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#Obstetrics and Gynecology
Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that may be characterized by any of the following - vaginal discharge containing many white blood cells (WBCs), vulvar itching, vulvar irritation, vaginal odor, vaginal erythema, dyspareunia, and dysuria. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vulvovaginitis.1
Vaginal pH is ≤4.5 during the reproductive years.2 The pH may be elevated during pregnancy due to several factors. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is one of the causes.3 BV is a common cause of malodorous vaginal discharge and the most common lower genital tract disorder among women of reproductive age group.4
Maintain adequate intimate hygiene helps prevent the development of vaginal infections. Women, all across the globe, use several intimate hygiene products as part of their daily cleansing routine.5
Lavender essential oil is commonly used as a complementary medicine and has been traditionally known to have sedative, carminative, anti-depressive and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects.6 Lavender oil is often applied undiluted to the skin. Lavender is a common component of perfumes, soaps, flavourings, etc. Lavender has calming properties and its odor has been shown to reduce anxiety.7 Lavender oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties against many species of bacteria, especially when antibiotics fail to work. In aromatherapy, lavender oil is often used for the treatment of abrasions, burns, stress, headaches, in promotion of new cell growth, skin problems, painful muscles and boosting an immune system.8
It thus seems that a topical preparation containing lavender oil can potentially fight the odor associated with vaginal discharge in vaginal infections, as well as the infection itself, on account of its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
- Ranjit E, Raghubanshi BR, Maskey S, Parajuli P. Prevalence of Bacterial Vaginosis and Its Association with Risk Factors among Nonpregnant Women: A Hospital Based Study. Int J Microbiol. 2018; 2018: 8349601.
- Panda S, Das A, Singh AS, Pala S. Vaginal pH: A marker for menopause. J Midlife Health. 2014 Jan-Mar; 5(1): 34–37.
- Zodzika J, Rezeberga D, Jermakova I, et al. Factors related to elevated vaginal pH in the first trimester of pregnancy. AOGS 2011;90(1):41-6.
- Rao JVN, Chandidni J. The association of bacterial vaginosis with adverse pregnancy outcomes. 2017; 4(50), 3040-3042.
- Chen Y, Bruning E, Rubino J, Eder SE. Role of female intimate hygiene in vulvovaginal health: Global hygiene practices and product usage. Women’s Health 2017;13(3):58–67.
- Cavanagh HMA, Wilkinson JM. Lavender essential oil: a review. Australian Infection Control 2005;10(1):35-37.
- Koulivand PH, Ghadiri MK, Gorji A. Lavender and the Nervous System. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013; 2013: 681304.
- Ali B, Al-Wabel NA, Shams S, et al. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine 2015;5(8):601-611.