Vaginitis / Leukorrhea
Inflammation and/or infection of the vagina with possible concurrent inflammation of the vulva. Vaginitis typically occurs one of two ways: 1. The overgrowth of a normal part of the vaginal flora, or the introduction of a foreign microorganism through sexual relations. Normal flora that can cause disease: yeast (often Candida albicans) may also spread from the intestines or sexually; Hemophilus vaginalitis/Gardnerella vaginalitis: often called “nonspecific vaginitis.” Foreign microorganisms: Trichomonas vaginalitis, Neisseria gonorrhea. In young girls it may be also caused by E. coli, strep, or staph due to poor hygiene. 2. Reaction to an external agent causing allergic or chemical reaction. Signs and symptoms include Vaginal discharge – white and curdish (yeast); creamy white or off-white (Gardnerella); greenish-yellow, frothy (Trichomonas). Itching – may be severe. Odor – None (yeast and Trichomonas); fishy (Gardnerella). Vulvar irritation and redness – possible with all three infections; however, Candida is typically the worst irritant and can cause fissuring and swelling. Vagina – normal, except for the presence of mild to extreme amounts of discharge. Lab Findings: (+) Wet prep and/or culture for microorganism identification. Pap smear may show inflammatory signs. While Trichomonas, Candida, and Gardnerella are benign infections causing no severe or life-threatening pathology, they can cause significant and unrelenting morbidity. Trichomonas, in particular, should be treated in a sexually active woman to prevent her passing it on to other individuals. Conventional treatment usually consists of nystatin (yeast); metronidazole (Trichomonas), and oxytetracycline (Hemophilus). Women treated this way have a high recurrence rate (especially of yeast and Hemophilus).
A naturopathic approach to treating someone with Vaginitis / Leukorrhea would consist of vaginal douches, apple cider vinegar baths and possibly vaginal suppositories to either “kill” the offending bug or to reinocculate good flora. Although vaginitis is typically seen as a localized issue, the offending pathogens are most commonly “opportunistic” pathogens, and therefore in a healthy body, they cannot flourish to the point of symptoms. Therefore an anti-candida, low/no sugar meal plan, anti-inflammatory, alkalizing meal plan would be prescribed along with anti-microbials, probiotics and clinical nutrition to address underlying health concerns that contributed this outcome.