imbalance in vaginal flora.
Normally, the vagina should be slightly acidic in which the naturally occurring micro-organisms remain in balance. But even in a healthy woman, there are times when the balance in the mucous membranes changes to alkaline, namely when menstruating and after intercourse. This change can cause a bloom of Candida beyond its normal levels thereby requiring treatment.
Stress, illness, poor hygiene, diet, and use of the pill are all important factors in creating adverse bacterial conditions in the vagina. If treated early, thrush usually responds well to natural remedies without any need for pharmaceuticals. If you suffer chronic thrush discharges you will need to address your diet and investigate the possibility of long term allergies.
The main dietary culprits are believed to be sugar, yeasts and wheat products so all of these are best avoided during an episode. Yoghurt is considered an effective and simple remedy, either by dipping a tampon in yoghurt and then inserting it, or by applying a generous amount inside and out with your fingers, as well as eating lots to boost the number of “good” micro-organisms in the gut and mucous membranes of the vagina. Douching with apple cider vinegar is known to be effective. Yoga Therapy can be used to address lifestyle issues associated with this condition. See Prescriptive Yoga Program – “Cleansing and Healing”, page 2012.
Leucorrhoea means excessive discharge from the vagina. Whilst a certain amount of wetness is normal, an excess with unusual colour or odour could be indicative of an infection and should be investigated and treated straightaway. It may be due to a disturbance of the vaginal flora caused by Thrush or Gardnerella (a greenish colour with a fishy odour) or may be caused by Trichomonas which is an STD. If accompanied by pelvic or abdominal pain it may be a sign of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which needs to be diagnosed and treated quickly. (See “Sexually Transmitted Diseases – PID”, below).
Excessive mucus secretions can affect fertility (see Chapter 3 – “Conception Difficulties”, page 143) and make life generally miserable for a woman because of the constantly damp feeling in her crutch. In extreme cases chaffing of the thighs may also occur. Leucorrhoea does not normally have any effect on menstruation as ovulation continues unaffected. It is only if the disease
progresses to PID that symptoms manifest during menstruation.
Any bodily infection may be caused by an immune system weakened by bad diet or stress so the usual recommendations apply. However, if a woman has a perception that her vagina is “unclean”, she may be obsessive about washing it. This unnecessary habit can cause a constant stream of mucus, so if no physical cause is found then this possibility needs to be considered. For specific practises see Prescriptive Yoga Program – ”Leucorrhoea”, page 2016.
Anovulation (or failure to ovulate) can occur in normally healthy women with two ovaries, or it can also happen if one ovary has been removed or has been damaged due to cysts. In the event of one ovary’s removal, it is likely that the remaining one will step in and provide a regular monthly ova. However, this does not always happen, and since the ovaries tend to alternate, this situation can lead to permanent bi-monthly ovulation.
Symptoms include irregular cycles, irregular bleeding during menstruation, and lack of mucus change associated with ovulation. Also, since there is no ovulation a woman can confirm this for herself by charting her temperature for several cycles. If the temperature remains consistent over a cycle she can be assured she is not ovulating. When a woman is breastfeeding she may have some anovular cycles before beginning to ovulate again.
If an (undiagnosed) ovary is affected by cysts that are large enough to inhibit ovulation, then there are some fairly obvious symptoms; pain, frequent urinating, obesity, hirsutism (excessive hairiness). This situation normally requires surgery to remove or drain the cyst. After such an operation, a woman should continue her yoga practices with special consideration to her reproductive health as well as lifestyle
In an otherwise healthy woman, where an ovarian cyst is not detected, the main causes are hormonal imbalance caused by stress or poor diet. See Prescriptive Yoga Program – “Stress Management – Initial Program” on page 2018.
Amenorrhoea, or absence of periods, occurs naturally at certain times in a woman’s life, notably before the menarche, during pregnancy and after