THE genital discharge is one of the most common complaints inducing women to consult the doctor. Such a discharge-whatever colour it may have- is always a symptom of a disease, either of a constitutional one, or of one located in the genital organs.
A healthy vagina should never produce any considerable discharge. There are no glands in the mucous membrane of the vagina, not even in its deeper tissues and consequently the sound vagina is incapable of producing any secretion of mucus. The normal vagina contains only some slight secretion which cannot be spoken of as a discharge. (* During pregnancy, as a rule, a slight discharge develops, it does not mean much.*)
During the period of puberty the vagina is capable of cleansing itself. It is by this process, that virulent germs brought into the vagina die off and vanish in about forty-eight hours.
What is this fact due to?
The tenet, that the lactic acid reaction of the vagina is responsible for it, has proved to be wrong. We now know, that certain bacilli, the so-called vaginal bacilli are cleansing the vagina, the lactic acid being the product of their metabolism. (Dr. Haehl, Gynaecologie and Homoeopathy, 1935.)
The bacterial flora of the vagina has been thoroughly explored. According to the quality and quantity of the bacilli different degrees of purity have been termed.
Degree I comprises cases in which only vaginal bacilli are living in the vagina, this being the ideal condition of an entirely healthy woman during her puberty.
During childhood and after the change of life, a great number of other bacilli or cocci are to be found, whilst the vaginal bacilli are almost entirely absent. This condition is termed purity-Degree IV. Between these two extremities are the Degrees II and III.
The maintenance of a normal vaginal flora is due to the physiological action of the ovaries. Considering the fact that the ovarian function is dependent not only on the inner secretory glands, but also on the whole constitution and the general health of the woman, we infer that the self-defence and degree of purity of the vagina is connected with the constitution of the organism.
Any injury of the vaginal surface, caused for instance by corroding discharge of the womb or daily vaginal douches can bring about a change of the normal flora. The vaginal surface, when injured or loosened no longer provides the proper medium for the vaginal bacilli.
This statement gives us a clue to the general treatment of the pathological genital discharge. An exact examination is necessary to find out, what causes the discharge and where it comes from.
Hahnemann himself explicitly demanded in his Organon, that the cause of the disease was first to be found and that the physician must endeavour to remove it, before considering the prescription of any homoeopathic drug.
The most varied conditions can cause a pathological discharge. Gonorrhoea, (* A discussion on the venereal diseases (Gonorrhoea, Syphilis) is beyond the scope of this booklet. I will deal with this most important problem in a special booklet.*) a tumour, a displacement of the womb or other genital organs, a serious constitutional disease; these are the causes in many.
The following two cases may illustrate my statements :
I.-Some years ago a lady consulted me, complaining about discharge from the vagina. She told me that she had been treated for the last ten years by a great number of specialists, but their different treatments were a failure. All these doctors prescribed solutions of pyroacylic acid, alumen, acetous argillaceous earth or other astringent drugs. Eight years ago a gynaecologist removed the left ovary by operation, in order to cure her from discharge, but the operation did not cure the condition, a few weeks after the operation the discharge restarted even more intensively than ever before. Two years later another gynaecologist curetted her womb without any effect. During the last ten years she had been doing everything recommended by her doctors, but alas, without any effect at all, the discharge now being worse than ever before; it is thickly purulent, the under-clothing showing yellowish colouring, and owing to its burning acridness corroding the vagina. She was suffering from serious pains, especially in the right side of her abdomen; her general health being aggravated to such a degree that she was unable to do her housework. The examination proved that the discharge was due to an inflammation of the genital organs, i.e. not only of the vagina, but also of the womb and ovaries.