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.
The failure of the previous treatment was due to the fact that the doctors did not try to cure the inflammation, but rather to stop the discharge by strongly corrodent and astringent remedies, which almost tanned the mucous membrane of the vagina. Hence the excretory ducts for the discharge had been obstructed. Certainly for a time the discharge had stopped. That was a mistake, because, dealing with an inflammatory process resulting in swelling and suppuration, the most important principle should be to get rid of the matter rather than to hold it back artificially.
To cure the inflammation of the genital organs I gave the patient Mercurius corrosives 6x and Hydrastis 4x, each drug to be taken twice daily. I told the patient to irrigate the vagina every morning with a solution of Arnica, 5 drops in a point of warm water. The aim of such an irrigation is not to stop the discharge, but rather to improve the condition of the inflamed genital organs. I put the patient on a lactovegetarian diet. I warned the patient that at the beginning of the treatment the discharge would increase and she ought to be rather happy about it because all retained virulent poisons would be eventually eliminated.
Two weeks later the patient came to see me again. She had carefully followed all my prescriptions and happily told me that everything had occurred as I had predicted. For the first three days all her pains had been aggravated, the discharge being increased, but then improvement started, the discharge got less corrodent, being more liquid and all her pains went. The examination proved that the inflammation had greatly diminished. I told the patient to continue the irrigations of the vagina.
Six months later the patient felt better, than even before in her life. All her pains gone, no discharge. There was no inflammation, no swelling of the genital organs. The patient was able to do her housework again, menstruation was regular and without any pain.
II.- About eight years ago, Mrs. E. H., 41 years of age, consulted me. Her very first words were : “Doctor, I am hopeless, the most unfortunate woman. I feel suicidal, because I do not think that there is any help for me whatever. I am always depressed and whining without any reason. I am feeling very weak generally, besides I am suffering from my genital organs, feeling a nearly unbearable pressure downwards and I am suffering from a very profuse corroding discharge.” Examining the patient I found that the womb was retroflected and dislocated backwards and swollen, the mucous membrane of the vagina very much inflamed, there was profuse yellowish discharge. The patient told me that all her previous doctors had suggested an operation. The womb ought to be raised and sewed to the anterior abdominal wall. I objected to the operation, because the troubles of the patient were due not to the dislocation, but to the inflammation of the womb, knowing that innumerable women, whose wombs are displaced, do not suffer at all, most of them being unaware at all of that dislocation.
My treatment was nearly the same as in case I. I gave Mercurius 6x and Aurum muriaticum 10x alternately, twice daily and Lachesis 30c once a week. I put the patient on a vegetarian diet, supplemented by Adinolan tea. The patient improved gradually from week to week, and in about ten weeks all her troubles had gone. There was no further discharge. The womb was still in the same position, but it was entirely decongested and it was not at all sensitive to pressure. The patient was quite another human being, she was happy and cheerful, able to do her housework and laughed about her previous suicidal thoughts, which she no longer entertained. I have treated dozens and dozens of similar cases in the same way.
I think my reader will understand by now the meaning of these conditions. They should read my explanation carefully and give up trying self treatment of their complaint. Every young woman should think twice before giving her consent to an operation.
It is for the physician to decide whether internal homoeopathic treatment should be supported by any local therapy.
In conclusion I will point out the fact, that there are cases of discharge, due to psychological reasons. The genital organs of the woman react very promptly to mental excitation, especially in patients characterized by an asthenic nervous system. Even the slightest psychical irritation results in an increased secretion of the genital glandular system.
Our homoeopathic drugs such as Gelsemium, Ignatia, Kalium sulphurat., Lamium album, Platina, etc., should in these cases be supported by the hormonal therapy.
The general hygienic and psychological treatment of these patients should never be neglected. I will deal with this question in the next chapter.