How much do you know about vaginal microflora? While most women know that the vaginal microflora refers to the microorganisms that populate the vagina, they’re not sure why it’s important.
Why Is Vaginal Microflora Important?
The vaginal microflora or vaginal microbiome plays a vital role in keeping the vagina healthy and maintaining overall well-being.
When it comes to vaginal microflora, balance is essential. The vagina is colonized by numerous microorganisms but lactobacilli or ‘good’ bacteria are dominant in a healthy vagina.
Lactobacilli help maintain vaginal health by protecting the vagina from pathogens that can cause infections. The lactobacillus species protect the vagina by producing antimicrobials such as lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. Lactic acid maintains the slightly acidic environment of the vagina, while hydrogen peroxide prevents the overgrowth of pathogens like yeast and ‘bad’ bacteria.
Altered Vaginal Microflora
The balance between good and bad bacteria in the vagina is very delicate, and a decline in lactobacilli will alter the healthy microflora pattern and cause the ‘bad’ bacteria to multiply. This is known as an altered vaginal microflora pattern.
Any disruption in the vaginal microflora can lead to a shift in the vaginal bacterial milieu, and this will increase the risk of developing infections. Also, the resulting vaginal secretions from an altered microflora pattern can irritate the external vaginal tissues and trigger a range of symptoms. These include irritation, vaginal odor, burning, and itching. An altered vaginal microflora pattern is often the underlying cause of recurring yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial infections.
The balance in the vaginal microflora can be disrupted by a variety of factors including douching, lubrication, and antibiotics.
Are you experiencing symptoms of an altered vaginal microflora? Contact the experts in vaginal care at Fowler GYN International (FGI), Phoenix, AZ for a consultation.
You can reach them at https://www.fowlergyninternational.com/, or by calling (480) 420-4001.