Acupuncture for Vaginal Yeast Infection
Vaginal yeast infection is one of the most common reasons why women consult a healthcare professional. Many women suffer from repeat infections. If a woman has been previously diagnosed with a vaginal yeast infection and has recurring symptoms, then treatment with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is really a safe option and may help avoid future infections.
Infection results from an overgrowth of a fungus called candida albicans. Candida albicans is a widespread organism that normally lives in a healthy balance in the body, found in the vagina, mouth, digestive tract and on the skin without causing disease or symptoms.
Vaginitis or genital candidiasis becomes problematic when the growth of yeast is excessive and not controlled by the body’s normal bacterial flora. This happens when the vagina has certain conditions that allow overgrowth and nourishment of candida albicans.
In the case of antibiotics, they change the normal balance between organisms in the genital tract by suppressing the growth of protective bacteria that normally have an antifungal effect. It’s very common for women to develop an infection after a course of antibiotics.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
The symptoms often associated with a vaginal yeast infection are:
- Abnormal vaginal discharge- ranges from slight watery, white discharge to a thick white, chunky discharge (like cottage cheese)
- Itching of the external and internal genitalia
- Redness and/or inflammation of the vulvar skin
- Pain with intercourse
- Painful urination
- Possible pinpoint bleeding if the infection is severe
In traditional Chinese medicine, vaginal yeast infections correspond most closely with the pattern of “Damp Heat.” Excessive consumption of dairy products, greasy fried foods, sugar and refined foods leads to the formation of Dampness.
Damp can also form from wearing too-tight pants, undergarments not made of cotton and from wet exercise clothing or wet swimsuits. In women, Damp easily infuses downward and accumulates in the genital area. Over a prolonged time, Damp often combines with Heat to form Damp Heat.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs help eliminate the Damp and the Heat in the lower part of the body and can address any underlying pathology. Treatment depends on whether the infection is acute or chronic.
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