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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Self-Care of the Vagina in Diabetes

I have to accuse nature of sexual discrimination in the matter of vulnerability to infections of the external genitalia! The penis does harbor some vermin at the tip, but they are easy to brush away if a man takes even minimal steps to keep the foreskin clean. This applies to the scrotum as well. Circumcision does a great job for hygiene quite apart from the religious significance.

The vagina is a different matter, with the perineum as an unwitting ally for invading bacteria. The female reproductive tract is built to harbor beneficial micro-organisms, but is structurally vulnerable to attack by pathogens. Women soon tire of treating white discharge with that horrible odor because the problem tends to recur frequently.

Diabetes adds to the travails of women who struggle to stay free of vaginal infections. Repeated episodes of attack do no good to blood glucose levels, and it can be embarrassing to keep asking a physician for help. However, neglect of an offensive discharge can have serious implications because colonies of pathogens will travel through the cervix in to the uterus and beyond.

Self-care of the vagina is easy, even if you have diabetes. The main thing is to keep the tract acidic. Wiping the perineum dry after bowel evacuation helps considerably as well. Finally, you can also insert colonies of harmless bacteria to prevent pathogen growth. Ask you gynecologist for long term solutions to keeping the vagina free of infection, which you can administer on your own. You can also email me for details. I can suggest products which you can assemble from pharmacies on your own, provided that your doctor agrees with my suggestions.


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