Vaginitis is a general term for inflammation of the vagina and vulva. The most common types of vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, trichomoniasis and vaginal atrophy (atrophic vaginitis).
A change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or a vaginal infection usually causes vaginitis. It can also happen after menopause due to reduced estrogen levels in the body. Other causes include excess use of vaginal sprays, douches, soaps, scented detergents and spermicidal products.
Factors that put you at an increased risk of developing vaginitis are hormonal changes, uncontrolled diabetes, side effects of certain medications, douching, poor hygiene, wearing damp or tight-fitting clothing and using an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.
The symptoms of vaginitis vary depending upon the cause. Common symptoms include vaginal itching, abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, pain or burning during urination, discomfort during intercourse and vaginal bleeding or spotting.
There are several ways to reduce your chances of getting vaginitis as well as treating the problem. Home remedies can help ease discomforts and promote quick recovery.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for vaginitis.
Probiotic yogurt that contains active cultures is one of the best home remedies for vaginitis. Studies have shown that yogurt containing the ‘good’ bacteria, lactobacilli, helps fight off bad bacteria.
It also helps maintain a healthy vaginal pH balance. All these factors provide relief from the various discomforts.
- Dip a tampon in yogurt and put it in your vagina for a couple of hours. Repeat twice daily until the symptoms completely disappear.
- Also, include plain yogurt daily in your diet.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acidic property of apple cider vinegar helps regulate the pH of your vagina to a healthy level. A proper pH level automatically maintains a balance of good and bad bacteria.
In addition, it can even control a yeast or bacterial infection.
- Add 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and use it to wash your vagina twice daily for a few days.
- Also, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little raw honey to a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily.
3. Cold Compress
You can control inflammation caused by vaginitis with a cold compress. The cold temperature helps numb the area, providing relief from itching, pain and other discomforts.
- Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and tie it together.
- Put this compress on your vagina for 1 minute.
- Take a break for 1 minute and reapply it.
- Repeat for a few more minutes.
- Use this remedy as needed.
You can also rinse the vaginal area with cold water a few times a day.
The antibacterial and mild antiseptic qualities of garlic help treat vaginitis. It can treat both bacterial and yeast infections that cause vaginitis. In addition, garlic gives a boost to your immune system to help your body fight any infection.
- Mix 4 or 5 drops of garlic oil with ½ teaspoon each of vitamin E oil and coconut oil. Apply it on the affected area twice daily for a few days.
- Eat a few cloves of raw garlic daily and use it in your daily cooking.
- Alternatively, you can take 300 mg of garlic supplements daily for a few days. However, it is best to consult a doctor before taking any supplement.
5. Boric Acid
Boric acid is a great remedy to get rid of the discomforts of vaginitis. Its antiseptic and antifungal properties help reduce itching, pain and irritation. In addition, it helps cleanse the vagina and restore its pH level.
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Women’s Health, boric acid can be a safe, alternative, economic option for women with recurrent and chronic symptoms of vaginitis.
- Put some boric acid powder inside an empty gel capsule.
- Insert this capsule in your vagina before going to bed.
- The next morning, wash the area thoroughly with warm water.
- Repeat once or twice a week.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you are pregnant.
Another quick treatment for vaginal inflammation is chamomile. The soothing and relaxing nature of this herb can help reduce swelling as well as pain, burning sensations and itching.
- Steep a chamomile tea bag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Hold the tea bag inside your vagina.
- Squeeze the tea bag so that the water reaches the inflamed vaginal canals.
- Use this remedy 1 or 2 times daily until the inflammation subsides.
7. Hydrogen Peroxide
When it comes to treating vaginitis, hydrogen peroxide is an effective treatment. This natural disinfecting agent helps control growth of bad bacteria in your vagina.
In addition, it can even reduce inflammation, pain and itching. Use only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginitis.
- Prepare a solution with equal amounts of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and water.
- Use it to wash your vagina, wait 10 minutes and then rinse with cold water.
- Do this once or twice daily for a few days.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can also help relieve vaginitis symptoms. It contains natural antibacterial and antifungal compounds that help treat infections. It even helps combat vaginal odor.
- Add 4 or 5 drops of tree tea oil to a small bowl of warm water.
- Stir thoroughly and use it to rinse your vagina.
- Do this once daily for a few days.
Note: Pregnant women should not use this remedy.
9. Build Your Immunity
A strong immunity can reduce the risk of developing vaginitis by helping your body fight off infections.
- Follow a well-balanced diet with an adequate amount of vitamins A and C, zinc, selenium and iron to build immunity.
- Eat immune-boosting foods, such as oranges, green tea, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, mushrooms, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, beans, broccoli and strawberries.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
- Maintain an adequate amount of vitamin D in your body by exposing yourself to early morning sunlight for 15 minutes daily.
- Get proper rest and enjoy sound sleep daily.
- Exercise for 30 minutes, 5 times a week.
- Keep a positive outlook toward life.
10. Maintain Vaginal Hygiene
Good hygiene can help prevent vaginitis. It also helps relieve some of the symptoms and promotes quick recovery.
- Change your underwear daily and wash them in hot water.
- Dry your underwear under direct sunlight from time to time.
- Wear cotton underwear and loose-fitting pants or skirts. Do not wear tight-fitting underwear.
- Avoid panty liners and underwear made from synthetic fiber.
- Avoid excess washing and rinsing out of the vagina.
- Avoid douching, taking baths with bubble bath or soap, and using soap to wash the genital area.
- Avoid using perfumed toilet papers and feminine hygiene products.
- Wipe from front to back after using the toilet.
- Change out of wet clothes like swimsuits as soon as possible.