By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published January 7, 2015, Last updated November 17, 2016
Leucorrhea is a thick whitish or yellowish discharge from the vagina. This may be present at any time during the reproductive age of a woman. Sometimes the discharge is less and does not pose any trouble. At times, though, the discharge may be profuse. In other cases, the leucorrhea may cause itching, burning or redness of the vaginal area or thereabouts. Offensive odor may also be present occasionally. This is often suggestive of some infection.
Causes of Leucorrhea
Leucorrhea causes are mostly physiological or infectious in nature. Physiological causes are those that are related to normal functioning of the body systems and organs. This means that there is nothing abnormal there. In the second most common leucorrhea cause, one or the other infection may be the reason for leucorrhea.
In most cases, the leucorrhea is just physiological. This means that there is no abnormal cause for the leucorrhea to exist. It is a natural defense mechanism of the body to maintain lubrication, flexibility of the internal tissues as well as the chemical balance. This physiological leucorrhea occurs due to the stimulation of the hormones, mainly the estrogen hormone. This does not mean that it does not treatment. Leucorrhea may also occur during pregnancy and is sometimes referred to by patients as pregnancy leucorrhea. This again results from the increased levels of estrogen hormones present in the body. There is an increased amount of blood that flows into the tissues of the vagina due to this excess estrogen present in the body. In some cases, female infants too have leucorrhea. This is a self limiting state and should not be much worried about. This occurs because the foetus gets exposed to the increased levels of estrogen in the mother’s body. The effect of this exposure remains for some time after birth. It subsides on its own with time.
Infection as the cause of leucorrhea
The other important leucorrhea cause is infection. This infection may be anywhere in the genital or the reproductive tract. This infection tends to irritate the mucosa of the vagina. Once irritated, the mucosa tries to drain out the offending organism by secreting more mucous. This is the cause of the excessive discharge. In such cases, there is often a strong odor of the discharge. The infection may be viral or bacterial or even yeast in orgin. It may have resulted from an external source as happens in the case of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or may occur on its own. In case of STDs, gonorhhea or chlamydia may be the cause of leucorrhea. The origin of the discharge may be the ovaries or the uterine cervix or the fallopian tubes. There may be itching and burning too. The area in and around the vagina may become reddish and inflamed. There may be some pain also in the affected parts. A tampon, diaphragm or any other foreign object in the vagina may also cause the discharge.
Misperceptions about Leucorrhea
A common misperception among women is that leucorrhea is caused by weakness. This has been shown as the most common understanding of women as far as cause of this problem is concerned. This perception is more common in the lower socio-economic strata women. In educated women, this perception is seen less commonly but is not altogether absent. At the same time, some women feel that the presence of leucorrhea leads to weakness. Sometimes, the problem is often mistakenly related to certain foods. The end result of these misperceptions is that most women do not seek treatment at the hands of a competent and a qualified doctor. They tend to resort to some or the other home remedies. In most cases, an elder women in the family or the neighbourhood may be acting as a medical counsellor. These misperceptions have no basis in reality and should be discounted. It is important that a proper treatment be sought from a qualified doctor.
Homeopathic treatment of leucorrhea
When it comes to leucorrhea treatment, Homeopathy is very effective. Whatever the leucorrhea symptoms, and whatever the cause of the leucorrhea, homeopathic medicines are perfectly capable of treating the problem and all its attendant symptoms. I have seen remarkable results in the treatment of leucorrhea with homeopathy. Homeopathic medicines like Alumina, Kreosote, Calcarea Carb, Natrum Mur, Pulsatilla, Sepia and Bovista are the most frequently used medicines for the treatment of leucorrhea.