A sexually transmitted disease Cervicitis is the inflammation of Cervix, often noticed when abnormal menstrual bleeding, profuse vaginal discharge or pain during sex become a distressing problem. It may or may not associated with an STI.
Irregular menstruation, bleeding in-between periods, painful intercourse, pain during pelvic exam, and plenty of vaginal discharge with or without foul smell, frequent micturition or bleeding through vagina after sex are the common symptoms of Cervicitis. But sometimes, there may not be any symptoms and only be realised during pelvic examinations.
Causes of cervicitis
Cervicitis is caused mainly by STDs or even due to bacterial infections and allergic reactions to spermicides/ lubricants. N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis etc are the main infectious agents.
The risk of Cervicitis is more for the persons indulging in unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners or sex with risk groups. Sexual intercourse in very young age and history of STD also complicates things.
Complications of cervicitis
Major complications include recurrent infection to reproductive system, Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases (PID) and infertility.
Treatment of cervicitis
Identify the cause of Cervicitis and treat accordingly. If it is due to a STI, it is mendable with antibiotics (for Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and other bacterial infections) or antiviral drugs in the case of genital Herpes. The sexual partner/s need treatment even without any symptom.
Preventive measures of cervicitis
Cervicitis is preventable by using protective measures such as condoms during every single act of sex. Maintenance of personal hygiene and menstrual hygiene, avoiding sex during menstruation are utmost important. Early detection and appropriate treatment are beneficial. Sitz bath in warm saline water prevents infections. Washing the pelvic area soon after coitus may also help. Periodic medical check-up even without any symptoms is suggested.
Ayurvedic Concept of Cervicitis
Cervicitis is not mentioned as a single disease in Ayurveda but it is considered as an infectious condition that having similarities with both Upapluta and Acharana. Upapluta lakshanas or signs are pain in the genital area with mucous & excessive vaginal discharge. Acharana is an infectious condition of vagina leading to itching and excess discharge per vagina. Most cases of cervicitis show a combination of both these conditions. Ayurveda explains the diseases of vagina as twenty in number and they are explained specially as a separate chapter in Charaka samhita. Ayurveda gives attention to the need for personal hygiene, and the importance of keeping the reproductive organs & vulval area clean and dry. Measures for keeping the area dry are explained so as to prevent any kind of infection and the growth of microbes. As vagina and adjuvant areas have mucous membranes wet with various types of body fluids & discharges, chance of infection of the area is high. So, it is important to keep the area dry & clean. Also unprotected sex and insertion of anything inside the vagina also should be avoided, as a preventive measure.
Ayurveda explains that if there is an infection like in cervicitis, the woman may not feel any discomfort at all, in the beginning stages. But by time, she starts to develop discomforts like yonisoola(pain in the vagina) kukshisoola(abdominal pain) and yonisraava (abnormal vaginal discharge).
Ayurvedic Nidana of Cervicitis
Krimi or parasite infestation
Factors that lead to Kapha and Rakta vitiation
Ayurvedic treatment for Cervicitis
The Ayurvedic management of cervicitis can be either local or whole body. As it is an infectious condition, the treatment is mainly concentrated on cutting the Samprapti of infection locally. But at the same time, it is important to cleanse and detoxify the whole body because then only complete cure is possible without recurrence.
The local procedures include
Yoniprakshalana – washing vulval area and vagina with herbal decoctions
Yonidhoopana – fumigation on the outer part of the area with herbal antiseptic fumes
Yonipratisarana – powdering the area with finely powdered herbs
Yoni pichu – tampoons with medicated oils/ghee preparations
Uttaravasti – Application and retention of specially formulated herbal preparations inside the vagina or further inside for a fixed amount of time, like in an enema and then flushing out. In some cases, the medicines are absorbed by the vaginal walls or the mucous membrane which is totally fine. If this procedure is done, either intravaginal or intra-uterine, strict anti-septic measures and expert supervision should be ensured.
The general treatments include
Internal medicines for cleansing and detoxification of the body, cleansing the Rakta dhatu, and neutralising any kind of Visha possible. Medicines are also used to reduce fever, itching, infection, pain and other discomforts related with the condition, if any.
External therapiesAyurvedic Panchakarma procedures especially Virachana(therapeutic purgation) and Vasti(therapeutic enema and vaginal treatments)
Also, herbal sit baths and bath in medicated warm water along with washing & fumigation of the area with herbs are advised for a speedy recovery.
Strict personal and menstrual hygiene should be maintained throughout the period of treatment.
Herbal Preparations for Cervicitis
Diet, Yoga and Pranayama
As cervicitis is an infectious condition, food items that cause increase or imbalance of Pitta, Kapha doshas and Rakta dhatu are to be avoided. Eat fresh and warm food always. Avoid re-heated food, especially oils. Intake a diet rich in vegetable, fruits, and cereals with high amount of fibre will help keep the body healthy. Yoga postures like Pavanamuktasana and bhadrasana are known to have effects on the normal functioning of Apaana Vaata and thereby improving reproductive health. Bhastrika pranayama when practised under proper guidance, helps the body heated up naturally and can help in killing unwanted microbes invading the body.
Side effect management of Cervicitis by Ayurveda
Regular and often intake of antibiotics may cause irritable bowels and diarrhoea as a side effect of the treatment of cervicitis. Ayurveda medicines like gandharvahastadi kashaya and Vilwadi gulika can be helpful in such conditions to manage the problems of gut and to retain the Agnibala lost due to antibiotics.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.
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