It is regarded as normal for women to have a thin, milky white, odourless discharge. It is also normal for the discharge not to itch. Once any discharge becomes thick and unpleasant with pain or itching, tests can be had to determine if it from a sexually transmitted disease or if is thrush. Thrush is commonly due to a yeast infection known as candida albicans. More women are opting to have acupuncture for vaginal itching and discharge because it is non invasive and safe.
Steroids, antibiotics or acupuncture?
Steroids can cause thrush and also have many other side effects. Another common cause of thrush is from antibiotics which may have been prescribed if the mum had a lung infection.
Debra Betts PhD, a Wellington based acupuncturist, lecturer and researcher, emphasizes the importance of getting the candida under control so as to prevent feeding problems because the candida can affect the baby’s mouth and nipples of the mother.
What causes vaginal itch according to traditional Chinese medicine?
There can be a number of causes of vaginal discharge and itch according to traditional Chinese medicine. When consulting with a qualified practitioner of acupuncture, they will do a diagnosis and analysis of the presenting signs and symptoms to determine the cause of the imbalance. One common cause of vaginal itch is due to the liver.
The liver can cause vaginal itch
Chinese medical theory has the view, that when the liver meridian travels up the leg to go to the liver, it also passes through to the genitals. If the liver meridian becomes imbalanced for some reason and generates heat, the heat combines with fluids to become a sticky like substance called in traditional terms “damp and heat”. This damp and heat is a bit like a swamp that attracts more damp and heat and then has a tendency to sink down, in this case, to the genitals. Often this damp heat condition coincides with candida.
The aim of the acupuncturist is not actually to “kill” the candida, but change the damp heat environment around the vagina so the candida has no place to live. There are specific acupuncture points that have had the traditional function to clear damp and heat from the vagina and treat itchiness and discharge and they have been used for hundreds of years.
Where are the acupuncture points for treating vaginal itch?
The most common acupuncture points used for this condition are in the legs and feet.
Dr Betts outlined in her book that depending on the severity of the thrush and if any other complications and symptoms coexist with the patient, alleviation of the itch and discharge can be expected after 2-3 visits.
Chinese herbs can also be used to treat damp and heat and hence treat vaginal itch