I get a lot of vaginal infection cases to treat, almost on a weekly basis. The high rate of this condition amongst women prompted me to put together this blog post.
I hope you learn about this condition, ways to avoid it, and how to treat it naturally.
What Are Vaginal infections?
Vaginal infection, also known as vaginitis is simply the inflammation of the vagina, it is one word describing a group of disorders causing infection or inflammation of the vagina.
It is characterized by vaginal pain and tenderness, increased vagina discharge, painful urination and intercourse, itching, and a burning sensation.
Types of Vaginal Infections
The most common types of vaginitis we have are:
- Candida or yeast vaginitis
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Trichomoniasis vaginitis
- Chlamydia (or gonorrhea vaginitis)
- Viral vaginitis
- Non-infectious vaginitis
- Atrophic vaginitis
Candida or yeast vaginitis
This type is also known as “thrush” or “monilial”. The yeast, Candida albicans is responsible for this. Women most prone to candida are:
- Pregnant women
- Diabetic women
- Women on antibiotics
- Women on oral contraceptives or long-term steroid therapy.
Other causes are changes in the pH of the vagina, and this can be caused by tub baths, tap water, chemical douches, products, and sprays, etc. All these promote the growth of yeast in the vagina.
It can cause severe itching of the external genitalia, a thick discharge that is white or yellowish and other symptoms.
Trichomoniasis vaginitis is caused by a protozoan which loves an alkaline environment. This type can be sexually transmitted, it gives no symptoms in men but women might experience a greenish white or heavy yellow and frosty discharge that might have a slight odor.
The discharge can cause burning, itching, and inflammation of the skin. It can cause frequent burning sensation if it spreads to the urethra.
These symptoms might be worse after menstruation and some women do not develop symptoms at all.
Atrophic vaginal infections
This type is common in post-menopausal women and women whose ovaries have been removed surgically. It is caused by a decrease in the levels of hormones.
Breastfeeding and postpartum state can also trigger this.
Painful sexual intercourse, dry vagina, burning, itching, and a thin watery discharge (sometimes containing blood) can occur as a result of this.
Medications that can cause this are aromatase inhibitor (used to treat breast cancer), Lupron Depot® (used to treat endometriosis) can reduce the levels of estrogen drastically and cause this condition.
Bacterial vaginosis BV)
This infection is common in women of reproductive age. It causes foul smell (having a fish odor) and abnormal discharge (thin and milky). The odor becomes stronger after an intercourse.
Itching and redness are not common in this type except when a co-infection is present like yeast. And sometimes, this condition gives no symptoms at all.
This is caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina when the pH is affected. This has to be handled differently from yeast infections because yeast and bacteria are different organisms.
BV is not transmitted sexually but it is common in women who are sexually active. Other risk factors for BV are having multiple sexual partners, douching, and smoking.
Non-specific vaginal infections
This is caused by other microorganisms other than trichomonas or yeast. This happens when there is a change in the pH of the vagina and a weak immune system.
Non-infectious vaginal infections
Women can have the symptoms of vaginitis but these might not be caused by microbes sometimes. It can be caused by:
- Allergic reactions or irritations from feminine products, vaginal sprays, and douches. Spermicidal products also cause this.
- Sexual lubricants, lotions, perfumed soaps, fabric softeners, and detergents can make the skin around the vagina sensitive.
- The long-term use of OTC products like products to reduce odor and itch can cause this.
Other causes of vaginitis in general are:
- Fungi infection
- Intestinal worms
- Vitamin B deficiency
- Congestion of the pelvic organ
- Tight and non-porous clothing
- Birth control pills cause vitamin B6 deficiency which in turn, affects your vagina pH.
- Pregnancy increases vaginal pH
- Tight-fitting synthetic underwear provides poor ventilation and a warm and moist environment for harmful microbes to grow.
- Excess sugar and refined carbohydrates feed a yeast infection. Diet is very important in treating vaginitis.
What’s The Normal pH Of The Vagina?
The normal pH of the vagina is acid, anything that alkalizes it will cause vaginitis. Things that upset this acid balance are:
- The time after an abortion or a miscarriage
- Antibiotic therapy
- Frequent douching
- Excessive intercourse without proper lubricants
- Tetracycline upset this balance
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs), etc.
Natural Treatments For Vaginal infections
Diet is very important in treating vaginitis
First and foremost, you have to clean your meal plan. Take out refined carbs, sugar, unhealthy and unnatural additives, and other dietary hazards that weaken your immune system and make it unable to fight off these germs.
Use only 100% natural or organic products if you must. These are safer and don’t cause adverse side effects because they don’t contain dangerous chemicals.
3. Hot-soda water douche
To treat yeast infection, add 1 to 3 teaspoons of soda to 1 quart of water and use this solution as a douche. Use it two times daily for 7 days and then once daily for 30 days.
4. Vinegar douche
If you don’t get a quick improvement, then add 1 to 4 tablespoons of vinegar to 1 quart of water. Use this solution as a douche twice daily for 7 days and once daily for 30 days.
This therapy is effective for trichomoniasis.
5. Garlic-water douche
Add 1 clove of garlic to half quart of boiling water, add the remaining quart and leave it to get cold. Use this solution twice a day for 7 days and once daily for a month.
6. Saline douche
A warm saline douche is effective for microbes other than trichomonas and yeast. To prepare, add a teaspoon of salt to a quart of water.
7. Hot sitz bath
Do this two or three time daily to reduce irritation. Make sure the tub is clean and sterilized to avoid reintroducing bacteria into the vagina.
8. Garlic suppositories
Wrap a peeled clove of garlic in sterile gauze and lubricate it with pure coconut oil. Insert it inside the vagina. Please ensure that you keep a piece protruding outside.
Change it every 3 hours and do this for 3 days.
These are just a few of our natural therapies for vaginitis but they don’t guaranty 100% success until you embark on holistic treatment for vaginitis. Contact us to help you with that.
Other Helpful Tips To Relieve Vaginitis
- Have adequate rest and nighttime sleep, they boost the immune system
- Adopt a healthy diet and it should be rich in fiber
- Painstaking hygiene including frequent bathing daily will hasten healing.
- Don’t wear pantyhose, synthetic panties, girdles, and tight-fitting clothes. Wear cotton clothes instead.
- Avoid chemical-based feminine products, tampons, sexual lubricants, and colored toilet paper.
- Wash your panties alone, don’t wash pants and stocking or bedsheets together.
- Dry your underwear under sunlight.
- Don’t have sexual intercourse during menstruation or infection.
- Ensure your husband washes his hands and genitals before intercourse
- Use 100% tea tree oil, creams, or suppositories
- Aloe vera also heals this condition and can be taken orally or used as a douche
- Don’t take iron supplements when treating infections because bad microbes need iron for growth
- Apply vitamin E oil or capsule to reduce the itch
- Apply natural progesterone cream for cases of atrophic vaginitis. Commercial ones cause more harm.
“I have Done All This But My Vaginal Infection Still Persist”
If this is your complain like we get from some women, we have two options for you.
Test for diabetes
This is the first thing we do for our patients and most times, diabetes is present and if this underlying condition is not treated, the vaginitis won’t go away.
Ensure that you get a holistic treatment for diabetes if you have it.
Check your partner
If you’ve done all the above, and you don’t have diabetes, then you might be getting this from your husband.
I hope this post helps you in getting freedom from vaginitis.