White Discharge is abnormal and excessive vaginal discharge often associated with irritation and pruritus. It is a common health issue faced by women at all ages, ranging from early childhood years to even after menopause.
White Discharge is called as Leukorrhea or Leucorrhea in medicine terminology. Most of the common symptoms related to leukorrhea is general weakness and itching in vaginal canal.
White Discharge is commonly observed during pregnancy, during ovulation, and right before menstruation as well. In most of the cases, white discharge is a usual step of cleansing that your reproductive system is performing and there is nothing to be concerned about.
During early years and post menopause, excessive white discharge or any abnormal discharge usually indicates presence of health issues such as infections or hormonal imbalances that need to be addressed. Hence, it should be taken more seriously if any symptom is observed.
Causes and Types of White Discharge – Leukorrhea
The term Leukorrhea is applied to cases of vaginal discharge that is non-hemorrhagic (without blood) in nature and is not caused by neoplasm or other serious organic disease. White Discharge can be physiological or pathological.
When congestion of the vaginal mucosal membranes occurs due to hormonal stimulation. This may occur during ovulation and pregnancy.
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 white Discharge
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
- Stress or Anxiety
- Frequent mood changes
- Pain in stomach/lower back pain.
Less prevalent symptoms
- Black dark circle around the eyes
- 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
- Very less in the age 27-30 years old
White Discharge – An Ayurvedic View
In Ayurveda, white discharge is known as Shweta pradara. Shweta means white; pradara means excessive flow. Shweta pradara comes under the heading of reproductive health issues termed as 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.
In Ayurveda, generally, use of drugs having Bitter (Katu) and Astringent (Kashaya) rasa is useful. Also, Balya chikitsa (use of Rasayana drugs) is beneficial to promote strength.
Ahara – Diet 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.
Vihara – Lifestyle Tips
- 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 white discharge; 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.
- Wear cotton undergarments.
- Don’t douche.
- Use medications as long as directed.
- During an infection, use pads rather than tampons if menstruation occurs.