When you feel itchy or get a burning sensation down there, you should get yourself checked. It can be a vaginal yeast infection, which is mostly seen in women who are still in their reproductive stage. According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, vaginal yeast infection is quite common, as up to 75 out of 100 women have it at least once in their life. A gynaecologist can suggest what to do if you have a vaginal infection. But trying out home remedies is also appealing to many. Saltwater for vaginal infection or even tightening is something that some women suggest. But is salt water safe to use on your vagina?
HealthShots consulted Dr Chetna Jain, Director Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Cloudnine Group of hospitals, Sector 14, Gurugram regarding this. She says if a woman has more than four episodes of infection in a year, it’s called recurrent vaginal infection. As for some of the most common organisms in vaginal infections, yeast and bacteria top the list.
Salt water to treat vaginal infections
You might have noticed that when salt water is warm, it gives a soothing effect on the vulva and outer vagina. Dr Jain says that it reduces itching and discomfort temporarily, but has no long-term effect. Traditionally, epsom salt, which is magnesium sulphate, was used to treat vaginal infections. The expert explains that warm water with salt will generally increase blood supply to the vaginal area. It can reduce the vaginal infection as part of the natural healing process. But using salt directly is unlikely to heal the vaginal infection.
Salt and hot water on vagina: Yay or nay?
When there is extreme irritation down there, some women tend to use hot water with salt. The thing is the genital area is very sensitive. The expert says that temperatures above 37 degrees can cause stinging and burns. Adding salt to it, will only make it worse. It’s advisable to not use hot water with salt on your private parts. So, it’s best not to bathe with hot salt water or sit in it for vaginal infection treatment.
Salt water for vaginal tightening
Well, direct application of salt can lead to burns in the vagina. It can change or remove healthy bacteria from the vagina, then increase the chances of getting a vaginal infection. So, try not to use salt for vaginal tightening. You can look for other methods like exercising.
Home remedies for vaginal infections
Vaginal infections have a variety of causes, and the treatment depends on the underlying cause. Dr Jain says that these are seen more now due to lifestyle changes like wearing tight synthetic clothes, altered sexual practices and use of soaps and scented items on private parts.
Some of the home remedies you can try are:
• Diluted apple cider vinegar
• Local application of coconut oil with or without tea tree oil
• Garlic paste application
• Use of probiotics like curd
While these home remedies might help reduce symptoms, it’s important to see your gynaecologist for proper examination and appropriate treatment. Home remedies might provide some relief immediately, but in the long-run it might not be the best thing to do. After all, self-treatment is something that’s not recommended by doctors. It can lead to infections and burns, and also remove healthy bacteria from your vagina.