Self-Treatments for Vaginitis

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Self-Treatments for Vaginitis

Reference: Nyirjesy P, Weitz V, Grody T, Lorber B. Over-the- counter and alternative medicines in the treatment of chronic vaginal symptoms. Obstet Gynecol 1997; 90:50-53.

Summary: Women with chronic vaginal symptoms referred to a specialty clinic were administered a comprehensive questionnaire and examination. A total of 105 patients were included in the study. Altogether 73% reported self-medicating with over-the- counter (OTC) medications, and 88% told their physicians about doing this. The most common self-administered OTC drug was miconazole (used by 74% of the women who reported OTC drug use). On the other hand, 42% of the study participants reported use of alternative therapies, and 70% told their physicians when doing so. The alternative modalities reported were oral and topical use of probiotics, garlic, herb teas, vinegar douching, boric acid douching and acupuncture. Patients found to have vaginal candidiasis were significantly more likely to have used alternative therapies than women who did not have candidiasis. The authors speculate that this may have been because candidiasis patients had more severe symptoms leading to greater self-treatment. No information on efficacy of treatments or accuracy of self-diagnosis was given.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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By E. Yarnell

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