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Vaginal Soreness

How can I relieve my Vaginal Soreness?

Question

Following a course of antibiotics (metronidazole) for bacterial vaginosis I developed soreness, stinging and a burning sensation in and around my vaginal, with red, wrinkled skin on the inner lips. I’m prone to skin irritation around this area and also have had thrush after antibiotics in the past. The doctor at my local GU clinic diagnosed vulvdynia and advised two weeks of washing and applying aqueous cream, but it hasn’t helped. It’s so bad that I have gone off sex.

Answer

This area medically called the vaginal mucosa is very sensitive. Any inflammation here causes burning, stinging discharge and even ulceration. Researchers at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, describe vulvodynia as a severe, debilitating vulvo-vaginal pain disorder.

However, it is chronic and occurs in the absence of infection vaginal disease, and it sounds as if your problem is an acute inflammation, probably as a result of an infection such as thrush (which is the most common cause of vaginal and vulval pain, in my experience). The wrinkles you describe have formed, I suspect, because of the general inflammation and dryness.

Thrush (also known as vaginal candidiasis) is an infection where a fungus (candida) settles, and thrives, in the moist, warm lining of the vagina and causes a thick white curdy discharge. You should have a swab to make certain. It's important that your partner is also checked out and that he takes great care over hygiene to prevent further infection.

Here are my suggestions:

  • Frequently, a vaginal infection is passed on from the stools. Constipation doesn't help because it can cause sticky stools, which carry the infection.
    So use wet tissues or a bidet to wash afterwards. Ensure that you don’t get constipated by eating plenty, of non-citrus fruits and vegetables, particularly papaya, figs, prunes, spinach, beetroot and okra. Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water daily. For mild constipation, take two tablets of Herbolax or for chronic constipation, one tablet of Qurs Mullyan, at bedtime for two months.
  • Increased acidity in the stomach changes the nature of urine. Excess consumption of citrus fruit and juice, garlic or: chillies may cause the urine to irritate the urethra and vulna. In traditional medicine, 'hot' food stuff are thought to cause a burning sensation on passing urine. These foods include ginger, red met, offal, game, alcohol and excess honey.
  • Another common but overlooked cause is an allergic reaction to synthetic underwear or condoms (you can get hypoallergenic condoms) or the chemicals applied to them. Avoiding contact with these can ease the situation. Bubble bath and bath salts should also be avoided.
  • Vaginal irritation, discharge and dryness are also listed on a US government website as 'less common' side effects of the antibiotic you have taken, so check this with your doctor. Since external remedies have not helped you, the integrated treatment for your problem is to improve your immune system.
  • Chew food thoroughly and eat slowly to control stomach acid.
  • Juice fresh organic carrot and mint leaves and drink one glass daily for one month.
  • Avoid citrus fruit and acidic foods such as pineapples, tomatoes, rhubarb, mangoes, kiwi fruit, pickles, chillies, garlic, ginger. nuts, canned products and vineqar; also yeast and fungal products, including bread, cakes, biscuits, pastry, pasta, Bovril, blue cheese and mushrooms.

Supplements:

  • Soak three twigs of kadu in a cup of hot water at night, then strain and drink in the mornings for one month. This will help to control the overgrowth of candida.
  • Take two tablets of Stomach formula, twice daily for one month, to aid digestion.
  • To reduce the burning sensation, take two tablets of homeopathic Cantharis 3Q three times daily for seven days.
  • Take one tablet of Banshil twice daily for one month. This herbal remedy alleviates urinary infections.
  • Take one capsule of aloe vera twice daily for two months, to heal the intestinal and vaginal tract.
  • Take one multivitamin/mineral tablet daily for two months.
  • Ask your partner to massage your neck and shoulders twice a week for ten minutes at bedtime. This increases blood flow to the lower part of the brain, boosts pituitary function and assists the body's healing process.
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