Pathophysiology of vaginal discharge from Iranian Traditional Medicine (ITM) point of view compared with common medicine

Document Type : Review Article


1 Resident of Traditional Medicine, Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Traditional Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.

4 Researcher, Department of Traditional Medicine, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: Vaginal discharge is one of the most common complaints in women which is associated with failure to treatment and recurrence in many cases. Multiple previous studies have investigated its treatment in the view of complementary medicine, but its etiology has been fewer considered. Therefore, this study was performed with aim to investigate the pathophysiology of vaginal discharge in the view of ITM and compare it with common medicine.
Methods: In this review study, the causes and semiology of "Sayalan-e Rahem" was collected and categorized from ITM manuscripts such as Bouali Sina Qanoun, Aghili Moalejat, Exir Azam, Teb Akbari, …. Also, pathophysiology of leucorrhea was collected from gynecological textbooks such as Novak and Danforth and databases. Then the findings from two perspectives were compared with each other. The common and differentiations were categorized and two viewpoints were explained.
Results: Based on the ITM's view, any discharge from the vagina is called "Sayalan" which could be normal or abnormal. Abnormal sayalan was considered as "Sayalan-e Rahem". The causes of Sayalan-e Rahem is divided into two groups of uterine and extra uterine. Uterine causes include the weakness of "qowwat-ol-ghadhiyah" of the uterine and extra uterine causes include "imtila of any humors" and loos them from the uterus and vaginal discharge. Based on common medicine, leucorrhea can be physiologic and pathologic. Pathologic leucorrhea is known as vaginitis and is divided based on the types of organism that causes infection.
Conclusion: Sayalan in ITM equivalents as leucorrhea in common medicine. Normal Sayalan is also equivalent to physiologic leucorrhea. The causes of pathologic include only infectious factors, while the causes of Sayalan-e Rahem are wider and each of them can be underlying factor for infection and they can also explain the lack of response to treatment and recurrence of vaginitis.


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