoa and even other major disorders like ovarian cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOD), uterine fibroids, adenomyoma, endometriosis, dysmenorrhoea, cervical malignancy, repeated miscarriages etc.
Ayurveda Body Cure’s guidelines to treat leucorrhoea:
Ayurveda suggests exactly pinning point the reasons for any disorder and stopping them slowly or immediately. It also suggests dietary and lifestyle recommendations which restrict the generation of toxic plasma, blood, fat and muscle tissues in the body.
Yoga postures such as sun salutations, triangle pose, cat camel pose etc. and breathing techniques such as kapalbhanti – fast bellowing of the stomach etc. are very helpful if done on a daily basis for 20 -30 minutes altogether.
Depending on your individual body constitution, severity of symptoms, climatic conditions, diet and lifestyle habits, and other health issues a permutation and combination of Aloe vera-kumari, Sarica ashoka-Ashoka, -Boveria diffusa-Punarnava, Trebualis teristata-gokhur, Tinospora cordifolio-Guduchi, Curcuma longa-Haridra, sariva-Hemidusmus indicus, Asparagus racemocea-Shatavari, manjishtha-Rubia cordifolia etc is helpful to detoxify the blood and gynaecological system , also helping at the same time to produce optimum body tissues . Thus, steadily diminishing all the symptoms before and during periods.
Rejuvenating herbs are then prescribed to tone the reproductive system to make it as healthy as it can be.
A combination of the above Ayurvedic herbal remedies is prescribed by the Ayurvedic physician depending on your body constitution, climatic conditions and level of pathology in your body.
However if leucorrhoea has been there for several years and severe, or associated with other gynaecological disorders like uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts etc. your body might need a complete physical detoxification called as Panchakarma in Ayurveda. Here Medicated purgation and Medicated herbal enemas would be the preferable choice of the Ayurvedic physician, as it is natural and easy for the body to detoxify the gynaecological system from the lower channels. This is followed by a dose of herbal remedies from 3-6 months.
Ayurvedic Body treatments:
Shirodhara (third eye theraphy), Abhyanga(full body massage), Mardanadeep tissue massage)Pindsweda(hot poultice massage), Shiroabhyanga(head massage), etc. are very effective if taken in a series of 7 -21 therapies continuously.