Leukorrhea is abnormal excessive vaginal discharge often associated with irritation and pruritus. The term Leukorrhea is applied to cases of vaginal discharge that is non-hemorrhagic in nature and is not caused by neoplasm or other serious organic disease.
Causes and Types of Leukorrhea
Leukorrhea could be physiological or pathological.
Physiological: when congestion of the vaginal mucosal membranes occurs due to hormonal stimulation. This may occur during ovulation and pregnancy.
Pathological: when associated with cervical/vaginal inflammation or diseases.
It can be due to infections as: Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida albicans, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, or mixed bacterial infections.
It is also due to chronic cervicitis, cervical dysplasia, malignancy, or due to senile vaginitis.
Symptoms associated with Leukorrhea
Most prevalent symptoms: irritation and itching on genital organs which could be worse at night, foul-smell vaginal discharges, lack of sexual desire, lethargy, and fatigue.
Moderately prevalent symptoms: constipation, stress, frequent mood changes and pain in stomach/lower back pain.
Less prevalent symptoms: black dark circle around the eyes, anorexia, and irregular periods.
High Risk Age Groups
A study on University female students showed that Leukorrhea is more prevalent in: 21-23 years old, followed by 17-20 years old, followed by 24-26 years old, and very less in the age 27-30 years old.
Treatment and Prevention
- .Women should maintain good hygiene, especially in the genital areas to prevent any bacterial infections.
- Hydrotherapy/ Hip bath/Cold sitz bath are effective in increasing blood circulation in the vagina, cold water bath also helps relieve congestion in the pelvic region. So, women should take daily hydrotherapy to speed up healing.
- Exercise regime helps in treatment of leukorrhea; as exercises improve blood circulation and builds immunity to bacterial attacks.
- Aromatherapy with anti-infective essential oils of rosemary, oregano and sandalwood is effective natural cure for Leukorrhea.
- Adequate sleep and rest also facilitate faster healing.
- Herbal tea such as green tea blended with sage or blackberry leaves facilitates in treatment leukorrhea.
- Avoid sanitary napkins, deodorants, sprays and other irritants during treatment as they can aggravate Leukorrhea.
Leukorrhea and Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, Leukorrhea is known as Shweta pradara. Shweta means white; pradara means pradeerana or excessive flow. Shweta pradara comes under the heading under Yonivyapada.
Shweta pradara is not a disease, but a symptom of many diseases. Sometimes this symptom becomes so severe and it overshadows the other symptoms of actual disease so patients would want to treat this symptom only.
Shweta pradara develops due to vitiation of Kapha and Vata, but mainly Kapha. This is because Kapha dosha is the main causative factor for any discharge. So, when Kapha is aggravated, it produces white and painless vaginal discharges.
Diet and Lifestyle management
Proper food habits, sleep and exercise are essential for removal of systemic toxicity which is responsible for Leukorrhea.
Some of the herbal remedies like red raspberry with white pod lilly, lotus seeds and root are used to treat Leukorrhea.
Food advised to be eaten: Garlic, meat soup, all dairy products and rice water.
Food forbidden to be eaten: Sweet and sour fruits, nuts, and excess of salt.
Simple Tips to be followed
- Stay healthy by eating well, getting enough sleep, and by drinking enough fluids.
- Wear cotton undergarments.
- Don’t douche.
- Use medications as long as directed.
- During an infection, use pads rather than tampons if menstruation occurs.
- Assessment of Leukorrhea diseases in female students, Journal of Scientific and Innovative Research.
- A Clinical Evaluation of Lodhra Kalka with Vata Twak Kwatha in Shweta Pradara (Leukorrhea), International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
- AYURVEDIC CONCEPT OF LEUCORRHOEA: SWETA PRADARA