Dr B. S. Suvarna
B.A, D.I.Hom[Lond.], M.I.H, PhD,PGDPC(Psychotherapy & Counselling, USA)
MAMTHA HOMOEO CLINIC
Jeevan Shanthi, Near AIT Girls Hostel, Bypass Road, Kalyan Nagar, CHIKMAGALUR 577102
Karnataka State, INDIA
Woman’s body undergoes regular changes during the reproductive years, because of the monthly variations in hormone levels. Shortly after a period, as the ovaries are preparing to release an egg (ovulation), they secrete the hormone oestrogen which begins to thicken the lining of the uterus (womb) in readiness for a pregnancy. Should the egg become fertilized the ovaries secrete the hormone progesterone, which continues to prepare the uterus to receive the fertilized egg. Hormone levels decrease if the egg is shed along with the lining of the uterus during the next monthly period. Period problems and premenstrual syndrome are common reasons for consulting a doctor. These are areas where homoeopathy is often useful, but if you are not helped by the medicines that are suggested, you may need to seek a constitutional prescription.
Sexual Behavior : Despite the recent acceptance of a much more open approach to sexuality , many women do not find it easy to talk about sexual problems. Some researchers believe that as many as 50 % of marriages are troubled by sexual problems at some stage , overcoming such problems may be easier if you understand what is generally considered to be normal sexual behavior. This can be divided into four phases
- Interest or desire : It is normal to have an interest in sex, to seek sexual contact and to experience sexual thoughts and fantasies .
- Arousal or excitement : In this phase there is an increased supply of blood to the genital organs and the vagina balloons and becomes lubricated , thoughts and feelings becomes focused on the sexual experience
- Orgasm : The walls of the vagina contract rhythmically and there is an intense sexual experience that spreads from the clitoris throughout the body .
- Resolution : The physical changes gradually reverse , there are many women whose sexual life and experience differs from the so called normal pattern just described. If you and your partner are content with your sex life you should not worry if it appears to differ from that of other people .
Vaginal Discharge : During the reproductive years the cervix and the walls of the vagina secrete mucus which is then discharged from the vagina . The amount of discharge and its nature varies not only from woman to woman but also at different phases of the menstrual cycle. Most women notice an increased discharge after sexual arousal, even if sexual intercourse has not taken place and during pregnancy. The oral contraceptive pill can also change the amount of discharge. Any abnormal change in your discharge should always be discussed with your doctor as 80% of cases are the result of an infection; other causes include erosions or polyps of the cervix, incomplete miscarriages or retained placenta and forgotten tampons. All these causes require conventional medical treatment, but where no obvious physical cause is found, homoeopathic treatment can be very helpful.
Small amount of vaginal discharge is a normal part of the physiological response of a woman to hormonal changes and is usually of a clear mucus colour, however, excessive or unpleasant vaginal discharge can be a sign of the presence of thrush – a bacterial infection or one of a number of sexually transmitted diseases. Absence of vaginal discharge which may occur during stress or after the menopause may give rise to painful intercourse and require specific treatment.
Causes: Most causes of vaginal discharge are as a result of infection; the commonest is thrush, this is caused by the fungus Candida albicans which itself is a normal constituent of both the large bowel and the vagina. Normally it gives rise to no symptoms, but under specific conditions it will cause a thick creamy white discharge which may cause staining on the underwear. Thrush occurs for a number of reasons, it may be triggered by hormonal changes (the uses of an oral contraceptive, pregnancy) poor diet ( high carbohydrates, sugar and white flour intake ) as well as poor hygiene. Thrush is also caused by antibiotics and steroid medication and can be transmitted during sexual intercourse. Vaginal deodorants and diabetes mellitus will also predispose to the development of thrush.
Other causes of vaginal discharge are most commonly related to sexually transmitted diseases such as Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis and Chlamydia. The discharge is of a different nature –yellow, watery –and is often offensive. Another cause is the use of a tampon which has been forgotten, the use of vaginal pads that are not changed frequently enough and sensitivity to perfumed vaginal deodorants.
Vaginal discharge (yellow, white, clear, milky) together with itchiness and soreness. Your partner may have similar symptoms of itchiness of the penis.
Difficulty with or pain during intercourse is not unusual and the infection may spread to the vulva and skin folds, pain on passing urine may accompany the vaginal infection and suggest cystitis and bladder infection.
Many women have a clear non-irritating vaginal discharge, which is quite normal, however if the discharge becomes heavy or blood stained or if it causes burning or irritation, a doctor should always be consulted to determine the cause. As most irritating discharges are sexually transmitted both you and your partner must be treated, conventional treatment such as antibiotics and anti fungus is often necessary to rid the body of the causative organism. The most common vaginal discharges are –
1. Thrush: which is caused by a yeast called Candida albicans. The symptoms are vaginal irritation, redness and swelling of the vulva and vagina, a cottage cheese – like discharge and often a burning sensation when passing urine.
2. Trichomonal infection: (T.V infection) produces a frothy, smelly discharge with pain, irritation and soreness in the genital area and around the top of the thighs. Intercourse becomes painful and a burning sensation occurs when passing urine.
Prevention and self help :
1. Avoid tight fitting clothes and synthetic underwear. Tight jeans and wearing tights rather than stockings can all increase the dampness and temperature that will encourage thrush to grown in the vagina.
2. Maintain good personal hygiene, ensuring you use toilet paper from front to back to ensure you do not infect your self by transferring matter from the anus to the vagina. Avoid constipation and take regular baths ensuring you dry your self carefully.
3. Review your diet and reduce all sugar containing foods , high fat foods and reduce your intake of carbohydrates, avoid eating mushrooms and any other yeast containing foods.
Eat plenty of fresh fruits and salads and supplement your diet with vitamin B complex. Lacto bacillus acidophilus is a normal ingredient of the gut that keeps the candida under control. Take one tablet twice a day while you have the thrush infection and for at least 2 weeks after that, it is also helpful to eat natural live yoghurt which helps to restore the intestinal flora with beneficial bacteria.
Take short baths adding either a tablespoon of salt or wine vinegar to the water.
Review your choice of contraceptive as the pill affects vaginal secretions and sugar levels making it easier for the fungus to grow. Sequential contraceptive pills are less prone to causing thrush than combined pills. Ask your partner if he has any symptoms as you may be re-infecting one another. He may need treatment as well as you if the infection is persistent and difficult to shake off. You can treat your self by dabbing a pad of cotton wool soaked in a weak solution of wine vinegar or lemon juice or salt water directly on the external genitalia. A gynecological examination is normally undertaken and vaginal swabs will reveal the cause of the infection. This is often the result of prolonged use of antibiotics or inadequate diet , other causes of vaginal discharge will be revealed following examination of the vaginal swab and specific treatment will be prescribed . It is important that these infections are treated early and properly.
Symptoms and Homoeopathic Medicines
Alumina — Very profuse , acrid , transparent or yellow discharge occurs mainly during the day time .
Arsenicum album – Acrid , corrosive and yellow discharge occurs mainly in the elderly and those with chronic diseases .
Borax – Clear , copious , hot discharge that is acrid , it causes swelling of the labia and is at its worst in mid-cycle.
Calcarea carbonica – Profuse , milky , itchy , burning discharge , discharge present in young girls before puberty , discharge occurs before the period in adults .
Hydrastis – Discharge that is tenacious and thick , weakness and constipation is also present
Graphites – Profuse ,thin , white mucous discharge which comes in gushes with associated back and lower abdominal pain , discharge is more profuse in the morning on rising , constantly cold .
Kreosotum – Profuse watery , acrid , irritating and burning discharge which causes soreness smarting and itching of the vulva , discharge is worse before a period .
Kali bichromicum—Yellow , stringy discharge is present in over weight light –haired women .
Lilium tigrinum – Watery , yellow brown acrid discharge is present , feelings of depression and a bearing –down sensation in the pelvis .
Mercurious solubilis – Acrid, burning , greenish-yellow discharge that causes smarting , burning and swelling of the vulva, symptoms are worse at night .
Pulsatilla –Acrid , burning , creamy discharge accompanied by back pain .
Sepia – Yellow –green offensive discharge , discharge is worse before a period and there is a bearing –down sensation in the pelvis .
Stannum metalicum – Profuse bland discharge of white mucous accompanied by great weariness and backache.