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A vaginal cyst is a lump of fluid or semi-solid tissue that can develop along the walls of the vagina, usually near the opening of the vagina. They can range in size from as small as a pea to as large as an orange.
Vaginal cysts usually form when a gland or duct becomes clogged, causing liquid or another material to collect inside.
There are four different types of vaginal cysts.
Inclusion cysts are usually very small and located in the lower back of the vaginal wall.
Bartholin’s gland cysts are fluid-filled cysts that form on one of the Bartholin’s glands.
Gartner’s duct cysts develop when ducts in a developing embryo don’t disappear as they are supposed to after the delivery of a baby.
Mullerian cysts develop from structures left behind when a baby develops.
A vaginal cyst is rarely cancerous and, in many cases, it does not even cause any discomfort. Most often, cysts are discovered during a routine pelvic examination.
In most cases of vaginal cysts, treatment is unnecessary. Treatment is usually needed if you experience discomfort or pain due to the size of the cyst or if there is infection. In such a scenario, one can have symptoms like a soft lump in the vaginal wall, a protrusion from the vagina, discomfort during intercourse and difficulty inserting tampons.
To treat vaginal cysts, there are many simple and effective home remedies. These remedies also help fight any infection as well as promote healing.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for vaginal cysts.
1. Sitz Bath
Taking a sitz bath is beneficial for reducing the discomforts of vaginal cysts. It can help alleviate irritation and encourage healing by promoting drainage of the cyst.
Plus, sitz baths help keep the area clean and reduce the risk of an infection.
Partially fill a bathtub with warm water.
Mix 1 to 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt into the water.
Soak just your genital area for about 15 minutes at a time or until the water loses its heat.
Pat dry gently afterward.
Take a sitz bath 2 or 3 times a day for a week.
You can also buy a sitz bath kit that you can put over your toilet seat to make soaking easier.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another effective and easy remedy for vaginal cysts is apple cider vinegar. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar can help reduce the size and swelling of vaginal cysts.
As apple cider vinegar helps maintain the pH level of the vagina, it further reduces the risk of infection and even prevents the development of more cysts.
Mix 2 teaspoons of organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in ½ cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball in this solution and place it directly over the cyst for 1 minute. Repeat 3 or 4 times daily for a few days. Or, you can leave in place for 20 to 30 minutes, once daily until the cyst softens. If you can bear it, then you can mix equal quantities of apple cider vinegar and water and use this solution instead. To help soothe the area, you can then apply coconut oil on the cyst.
Alternatively, pour 1 cup of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a bathtub filled with warm water. Soak your lower body in the water for 15 minutes. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
Also, add 1 teaspoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water and drink it twice daily to promote healing from within.
3. Warm Compress
Applying a warm compress to a cyst is another easy and effective way to soften it and encourage draining, which in turn helps in the healing process.
A warm compress also helps kill bacteria to reduce the risk of infection and it fights inflammation.
Soak a washcloth in hot water and wring out the excess water.
Hold the warm cloth on the affected area for a few minutes.
Repeat 3 or 4 times a day until the fluid starts draining out of the cyst.
Caution: Take care not to burn the delicate tissue in the vaginal area.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil can really help with the pain and inflammation associated with vaginal cysts. It is particularly good for treating bartholin cysts.
Not only the pain, tea tree oil also helps get rid of harmful bacteria in the vaginal area and thus reduces the risk of an infection. In fact, it helps drain the cyst within 1 or 2 days.
Mix 2 or 3 drops of 100% tea tree oil in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil. Using a cotton ball, apply this oil on the cyst. Leave it for 20 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Use this remedy once or twice a day or as needed.
Also, add 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water. Use this solution to rinse the affected area a few times daily.
Turmeric also works great for treating vaginal cysts. The compound curcumin in turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps fight pain and inflammation.
In addition, turmeric is a natural antiseptic, which means it can help prevent and treat any infection.
Mix 1 teaspoon of turmeric power and a little coconut oil to make a paste. Apply the paste over the cyst and allow it to sit for a couple of hours. Rinse the area with lukewarm water. Repeat again until the cyst bursts.
Also, drink a glass of hot milk with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed in it to promote healing and control pain.
Be careful when applying turmeric paste, as it can cause yellowish stains on fabric and skin.
Garlic is another effective home remedy for any kind of vaginal cysts, mainly due to its potent antibiotic properties. It helps kill the bacteria present around the cysts, which reduces the risk of an infection.
When ingested, garlic also helps boost the immune system to help fight infections and promote healing.
Apply a little bit of crushed garlic on the cyst for 2 minutes. Rinse it off well with lukewarm water. You can follow up with application of coconut oil to reduce the stinging garlic might have caused. Do it 1 or 2 times a day.
Also, you can eat 1 crushed garlic clove 2 or 3 times a day, followed by a glass of water, to boost your immunity.
You can also use aspirin to cause the cyst to drain. Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties help deal with the pain and inflammation as well as reduce the risk of infection.
Crush a few aspirin tablets to powder form.
Mix in a little water to form a paste. Instead of water, you can also use castor oil (the oil will also help reduce inflammation and aid healing).
Apply this paste on the vaginal cyst.
Leave it on for 5 minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Do this once or twice a day.
8. Aloe Vera
To treat vaginal cysts, aloe vera is very effective.
It has healing and anti-inflammatory properties that help in the healing process and reduces inflammation.
Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe plant leaf and apply it directly on the cyst. Allow it to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Repeat 3 or 4 times a day.
Alternatively, mix 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Stir until the mixture forms a paste. Apply the mixture on the cyst. Leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Do it once a day.
Another good ingredient that can be used to treat vaginal cysts is yogurt.
Being rich in lactobacillus bacteria, Greek yogurt helps restore the normal vaginal pH level. This inhibits activity of infectious organisms that can cause an infection, which would make the condition worse and delay the healing process.
Also, it reduces vaginal odor.
Soak a cotton ball in plain yogurt and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for a few hours, then rinse the area thoroughly. Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
Also, you can eat 1 to 2 cups of yogurt daily.
A time-tested remedy for vaginal cysts is sepia. Sepia is made from the dark, brownish-gray pigment obtained from the ink sac of the cuttlefish.
Sepia is an effective remedy for fighting inflammation and pain associated with vaginal cysts. It can also be used to prevent development of additional cysts.
It is readily available in homeopathic clinics in pellets or liquid form. For the correct dosage, consult your doctor.
To prevent vaginal cysts, ask your partner to be gentle during sex.
Do not squeeze, scratch or puncture a cyst. Allow it to drain on its own to reduce the risk of infection.
Keep the area clean by washing it regularly with a medicated V-wash.
Never douche, as it can irritate the cyst.
If a cyst is painful, consider using a sanitary napkin instead of a tampon during your periods.
Maintain good hygiene habits to prevent infection of a cyst and the formation of an abscess.
To treat an infected vaginal cyst, you may need to take antibiotics.
You can opt for surgery to remove the cyst, if there is lot of discomfort or the cyst keeps returning.
Increasing your vitamin A, vitamin B and zinc intake helps promote healing of the skin tissues.
If recommended by your doctor, get a biopsy done to rule out the possibility of cancer.
Got Pain? A Virtual Swim With Dolphins May Help Melt It Away
Source: npr- Virtual reality is not new. But, as people search for alternative ways to manage pain — and reduce reliance on pills — VR is attracting renewed attention.
Imagine, for a moment you’ve been transported to a sunlit lagoon. And, suddenly, it’s as if you’re immersed in the warm water and swimming. That’s what Tom Norris experiences when he straps on his VR headset.
“It’s fantastic, I really feel like I’m there,” says Norris, who is 70 years old, retired from the military, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife. As dolphins frolic and swim by in the virtual scene, “I get a strong feeling of pleasure, relaxation and peace,” he says.
It doesn’t take long to produce that effect — about 10 minutes or so, via the headset.
Norris is no stranger to pain. He’s got chronic pain through his spine, back and hips, from injuries that go back years.
Ever since he was introduced to virtual reality, he’s been hooked. In addition to swimming with dolphins, he’s tried other VR experiences, such as wilderness walks.
“I relax. My attention is diverted and it makes the pain more manageable,” he says. Norris was on his deck when we spoke, drinking a morning cup of coffee and watching the hummingbirds. “Pain is part of my life,” he told me.
He uses lots of tools to help him cope, he says, including peer support groups, which he helps lead. But he says he finds VR particularly helpful. For him, the feeling of relaxation and ease that comes from a virtual swim with dolphins tends to linger for several days.
Can You Reshape Your Brain’s
Norris isn’t alone in his positive experience. A study published this month in the journal PLOS ONE is just the latest to document that an immersive, virtual reality experience can be an effective strategy for reducing pain.
VR “changes the way we perceive the pain,” explains study author Brennan Spiegel, a physician and the director of Cedars-Sinai Health Services Research in Los Angeles.
The research was done in a hospital where participants were undergoing treatment for various conditions; some were experiencing pain linked to cancer and others had orthopedic pain. “We divided the patients into two groups,” Spiegel explains.
One group tried VR. They used Samsung Oculus headsets that were each fitted with a phone that had a VR app. Patients could select from a library of 21 VR experiences available on the app.
They were free to use the VR devices as much as they liked, but were advised to aim for three daily sessions, 10 minutes per session. The other group of patients got to watch a health and wellness channel on TV, as much as they wanted.
“We found that virtual reality reduced pain by about three times as much as watching TV did,” Spiegel says. Using a zero to 10 pain scale, the virtual reality experience led to a 2 point drop in pain, compared to a half-point drop for watching TV.
Spiegel’s study was partly funded by a grant from Applied VR, a company that sells VR software, but the company played no role in the conduct, data collection, data interpretation, or write-up of the study, he says.
It’s not exactly clear how VR works to help reduce pain perception, but pain specialists say there are likely multiple explanations. Distraction in just one element.
“When the mind is deeply engaged in an immersive experience, it becomes difficult to perceive stimuli outside of the field of attention,” Spiegel and his collaborators write in their journal paper. In other words, when something captures our attention and uses all our senses, we focus on it. It’s like a spotlight — and everything else falls into darkness — at last temporarily.
So, a virtual swim with the dolphins can overwhelm our visual, auditory and other senses. “VR is thought to create an immersive distraction that restricts the brain from processing pain,” the authors conclude.
The study adds to other evidence pointing toward potential benefits of VR to manage pain. Going back more than 15 years, studies have shown the technique to be useful in a range of settings — from helping people cope with anxiety to helping reduce acute pain during medical procedures, during physical therapy or during dental procedures. And, there’s some evidence VR can help with chronic pain, too.
Still, there are some unanswered questions, says Zachary Rosenthal, a clinical psychologist at Duke University who has been involved in research on VR’s effect on pain. “Distraction is helpful for pain,” he says. “That’s an understood phenomenon. … But why should VR be better than any other kind of distraction?” he wonders.
Spiegel’s research “starts to answer this question,” says Rosenthal. “I do think this study moves the needle forward.”
If you’re new to virtual reality, Spiegel has some advice: “It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor first, whenever self-treating symptoms. But in general, it is safe to use VR at home,” he says. About 5% to 10% of people who try it get cybersickness, which is basically a feeling of dizziness or vertigo, similar to motion sickness. So, it’s good to be aware of this risk.
“For people who own an Oculus Go or Oculus Quest [headset], I suggest Nature Trek, which is an outstanding set of content that is peaceful and meditative” for the treatment of pain, says Spiegel, who has no financial ties to the company. And there are other companies that make a variety of software specifically aimed at easing pain.
“For cheap and easy access to VR experiences, you can simply visit YouTube and search its massive library of free VR content,” Spiegel says. “If you want a virtual trip to the beach, type ‘VR beach’ into the YouTube search engine. Or ‘VR forest.’ It’s all there for the taking.”
VR is certainly not a panacea, but it can be another tool in the pain management toolkit. Spiegel and his collaborators say there’s still a lot to learn as to which types of VR may be most effective.
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Get a 24-Hour Blood Pressure Reading to really know your heart health
- High blood pressure (hypertension) is a warning sign of multiple health issues.
- A new study finds that the best way to determine a person’s heart health is to look at their blood pressure over 24 hours.
- This method could offset “white coat hypertension,” where the stress of going to the doctor’s office can increase a person’s blood pressure.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for nearly 1 in every 4 deaths — or about 610,000 deathsTrusted Source — each year.
It’s also the most expensive disease, costing the country nearly $1 billion each day.
The vast majority of cardiovascular disease cases are preventable, had people received earlier diagnoses and treatments.
One way to detect signs of cardiovascular disease is a simple blood pressure reading.
High blood pressure (hypertension) has long been known to be the biggest — and most treatable — risk factor associated with diseases of the heart and vascular system. But many people don’t know they have it until it’s too late, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source.
Now, researchers have discovered a new way to get more accurate measurements of blood pressure, which can hopefully get people on the right medications sooner and help prevent cardiovascular disease.
By recording people’s blood pressure over 24 hours rather than just once in a clinic or hospital setting, doctors can more accurately diagnose high blood pressure and effectively predict someone’s risk for heart and vascular disease, according to a new international study recently published in JAMATrusted Source.
To determine the most reliable way to measure blood pressure, researchers followed 11,135 people from Europe, East Asia, and Latin America for 14 years.
They compared the accuracy of blood pressure readings that were taken in a medical setting to blood pressure recordings that were taken during both night and day over 24-hour periods.
The researchers found that the 24-hour and nighttime blood pressure measurements provided a more accurate estimate of one’s risk for heart and vascular disease compared to the in-office readings.
“Although heart and vascular disease are strongly associated with blood pressure, irrespective of how it is measured, until now we did not know which type of blood pressure measurement captured risk in the most accurate way,” study co-author Dr. Gladys Maestre, a researcher from the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine, said in a statement.
The findings suggest that blood pressure should be monitored repeatedly for 24 hours to help diagnose people’s heart issues and, ultimately, prevent cardiovascular disease, according to the researchers.
“Ever since devices to measure blood pressure were invented more than 100 years ago, it’s been known that elevation of such readings predicted the eventual development of blood vessel disease, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, and kidney dysfunction,” says Dr. Richard Wright, a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
In general, the further a person’s blood pressure readings deviate from the ideal, the more likely they are to eventually develop any of these health issues, Wright added.
However, a huge issue comes into play when blood pressure is measured in a healthcare setting.
Many people have elevated blood pressure readings due to anxiety of being in a medical environment — known as the white coat effect — and those high readings don’t accurately reflect a person’s overall blood pressure levels.
“Unfortunately, blood pressure isn’t a fixed number for any individual and varies widely over each day, being much higher during stress or physical exercise, and typically lowest at night during asleep,” he explained.
Even the stress of having a blood pressure cuff put on the arm or seeing a doctor walk into the room can cause some people’s blood pressure to spike, he added.
Twenty-four hour monitoring can look at a person’s blood pressure fluctuations throughout an entire day rather than at a given moment.
There’s also a huge advantage of measuring blood pressure during sleep because the results aren’t affected by daytime meals or activities.
“Ambulatory monitors give us a great sense of what the patient’s blood pressure is doing in real life as well as when they are sleeping, when it should decrease,” Dr. Nicole Harkin, a board-certified cardiologist and lipidologist with Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates in New York City, said.
“They also give us a large data set of blood pressures to look at, as opposed to a one-time snapshot in the doctor’s office, which is subject to many variables, including errors in measurement as well the patient’s recent activity level, medication timing, and inadequate rest prior to measurement,” she said.
According to Harkin, the current American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association blood pressure guidelines support the use of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring to better predict cardiovascular outcomes.
Coverage for ambulatory blood pressure monitoring varies across different insurance providers. Much of the time, it’s only covered for people who experience white coat hypertension, in which an individual’s blood pressure is higher in a doctor’s office than it would normally be, she explained.
Seeing as ambulatory blood pressure monitoring can better predict long-term heart disease outcomes, healthcare providers should place a greater emphasis on 24-hour readings than those taken in a doctor’s office.
If people know their blood pressure is higher than it should be, the better they can manage it to minimize the odds they’ll develop heart disease down the road.
High blood pressure can be the biggest predictor of heart disease, so the sooner people can start managing their blood pressure, the lower their risk of heart and vascular disease may be.
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