Leucorrhoea or white discharge is a condition characterized by a white vaginal discharge which may or may not be associated with pain, discomfort or burning sensation. It may also be noticed without any disease. It is a very common gynecological problem faced by almost 75% of women.
There are two types of Leucorrhoea:-
In physiological conditions, the discharge is normal and such a discharge is not to be worried about. Such type of discharge is found under the following conditions :-
- During puberty in girls due to hormonal changes.
- At the time of ovulation.
- During sexual excitement.
- In early pregnancy.
- It can be seen in newborn baby due to the presence of high level of maternal oestrogen.
The normal vaginal discharge helps to keep the tissues healthy, provide lubrication and protect against irritation and infection.
The amount, consistency and color of the normal vaginal discharge depend on the stage of the menstrual cycle.
This is also known as inflammatory leucorrhoea. The abnormal vaginal discharge is characterized by the fluid with unusual odor and the discharge occurs with itching or pain.
The discharge may be yellow or green in color and have a foul smell. It can be caused due to infections and a medical treatment is required.
Causes of Pathological Leucorrhoea are :-
- Cervicitis: It is caused due to the inflammation in the cervix. The inflammation can occur due to sexually transmitted diseases.
- The main symptom of cervicitis is the pain in the lower back.
- Vaginal Yeast Infection: This infection is commonly known as candidiasis.
- The change in the level of pH of a woman’s vagina can lead to a yeast infection.
- This infection is caused due to unhygienic conditions, poor diet, etc.
- Trichomonal Vaginitis: Trichomoniasis is accompanied by a frothy yellow discharge and itching.
- It is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite.
Causes of Pathological Leucorrhoea are :-
- Malnourishment and general ill-health
- Psychological factors
What are the Symptoms of Leucorrhoea?
- White sticky or yellowish discharge from the vagina.
- Lower abdominal pain
- Lower back pain
- Pain in the calves and lumbar region
- Black patches under the eyes
What is the Ayurvedic Perspective of Leucorrhoea?
In Ayurvedic classics, Leucorrhoea is described as ‘Shwet Pradara’. It is not considered as a disease but a symptom of a disease. It is a Kapha-pittaja disorder in which Kapha dosha is the main causative factor for the discharge.
- The aggravation of Kapha dosha produces white and painless discharge due to the dominance of its liquid property by vitiating the Rasa dhatu of the reproductive system.
Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Chapter No. 30, Yonivyapad Chikits Adhyaya, Shloka No. 217.
In this shloka, the causes and symptoms of Kaphajpradara are explained. Due to the excessive intake of heavy food, Kapha dosha in the body gets aggravated and causes leucorrhoea. The signs and symptoms include white discharge from the vagina, heavy, cold and thick, red-colored discharge. It may be associated with the other symptoms such as anorexia, breathing difficulties and cough.
The following investigations must be necessary to confirm the root cause and for proper treatment to cure the disease.
- Haemotological Investigation such as Hb%, TLC, DLC, ESR, etc.
- Urine Examination: Routine and culture
- Cytological Examination such as Pap smear
- Cervical Punch Biopsy
How Ayurveda can help in the Treatment of Leucorrhoea?
The principle of Ayurvedic treatment of Leucorrhoea is mainly based on the etiopathogenesis of this disease. As aggravation of Kapha dosha is the main causative factor for vaginal discharge, bringing Kapha dosha back into equilibrium and toning the muscles of the reproductive system with the help of rejuvenating herbs and restoration of Agni or digestive fire in order to cleanse the accumulated toxins are considered as the main principle of treatment through Ayurveda.
The general treatment of leucorrhoea includes prescription of drugs that have katu (pungent) & kashaya (astringent) tastes and rasayana (rejuvenative drugs).
Home Remedies for Treating Leucorrhoea
Ayurvedic system of medicine offers safe and effective home remedies for the treatment but consultation with a doctor to find the root cause of the problem is necessary.
1. Coriander Seeds
Soak a teaspoonful of coriander seeds overnight in a glass vessel and drink this water on an empty stomach in the morning. Continue this remedy for one week.
2. Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis)
The paste of the seeds should be mixed with sugar candy and honey and taken along with water or the powder or juice of amla mixed with honey is also quite effective for leucorrhoea.
3. Rice Washed Water
Soak rice preferably red rice overnight and add 5-10 gm each of jaggery and cumin seeds to it. Cook this mixture for 5-10 minutes. Taking this water helps in relieving debility due to leucorrhoea.
Take a fresh banana and cut it into two halves and fill it with cow’s ghee and consume.
5. Lady Finger
Boil 4-5 lady fingers in one glass of water. When half water remains, filter it and drink.
6. Potash Alum (Phitkari) or Potassium Aluminium Sulphate
Alum has astringent properties due to which alum powder can be used as a vaginal wash. Take ¼ teaspoon of alum powder and mix it with water and boil for 5-10 minutes. After cooling, use it as a vaginal wash regularly.
7. Neem Leaves (Azadirachta indica)
Due to the presence of potent anti-microbial phytochemicals, neem leaves are helpful in treating pathological leucorrhoea. Boil neem leaves and turmeric in water and cool it. After cooling, wash the genital area with this water.
Fresh juice of carrots mixed with a teaspoon of honey should be consumed twice a day.
9. Mango Seed Powder
Dry the seeds of mango and make it powder. Consume 8 gm of this powder with honey or sugar candy.
Diet and Lifestyle
- Avoid hot, spicy and fermented foods.
- Foods prepared from refined flour and refined sugar must be avoided.
- Take plenty of fresh curd.
- Take plenty of fluids.
- Plenty of green leafy vegetables and salads should be included in the diet.
- Mushrooms should be avoided in the diet.
- After meals, chew betel nut as it has preventive as well as curative properties.
- Fresh coconut water is also recommended.
- Go for a walk or jogging early in the morning.
- Yoga Asanas such as Vajrasana and Sarvangasana are very helpful in the treatment of leucorrhoea.