Choosing The Right Vaginal Suppository: A Step-By-Step Guide

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.

Vaginal Suppository

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:

  • Quickly absorbed by the body
  • Will not irritate the stomach or digestive system
  • It can be taken by people who do not like pills or injection
  • Targets localized illnesses.

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.

Vaginal Suppositories Work

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

  • Ensure your suppository is stored in a cool, clean, dry, hygienic place. Keep it away from children.
  • Only purchase the suppository if it is stored under ideal conditions or if there is any damage or tampering to the container.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel before and after using a suppository. 
  • If needed, you can wear gloves. Make sure the gloves are clean and sterile.
  • Contact a health professional in case of side effects.
  • Contact a health professional before using a suppository. 
  • Contact a health professional if you find it difficult to insert the suppository.
  • Trim your fingernails and keep them clean to avoid abrasions, cuts, or injuries to the vaginal area.
  • Do not use any form of lubricant for insertion except with consultation with a medical professional.
  • Consult a health professional if you have had surgery or any treatment done on your vaginal area.
  • Consult a health professional if you have allergies, irregular heartbeat, or other illnesses.

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.

Importance Of Consulting 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.

  • Wash and dry your hands: The importance of hygiene cannot be stressed enough. Always wash your hands with soap and rinse well to remove dirt, bacteria, and anything that may cause infections. Dry them well with a clean towel.
  • Unwrap and check the suppository: Unwrap your suppository and ensure it is firm enough to be inserted by squeezing lightly between your fingers. Do not use the suppository if the wrapping has been opened before or if expired. Ensure you press it sparingly, as it may break. If the suppository feels less firm, you can cool it in the refrigerator.
  • Dip in clean water: Dip the tip of the suppository in clean water so it becomes easy to insert into the vaginal cavity.
  • Choose a comfortable position: Choose a position that will allow easy access to your vagina. You can lie on your back or squat. The position must allow easy access to the vagina.
  • Insert the vaginal suppository: Slowly insert the suppository into the vagina. The tapered end should be inserted first, approximately ½ to 1 inch. Though there will be a slight resistance, it is not supposed to pain. 
  • Allow the medicine to dissolve: Lie down for about 15 minutes to absorb the suppository into the vagina.
  • Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after insertion. A little medicine may trickle down, so use an absorbent if this is a concern.  
  • Using applicators: If the suppository comes with an applicator, the same can be used to insert the suppository into the vagina. Simply insert the suppositor into the applicator, insert the applicator into the vagina, and push the suppositor inside. This method is easy and mess-free. 
  • Always check if the applicator is reusable or non-reusable. If it is non-reusable, then dispose of it properly after use. Reusable applicators can be cleaned and used again.

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.

Factors To Consider When Selecting A Vaginal Suppository

Once the illness is properly identified and diagnosed, the medical professional can suggest the best suppository and the course of treatment.  

Read More:- Exploring The List Of 5 Safe Sexual Practices – Explained In Detail

Final Thoughts

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)

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. Does suppository leak?

The medicine may leak a little. Hence it is best to use a pad or absorbent.

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