While slight vaginal discharge is normal in healthy women, changes in the colour, consistency and smell are telltale signs of the health of your reproductive organs. Let’s explore this further with the lenses of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Chinese Medicine and Vaginal Discharge Link
While Western Medicine help detects a severe disease, Chinese Medicine can provide both a diagnosis and prognosis of the health of your reproductive organs. In Chinese Medicine, healthy discharge occurs when the Kidney and Spleen functions are normal, and well-controlled by the Directing Vessel (Du Mai) and the Girdle Vessel (Dai Mai).
Dampness, heat and deficiencies in these organs and meridian vessels affect the gradual and obvious changes in the smell, colour, texture and volume of your discharge.
What is Healthy Vaginal Discharge Like?
Vaginal discharge is normally colourless, without smell and light in volume. A slight increase in volume and thickness during the middle of your menstrual cycle is due to ovulation. Days before the start of your period, and during pregnancy, you may experience an increase in discharge and that is normal.
Then What Is Abnormal Vaginal Discharge?
Discharge that has a colour (white, yellow, green, brown and red), thick (chunky, like egg white), has a strong smell (fishy, foul) and excessive are considered abnormal. Dampness invading your body or generated by a deficiency in the spleen or kidney lead to excessive vaginal discharge.
What Are the Reasons for Abnormal Vaginal Discharge and What Can You Do?
Food and Eating Habits
Dampness can result from the overeating of dairy products, sugar, greasy and cold drinks. Women are particularly prone to be invaded by dampness during and after each period cycle, and even more after childbirth. Moderate your intake of the food type listed above. Avoid the consumption of cold drinks, especially bubble tea during your period. Irregular eating habits can stress the Spleen, causing dampness and lead to abnormal discharge, so remember to eat well and do not skip your meals!
Excessive Physical Activity and Overwork
Excessive physical work such as exercises, lifting and workout can weaken the spleen and lead to dampness. While we advocate exercises and weightlifting for invaluable health benefits, go easy on yourself when you working out during your period and when you are feeling tired.
If you work long hours without enough rest and adequate sleep as a result of your stressful, fast-paced life, this spells bad news for your spleen as well. Schedule 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, and get a power nap in the day whenever you can. While it can sometimes seem impossible as you juggle your time between work, exercise and family, do not guilt trip yourself if you are not able to schedule a little more time to heal your body. Start with a few days a week if your lifestyle does not allow you to do daily. Remember, taking care of yourself allows you to look after your family better.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Excessive vaginal discharge with abdominal pain may be a sign of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Other symptoms of PID are vomiting and fever. It is most commonly caused by sexually transmitted bacteria. If your symptoms are severe, seeing your doctor is recommended. If you experience recurrence of PID, it is most likely caused by the deficiency conditions of the spleen and kidney.
Herbs to Strengthen the Spleen
Add Codonpsis (Dang Shen), Chinese red dates, Chinese liquorice and Chinese yam in your soups and daily diet. These are easily available and are simple to add into any recipes. Meditrina Ageless Herbal Cream, formulated to help women achieve woman’s wellbeing, contains Mexican Wild Yam to specifically target spleen deficiency is a great product to use in your daily body care routine. Apply it one time a day on the lower abdomen, inner thighs and lower back. To further remove dampness and keep the pelvic area warm, you can add Meditrina QiActiv Essential Oil – Pelvic Care, to your routine.