Leucorrhoea, also known as whites, is a medical term used to describe a condition where women experience a thick white or yellow colored discharge from the vagina. Although vaginal discharge is important for maintaining good genital health, changes in the discharge require medical attention in order to prevent infections. The main role of vaginal secretions is to expel harmful bacteria and other organisms from the body. Normal vaginal secretions are clear and odorless whereas leucorrhea is often thick and accompanied by foul odor. Leucorrhea is generally of two types, physiological and pathological. Physiological leucorrhea refers to vaginal discharge because of physical factors like excitement or nervousness. Physiological leucorrhea is common under the following circumstances:

  • In newborn infants, especially female babies because of the presence of maternal hormones like estrogen
  • During puberty in girls because of hormonal changes
  • During the ovulation cycle and in early pregnancy
  • Due to sexual excitement

Pathological leucorrhea on the other hand occurs because of improper nutrition and general bad health. Dysfunction in the genital tract also causes pathological leucorrhea. Similarly, in some cases it is a result of psychological factors. Congestion or inflammation in the vaginal mucus also causes leucorrhea and requires immediate medical attention so that your can prevent other infections and diseases. Many women also experience leucorrhea after delivery and in such cases if it is accompanied by foul odor and backaches, it could indicate uterine infection. Leucorrhea generally continues for several consecutive weeks or months and requires continuous treatment until the symptoms start subsiding or disappear altogether. Timely treatment of leucorrhea is necessary to prevent it from becoming a chronic problem.

Symptoms of Leucorrhea

Symptoms of leucorrhea may vary in intensity from woman to woman. Some women may experience several symptoms together, while others may be relatively asymptomatic. Some of the common leucorrhea or white menstruation symptoms include:

  • Whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina
  • Frothy and foul smelling discharge
  • Pain in the calves and lumbar region
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Heaviness in the abdominal region
  • Vaginal itching
  • Constipation
  • Frequent headaches
  • Digestive problems
  • Irritability
  • Black patches on the skin under the eyes
  • Spotting on the underwear

White menstruation symptoms like severe irritability and black eye patches are generally common in chronic cases of leucorrhea.

Causes of Leucorrhea

Leucorrhea is a condition that does not have a sudden acute onset. It refers to a general toxic condition of the female genital system. Leucorrhea may affect one or more organs of the female reproductive system. Whenever there is an abnormal accumulation of toxins in the body because of unhealthy eating habits, organs like the kidney, bowels and skin find it difficult to expel these toxins from the body. As a result, the body tries to expel these toxins in the form of foul smelling and thick vaginal discharge. In cases of chronic leucorrhea, the vaginal discharge may be white, yellow or even greenish and accompanied by pus. Some of the common causes of leucorrhea include:

  • Conditions like monilial vaginitis, trichomonal vaginitis, or cervicitis.
  • Improper lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Poor genital hygiene
  • Genital wounds caused by excessive itching
  • Bacterial and fungal infections
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Anemia
  • Diseases like menorrhagea and diabetes
  • Stress and anxiety

Leucorrhea may occur in young girls during the years before and after the onset of menstruation. In such cases leucorrhea could be the result of irritation of the genitals caused by factors like dirt, intestinal worms, wet or damp undergarments or masturbation. In young women, leucorrhea generally occurs in between menstrual periods when the mucus membranes thicken. This kind of leucorrhea causes painful menstruation and other menstruation problems. In older women, leucorrhea may be a result of other problems like gonorrhea, which causes vaginal discharge and painful urination. Leucorrhea in some cases may be the result of womb displacement, which attracts and encourages bacterial growth in the genital organs. Pelvic inflammatory diseases cause leucorrhea, which leads to abnormal vaginal discharge accompanied by lower back pain and lumbar pain.

Remedies for Leucorrhea

Identifying the symptoms of leucorrhea is the first step in treating this condition. Depending on the exact cause, doctors may recommend leucorrhea treatment in the form of oral drugs and medications as well as topical ointments and creams. In addition to these treatment options, there are also a number of home remedies for leucorrhea, which can help cure this condition safely. Keep in mind that although many naturalists make claims about the healing effects of various remedies, many of these claims are unfounded and few are backed up by scientific evidence. This said, some remedies may be worth trying, as they pose little risk and there is still a dearth of research on some remedies. Some of these simple home remedies are as under:

  • You can eat banana dipped in clarified butter along with breakfast and lunch for treating leucorrhea naturally. You can also consume banana twice a day with 5 drops of Sandalwood oil to treat and cure leucorrhea.
  • A paste prepared from mango pulp and applied on the vaginal area is another effective cure for leucorrhea.
  • Boil 2-3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a liter of water for half an hour and drink this concoction as a natural treatment for this condition.
  • Similarly, rice water with some added sugar is another helpful home remedy for leucorrhea treatment.
  • Boil some walnut tree leaves in a liter of water until the mixture reduces to half the quantity. After cooling, use this mixture as a vaginal douche for treating leucorrhea.
  • Soak a teaspoonful of coriander seeds overnight in a glass of water and drink this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to relieve the symptoms of leucorrhea. Continue this remedy for at least 1 week for good results.
  • You can increase the intake of cranberry juice, which is said to be beneficial for treating leucorrhea.
  • Experts also recommend herbal decoctions of oak bark, yarrow and lavender for natural leucorrhea treatment.
  • Asafetida, banyan and butea leaves are all good natural remedies for leucorrhea.
  • If the white discharge is not very thick, you can consume a mixture of turmeric and garlic for treating leucorrhea internally. Both turmeric and garlic contain powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties which are beneficial in treating leucorrhea.
  • A mixture of water and lemon juice used as a vaginal wash is the best way to clean the vaginal region as well as relax the mucus membranes of the uterus and vagina.

Although these home remedies are usually safer compared to most other conventional drugs and medications, it is always better to consult your doctor before trying any of them.

Diet for Leucorrhea

What you eat also plays a vital role in the treatment of leucorrhea and therefore a healthy diet is necessary for women suffering from this condition. You should eat yogurt at least once a day while suffering from leucorrhea. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a part of the daily diet. A well balanced diet comprising of foods rich in fiber, protein, carbohydrates and other essential nutrients not only helps treat leucorrhea but also prevents its recurrence. It is best to avoid all types of meat while suffering from leucorrhea as they will only worsen the condition. You can eat plenty of nuts, whole grains and seeds but stay away from spicy foods, processed foods, greasy and oily foods, condiments and preservatives. It is also important to avoid beverages like coffee and tea while suffering from leucorrhea. The diet should be light, limited and easily digestible in the initial stages of leucorrhea. Once the symptoms start subsiding, you can gradually increase intake of healthy foods and get on to a routine well balanced diet.

Suggestion for Leucorrhea

Other than following proper dietary guidelines, there are also a few lifestyle changes that are beneficial in leucorrhea treatment. It is extremely important to maintain proper hygiene to prevent conditions like leucorrhea. You should wash undergarments regularly and properly to prevent infections that can result in white discharge. A well balanced diet combined with daily exercise is the best way to equip the body to fight various infections and diseases. Proper and adequate rest is also very important for treating leucorrhea. Alternative therapies like yoga are also beneficial in treating and preventing leucorrhea. Pranayama, Vajrasana and Sarvangasana are some of the effective yoga exercises for treating leucorrhea.

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