As we age, our body requires constant internal and external care. While most of us pay extra attention to keeping our skin and hair health proper, we often forget about the internal needs of our bodies.
Changes in hormonal levels, lack of care, lifestyle changes, stress, and other environmental factors can lead to gradual yet lasting negative impacts on our bodies.
As we mature, the body demands more than a healthy diet, exercise, and sleep. It tends to lose essential minerals, which are compensated by supplements.
These supplements are administered through capsules, tablets, and even suppositories.
What Is A Vaginal Suppository?
Suppositories are a form of medicine or supplement administered directly into the body. It is often contained in a small solid container made of glycerin or cocoa butter.
This coating melts at body temperature, and the medicine or supplement is immediately absorbed into the body. Suppositories are especially effective in providing immediate and fast relief.
While overall health is most important, vaginal health is crucial for women’s health. The vagina is a unique ecosystem by itself which consists of special microbiomes.
These microbiotas regulate the vaginal environment and keep it healthy by fighting infections and maintaining the PH levels.
As we age or undergo bodily changes, these microbiomes also change in number, nature, and consistency. Without proper care, this may lead to an imbalance in health and cause illness.
Vaginal suppositories are widely used to help combat vaginal illness and maintain health. The suppositories are administered into the body through the vagina and are absorbed therein.
While these suppositories are available in different shapes and sizes, most have a tapered end to facilitate easy insertion. Some suppositories come with a plastic applicator to help with the insertion.
Benefits And Uses Of Vaginal Suppositories
Suppositories offer many benefits in comparison to other forms of drug administration. They are:
Vaginal suppositories are usually used to treat vaginal problems like infection (bacterial and fungal), vaginal dryness, and for birth control.
How Do Vaginal Suppositories Work?
Vaginal suppositories work in two ways. Either they treat the target area with the problem, or they are absorbed and travel throughout the body.
The suppositories are usually coated in glycerine or cocoa butter and are stored in a cool and clean place.
Once the suppository is inserted into the vagina, the outer coating melts due to the body temperature.
This helps the medicine to be absorbed into the body much faster than pills. The time suppositories take to work depends on their size, composition, and physical factors.
Safety Precautions And Potential Side Effects
While suppositories are usually safe, they may cause bleeding, pain, itchiness, or burning sensation for some people.
Importance Of Consulting A Healthcare Professional
Before administering anything to your body, it is best to consult a healthcare professional. This allows you to err on the side of caution and prevent complications.
Using a vaginal suppository is usually very easy. You do not need to insert it deep into the vagina. It only needs to go in for ½ to one inch.
Ideally, this is not a painful process. But if you experience pain, immediately contact a healthcare professional.
Further, ensure that there are no side effects after using the suppository. Contact a doctor for any bleeding, pain, itching, burning, or other signs of discomfort or irritation.
Further, a healthcare professional can advise on the need for vaginal suppositories and if it’s safe to use them.
Types of Vaginal Suppositories
There are two types of suppositories, over-the-counter or OTC and natural.
OTC suppositories are usually available in all pharmacies. Clotrimazole and miconazole are examples of OTC suppositories.
A medical professional usually prescribes these for a fixed duration of time. It comes in different sizes and is used to treat vaginal illnesses.
These suppositories are of varying strengths; some may take up to a week to cure the condition.
On the other hand, Natural suppositories are usually made of boric acid. These suppositories are used to cure yeast infections.
There have been many studies that have tested the therapeutic efficacy of boric acid suppositories on vaginal infections. And these studies have shown highly favorable results.
How To Use Vaginal Suppositories?
The vagina is a sensitive area that is key to women’s health. Hence, taking great care and hygiene while using or inserting anything on or into the vagina is essential.
You can follow the following steps to use a vaginal suppository safely.
Factors To Consider When Selecting A Vaginal Suppository
While over-the-counter vaginal suppositories are widely available, it is always prudent to consult a medical professional first.
Once the illness is properly identified and diagnosed, the medical professional can suggest the best suppository and the course of treatment.
Vaginal suppositories have gained a lot of recognition in recent times. It has become a preferred way for people and medical professionals as it is easy to administer and is much more efficient than tablets, pills, and injections.
While vaginal suppositories are readily available, it is best to take them on the advice of a physician. Also, ensure it is appropriately administered to avoid problems or discomfort.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- When are vaginal suppositories used?
Vaginal suppositories are used to combat infections, hormone imbalances, inflammations, vaginal dryness, or any other illness as deemed by a doctor. It is used as an alternative to other forms of medicine. The effect of a vaginal suppository is quick and immediate. Some vaginal suppositories are also used as contraceptives.
- How far should the suppository be inserted?
A vaginal suppository should be inserted ½ to 1 inch into the vagina. If it’s not going in, or if there is any pain, bleeding, discomfort, itching, or irritation during insertion or after, it is best to contact a healthcare professional.
- How long does it take for the suppository to dissolve?
Most suppositories take up to 15 minutes to dissolve. But this varies due to multiple factors. Some suppositories may take around 30 minutes to dissolve fully.
- Can we use tampons when using suppositories?
No. It is best not to use tampons after using a suppository. Tampons may absorb the medicine, making it hard for the body to absorb.
- Does suppository leak?
The medicine may leak a little. Hence it is best to use a pad or absorbent.