In this article:
Vaginal complaints are a common problem in the world, with many women being reluctant to seek medical advice due to cultural taboos.
As a result, the number of women with abnormal vaginal discharge, or leukorrhea, is likely to be underdetected.
The good news is several natural remedies can help to reduce vaginal discharge and vulval itching. (1)
Home Remedies for Abnormal Vaginal Discharge
Here are remedies you can try out for leukorrhea.
1. Use fenugreek seeds
A fenugreek seed decoction as a perineal wash has been found to significantly reduce vaginal discharge and vulvar itching, without any reported clinically significant adverse effects.
Moreover, studies have shown that drinking a mixture of soaked fenugreek seeds and honey on an empty stomach or using a fenugreek decoction as a vaginal wash three or four times daily can reduce symptoms.
It is important to note that these natural remedies may not address the underlying cause of abnormal vaginal discharge and should be used in conjunction with medical advice.
If you are suffering from any form of vaginal discharge, it is best to seek medical advice to determine the cause and to receive the appropriate treatment. (2)
How to use:
- Soak 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Strain the water in the morning and add ½ tsp of honey. Drink it on an empty stomach.
- You can also boil 2 tsp of fenugreek seeds in water for a few minutes, strain it, and allow it to cool down. Use this water as a vaginal wash 3-4 times every day until the signs and symptoms subside.
2. Practice proper vaginal hygiene
Women who have practiced proper vaginal hygiene have experienced improvement in their condition as such practices aid in pathological vaginal discharge prevention.
- Changing panty liners at least 4 times a day
- Washing hands before touching the vagina
- Wearing cotton panties and changing panties at least twice a day
- Changing panties after exercise
- Putting powder on the vagina when it feels scratchy
- Choosing the right menstrual pads
- Changing menstrual pads timely
- Wearing loose pants
3. Insert a tampon with diluted tea tree oil
Essential oils, such as tea tree oil, are antiseptic substances produced by plants and have a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
To treat bacterial vaginosis, a tampon with diluted tea tree oil can be inserted into the vagina overnight.
Note: Tea tree oil can be potentially toxic when ingested in large amounts and should, therefore, not be taken orally. (4) Change tampons every 4–8 hours to prevent any potential risks or discomfort.
4. Consume amla
Amla, or Indian gooseberry, is an incredibly nutritious fruit that is widely used in traditional Indian medicine. It is rich in vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and several chemical constituents such as tannins, alkaloids, and phenols that are thought to have medicinal properties.
Amla has been used to treat a variety of illnesses, including cancer, diabetes, liver disease, ulcers, anemia, and heart trouble. In particular, it can be used to help relieve vaginal or white discharge, with powdered and dried amla seeds being the most effective.
Amla can also be consumed in several other forms, such as with a honey and saunf (fennel) mixture or with a squashed banana mixture. (5)
5. Consume myrrh
Women who experience abnormal vaginal symptoms such as itching, burning, unpleasant vaginal odor, or abnormal vaginal discharge may need to test their vaginal pH. Such symptoms can be indicative of trichomoniasis, bacterial vaginosis, or vulvovaginal candidiasis, all of which require treatment. (6)
One treatment option that has been explored is the use of myrrh. It is an oleo-gum resin, used traditionally in Egypt, that is obtained from the stem of the herbal tree Commiphora molmol and contains a resin (myrrhin), volatile oil (myrrh), gum, and a bitter principle.
Studies have indicated that myrrh may be effective in impeding the growth of Trichomonas vaginalis in the body. Additionally, research suggests that myrrh may be a viable treatment option for women with a metronidazole-resistant strain of trichomoniasis. (7)
Note: Myrrh supplements in capsule or tablet form may be taken orally as directed by a healthcare professional.
6. Include probiotics in your diet
The use of probiotics has become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to improve vaginal flora, increase beneficial bacteria, reduce the number of harmful bacteria, and maintain the stability of the vaginal flora environment.
Evidence suggests that probiotics can be effective in the treatment of bacterial vaginosis, as a highly diverse vaginal microbiota has been associated with female reproductive tract health.
Furthermore, probiotics are believed to play an important role in maintaining the health of the female reproductive tract, alleviating gynecological diseases, and strengthening the local immunity of the vagina. (8)(9)
7. Drink coriander seed water
A recent study was conducted on 30 women with leukorrhea, and it was found that using coriander seed water as a remedy was really effective in reducing the symptoms and itching associated with leukorrhea. (10)
How to use:
- Take a handful of coriander seeds.
- Soak the coriander seeds in water overnight.
- In the morning, strain the water to separate the soaked coriander seeds.
- Drink the coriander seed water on an empty stomach.
8. Drink tea made from guava leaves
Did you know that guava, a tropical fruit, has been used in different parts of the world to treat various health conditions? One interesting use of guava is for the treatment of leukorrhea, which is a symptom of vaginal candidiasis.
Based on these traditional uses, it seems that guava is mainly used topically, meaning it is applied directly to the skin or mucous membranes. For example, people may use guava as a mouthwash or gargle, take Sitz baths, or even drink guava tea. (11)
9. Increase dietary intake of folate
Diets that are rich in starch can alter the vaginal microecological environment due to the increased levels of glycogen in the genital fluid.
Researchers have also found an inverse correlation between severe bacterial vaginosis and folate intake, leading to the conclusion that consuming high amounts of foods rich in folate may improve the immune system and reduce the risk of bacterial vaginosis.
The primary sources of folate are eggs, vegetables, and whole grains. (12)
10. Practice yoga
Leukorrhea is a common condition in Iranian traditional medicine (ITM). Avicenna and other ITM practitioners used the term “sayalan-e rahem” to describe it.
According to traditional doctors, leukorrhea was caused by excessive residue and weak digestion, and herbal treatments were the main form of treatment. Herbs such as Rubus fruticosus L. (blackberry), Phoenix dactylifera L. (date), Pimpinella anisum L. (anise), and Olea europaea L. (olive) were prescribed to treat the condition. (13)
How Do Doctors Diagnose Leukorrhea
Here are some criterias to be followed when diagnosing leukorrhea: (14)
- Vaginal discharge can be caused by either normal physiological processes or pathological conditions. During a clinical consultation, it is important to distinguish between the two. A history of a change from the usual pattern of vaginal discharge should be explored as this may help differentiate between the two. During a physical examination, inflammatory symptoms such as erythema and edema may be helpful.
- The use of narrow-spectrum pH paper as a point-of-care tool can help assess for a vaginal infection.
- High vaginal swabs for microscopy, culture, and sensitivity may be necessary for those with chronic or recurrent symptoms.
- Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is recommended in high-risk sexually active women or those with trichomoniasis.
Most-Asked Questions About Vaginal Discharge
Is vaginal discharge the same in all women?
Normal vaginal flora, such as lactobacilli, colonizes the vaginal epithelium and helps keep the vaginal pH between 3.8 and 4.4. The quality and quantity of vaginal discharge may vary in the same woman throughout her menstrual cycle, and over time, and each woman has her own sense of what is normal and acceptable for her.
This discharge helps protect against infections and may change in appearance and consistency depending on the stage of the cycle. It is important to be aware of any changes in the discharge and to contact a doctor if any unusual smells, colors, or textures are observed. (15)
Can I have vaginal infections if I am not sexually active?
Vulvovaginal candidiasis and bacterial vaginosis can develop independently of sexual activity, but trichomoniasis is mainly transmitted through sexual contact.
It is important to practice safe sex to reduce the risk of contracting trichomoniasis and other sexually transmitted infections. It is also recommended to see a doctor if any unusual discharge or symptoms are observed. (15)
Is vaginal discharge normal when you are not on your period?
Experts say that white or clear discharge from the vagina helps keep it clean. It is normal for your body to produce around a teaspoon of vaginal discharge every day, but this amount may vary depending on the stage of your menstrual cycle.
What is the vaginal discharge during the menstrual cycle?
Professionals explain that during ovulation, when eggs are released from the ovaries, the discharge may become thin and stretchy, such as egg whites. As you get closer to your period, the discharge may become thicker and stickier.
Vaginal discharge should not contain any smell, and if it does, you should contact your doctor as it may be a sign of infection.
Is vaginal infection common in children?
Vaginal infections in children can occur, especially in girls between the ages of 2 and 6 years.
One of the main reasons for these infections is poor hygiene in the genital area. For example, wiping from back to front after using the bathroom or forgetting to wash the hands can increase the risk of infection. (16)
Certain chemicals found in bubble baths or soaps can also irritate the vulva (the outer part of the vagina) and cause inflammation and itching. This irritation may happen repeatedly.
Sometimes, vaginal infections in children can be caused by foreign objects that accidentally get inserted into the vagina. Experts warn that this can lead to a type of infection called nonspecific vaginitis, which may result in a small amount of bloody discharge.
Vaginal discharge can be dealt with naturally with the use of remedies and by following a proper diet that facilitates rehabilitation of normal vaginal flora grades. Nonetheless, if the discharge continues long after home treatment, you should seek help from your doctor.