A much loved specialty at Bodywise is women’s health care from from puberty to beyond menopause. Fertility, pregnancy and breastfeeding is another very special time and we so enjoy seeing new mums and parents get off to a great start.
Starting at puberty, women can have normal menstrual cycles when they are active, a suitable weight, eat healthy foods, avoiding or limit alcohol and live as relatively stress free a life as is possible! That’s a big ask in this era we find ourselves living in and is a major reason why many teenage girls and women have problems around their reproductive systems. A women’s lifestyle can greatly influence her mood and general health so for some suggestions come and talk to us at Bodywise.
Problems that effect a womens health may include:
- PMS, PMDD, Endometriosis, PCOS, Infertility, Heavy menstruation, perimenopause and menopause.
- Herpes, Vaginal Warts, Candida (Thrush), Bacterial Vaginosis.
- Vaginal Dryness and Sexual Intimacy issues.
Each age group has patterns of symptoms that we view from a naturopathic and herbal perspective and includes how lifestyle may help or hinder wellness for any women’s health.
Below are some of the conditions we come across.
BV, Thrush- relief for women that restores health!
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) also called: Gardnerella-associated vaginitis or Nonspecific vaginitis.
BV is a very common lower genital tract infection in reproductive-age women and is an ecological imbalance of vaginal flora caused by a reduction of the normal lactobacillary bacteria, and the overgrowth of mixed anaerobic flora including Gardnerella vaginalis, Mycoplasma hominis and others.
Most women with BV have no symptoms however when symptoms do occur they include:
- excessive, watery gray or white vaginal discharge that sticks to the vaginal walls with a fishy or musty, unpleasant vaginal odor, itching and irritation.
A healthy vagina in women is colonised by hydrogen peroxide and acid-producing lactobacilli, essential to maintain the healthy PH of the vaginal ecosystem. The hydrogen peroxide-producing lactobacilli are essential in preventing overgrowth of harmful anaerobes in normal vaginal flora. The depletion of these healthy bacteria provide the right environment for the rapid growth of the unhealthy bacteria that lead to a pH elevation and the signs and symptoms of BV. BV may be associated with sexual activity but may not necessarily sexual transmitted.
Antibiotic treatment has been the standard treatment but does not address the ecological balance of the the vaginal flora. BV is concerning and may lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis and other chronic infections, infertility, pregnancy problems and low birth weight babies. Until recently, treatment was aimed at removing the bacteria or fungal infections.
There are health products using helpful ingredients like lactic acid and thyme oil however they often include other ingredients that are not the healthiest for women’s health. Again its very important to know all the ingredients in the products we use.
The good news for women is that a growing body of research into the application and consumption of specific nutrients, herbs and probiotics, to restore healthy vaginal flora.
- Vitamin C (1,000 mg three times daily with meals)
- Zinc (30 mg daily)
- Bromelain (400mg)
- Digestive enzymes; Proteolytic enzymes have been shown to increase effectiveness of the medicatiion
- Probiotics – oral and vaginal
Bacterial Vaginosis is no longer thought to be “a nuisance”, and encouraging research in the world of probiotics may quite literally change the landscape for women everywhere.
We are very pleased to be able to offer a specific and individualised treatment for women, topically and internally, using specific probiotics made for women.
Drop by for more information from our Herbalist and Naturopath
Chronic recurring bladder infections are less problematic when treated with herbal and nutritional medicine
The urinary tract has developed to be resistant to bacterial imbalances due to the low pH of urine, the presence of urea and flow of urine from the kidneys hindering the build-up of potentially harmful bacteria. However recurring bladder problems are experienced by great numbers of women.
Determining the underlying cause is very important. Structural abnormalities will usually create issues early in life. Dietary factors such as excessive sugar and consumption of processed foods, food allergies and nutritional deficiencies should all be considered. Taking oral contraceptives and antibiotics may make some women more vulnerable. STD’s will also create significant problems. In addition, incomplete emptying of the bladder (age-related), immobility, inadequate fluid intake and bowel incontinence may also contribute to the development of imbalances. The most significant characteristic of recurrent bladder infections is the adherence of harmful bacteria to the wall or lining of the urinary tract, including the kidneys and bladder. Sometimes these bacteria can be removed through the process of urination but large volumes of bacteria may be hard to remove and this leads to recurrent symptoms.
General therapeutic treatment using herbal and nutritional medicine will target the build-up of harmful bacteria and support the body’s removal of them. If you have questions please come and talk to one of our herbalists.
Urinary disorders for men and women are reduced with Herbal Medicine
Broad spectrum antiseptic herbs for Urinary Tract infections
Herbs such as cranberry, uva ursi and couch grass and many others effectively destroy infective organisms which cause cystitis, dysuria, urethritis, pyelitis, prostatitis (for men). A variety of herbs specifically prescribed will provide:
- Anti-inflammatory support to reduce pain
- Broad spectrum anti-microbial support
- Diuretic action to aid flushing out of pathogenic bacteria whilst treating water retention
- Tone & strength with in the urinary tract aiding those with incontinence
Urinary herbs work best when the urine has an alkaline pH therefore eating lots of leafy vegetables and taking a urinary alkalizer such as bicarbonate of soda will help
If you have recently had antibiotics this can be a very helpful follow on treatment
Bodywise Herbalists will prescribe the most effective combination for you, come and talk to us anytime.