see also Thrush (Candidiasis)
Best insurance against infection is to wash vulva daily with plain water - no soap or bath salts - and avoid vaginal deodorants and medicated douches. Underwear should be changed daily, and sanitary towels and tampons every 6 hours at least; towels are preferable to tampons if periods are heavy after childbirth or if Cystitis is a recurrent problem. Infections occur when acid environment of vagina and its population of healthy bacteria are disturbed - by antibiotics, deodorants, irritants in contraceptive creams, etc.
Acute infection of Bartholin's gland, which lies at entrance to vagina and secretes fluid which lubricates vagina during intercourse. Symptoms are extreme tenderness, followed by discharge of pus or formation of Abscess; conventionally treated with antibiotics. If homeopathy remedies below do not improve matters, see your medical doctor.
Specific remedies to be taken every 2 hours for up to 10 doses
- Early stage of infection, entrance to vagina hot, red and swollen Belladonna 30c
- Discharge of pus, extreme tenderness Hepar sulph. 30c
- Symptoms accompanied by fever and chill, feeling hot and cold by turns Mercurius 30c
Dryness of Vagina
May be due to lack of foreplay before intercourse, to Menopause, or to hormonal imbalances. See Menopause for suitable homeopathic remedies. KY jelly, obtainable from chemist, is a safe lubricant as is Replens.
Intense itching or irritation of whole vulval area due to skin problems generally, hormonal imbalances (especially in elderly women), Anxiety about Intercourse (especially in very young women), use of tampons, irritants in spermicidal creams, vaginal deodorants, talcum powder, traces of detergent in underwear, etc. Other contributory factors may be a lack of B vitamins, especially B12, poor hygiene, excessive exercise or exertion, and spending too much time sitting down.
Condition is not uncommon in Diabetes, and can be an after effect of rape. If slightly thickened, whitish patches of skin (Leucoplakia) develop in itchy areas, see your medical doctor; there is a very small risk of their becoming malignant (see cancer of the vulva - Cancer). Where orthodox treatment relies on steroid creams, homeopathic medicine treats pruritis vulvae constitutionally; however, the specific remedies and self-help measures given below should be tried first.
Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 14 days for Dryness of Vagina or Pruritis Vulvae
- Vulva itches, crotch very sweaty and smelly, matters made worse by heat and washing Sulphur 6c
- Increased desire for sex, creeping sensation in vulva which wears off during daytime naps but gets worse at night or when moving around Caladium 6c
- Labia visibly swollen, local veins distended Carbo veg. 6c
- Localized itching, skin very red, itching relieved by heat Rhus tox. 6c
- Itching aggravated by suppressed desire for sex or by frequent sex Conium 6c
- Itchiness worse immediately before and after period, general sweatiness and chilliness, especially if woman is overweight Calcarea 6c
- Itchiness soothed by hot baths and by moving around out of doors, most uncomfortable first thing in morning Radium brom. 6c
Self-help: Try not to scratch. Apply Calendula and Urtica ointment to vulva 4 times a day, or bathe vulva with Thuja solution (10 drops of mother tincture to 0.25 l [½ pint] boiled cooled water). For other local measures, see Pruritis Ani. To reduce friction during intercourse, lubricate vagina with KY Jelly (obtainable from chemist).
Condition in which exit from Bartholin's gland (see above) becomes blocked, resulting in swelling and tenderness at entrance to vagina. If the homeopathic remedy below produces no improvement, see your medical doctor; if surgical removal of gland is recommended, constitutional homeopathic treatment should be sought after the operation.
Specific remedy to be taken 4 times daily for up to 3 weeks for Bartholin's Cyst
Vaginal infection caused by single-celled Trichomonas organism; symptoms are similar to those of thrush (see above) but vaginal discharge smells unpleasant and is usually copious and greenish. Conventionally treated with drugs such as Metronicazole. For homeopathic remedies and self-help measures, see unusual discharge (below).
Vagina and cervix are naturally wetter and more slippery around time of ovulation; at other times mucus secreted by walls of cervix is stickier and slightly cloudy. If vaginal discharge is due to thrush (see above), it is thick, curdy, causes itching or intense soreness, but does not smell unpleasant; vaginal deodorants, medicated douches, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and Diabetes can produce similar symptoms. Trichomonas infection (see above) causes quite heavy greenish-yellow discharge which is irritant and smells unpleasant; if Lower Abdominal Pain is present as well, this type of discharge suggests Pelvic Infection. Heavy, greyish discharge with an offensive smell to it suggests a bacterial infection called Gardnerella.
Organisms responsible for genital infections flourish in damp, airless conditions, and are often transmitted by sexual intercourse (see Sexually Transmitted Diseases), but self-infection is also common, especially if hygiene is poor (leaving tampons in too long, allowing caps to get dirty, inserting barrier devices or checking IUD threads with dirty fingers). Conventional medicine treats such infections with antifungal drugs or antibiotics, as appropriate.
If you suspect you have an infection, select a suitable homeopathic remedy from the list which follows, take it for up to 5 days, and at the same time implement the self-help measures described below; if discharge does not return to normal, see your homeopath or medical doctor.
Specific remedies to be taken 6 times daily for up to 5 days for Trichomoniasis or Unusual Discharge
- Frequent, copious, straw-coloured discharge which causes vulva to itch and smart and stiffens underwear, itchiness relieved by washing in cold water, discharge worse before and after period Alumina 30c
- Discharge transparent like egg white and highly irritant, scalded feeling on inside of thighs Borax 30c
- Itchy, milky discharge which smells like rye bread, preceded by flushed face and pains in small of back, great weakness Kreosotum 30c
- Watery, cloudy, discharge which causes smarting and soreness, worse before and after periods and when lying down Pulsatilla 30c
- Yellowish, smarting discharge, itchy vulva, sharp stinging sensation in uterus, walking adds to discomfort, abdomen distended, worse during day Sepia 30c
- Yellowish, burning discharge Carbo an. 30c
- Milky discharge which makes vulva itch, worse after passing urine and before periods Calcarea 30c
- Greenish discharge which smarts and stings, suspected Trichomonas infection Bovista 30c
- Stinging discharge with foul smell, containing some solid matter, feeling chilly and sweaty by turns, Trichomonas infection suspected Mercurius 30c
- Stringy mucus which is greenish or pinkish and more copious after period, Trichomonas infection suspected Nitric ac. 30c
- Corrosive, greenish discharge, especially before period, Trichomonas infection suspected Carbo veg. 30c
- White or yellowish discharge which burns and stings, cramping pains in abdomen or pinching sensation around navel, pain and discharge worse in week before period Sulphur 30c
Self-help: Avoid using fabric conditioners. Scrub the crotch of knickers well with unsalted detergent before a wash. Sleep without knickers, wear loose clothing. Use lubrication during sex. Avoid douches (except as below), contraceptive gels, foams, sprays, deodorant, spermicides. Have a sitz bath in slightly salty water with half a cup of vinegar added. Use uncoloured toilet paper. Have your partner wear a condom to avoid reinfection. Avoid yeast because of allergy, increase sleep and exercise and try the Blood Sugar Levelling Diet.
Douche vagina 3 times a day with yoghurt solution (l pot natural live yoghurt to 1.75 litres [3 pints] boiled cooled water) or with a weak solution of fresh lemon juice or vinegar (1 tablespoon to 0.25 litre [½ pint] boiled cooled water); a preparation called Acigel is also available from chemist.
Obstinate cases of thrush may respond to extra iron, zinc, Vitamins C and B, and Evening Primrose oil, and cutting down on carbohydrates and products containing yeast.
Irritation of vagina in absence of infection; sometimes part of a general skin condition, sometimes a reaction to spermicidal creams, medicated douches, or vaginal deodorants; in younger women it may be a reaction to a difficult sexual relationship; vagina feels sore and itchy. See unusual discharge (above) for self-help measures and homeopathic remedies.
Spot viral infections on labia or around entrance to vagina, often associated with pregnancy or with vaginal infections such as thrush (see above), during which vaginal discharge increases; like penile warts (see Penis Problems), vulval warts should not be neglected because they are moderately contagious, easily transmitted to sexual partners, and can become malignant (see cancer of the vulva - Cancer), although this is rare; it has also been suggested that they play a part in development of cancer of the cervix - Cancer, so have a yearly smear. medical doctor may prescribe special wart paint or recommend removal of warts by freezing or cauterization. Homeopathic treatment is constitutional; in the meantime select a remedy from the list below, one for yourself and one for your sexual partner.
Specific remedies to be taken 4 times daily for up to 3 weeks for Vaginitis or Vulval Warts
- Fleshy warts, especially if they develop in weeks following orthodox vaccination against smallpox Thuja 6c
- Warts are itchy, tendency to suffer from catarrh, shakiness or flutteriness Medorrhinum 6c
- Warts associated with sores or ulcers Nitric ac. 6c
- Intense itchiness and smarting Sabina 6c
Self-help: Genital warts can easily spread from warts elsewhere on body; so if you have warts, especially on your hands, always wash your hands before touching your own or your partner's genitals.