Vaginal flora is the name given to the ensemble of microorganisms that make up the gynecological system.
The equilibrium in the vaginal microbiota is very fragile and disrupting it causes infections, which are common reasons for doctor visits.
Originally described under the name Doderlein's flora in 1894, the vaginal microbiota is an ecosystem composed, among other things, of more than 200 bacterial species. The predominant species are lactobacilli, which make the vagina acidic. Its composition and pH vary over time, and are influenced by genetics, ethnic origin, pregnancy, and menopause, as well as environmental and behavioral factors (sexual contact, intimate hygiene, etc.). The vaginal microbiota plays many roles, particularly in defending the body against infection and ensuring a favorable environment for pregnancy.
Various diseases can result from imbalance in the vaginal microbiota (dysbiosis)-vaginal infections, fungal infections, etc.-with characteristic signs: itching, irritation, abnormal odor and discharge. Among them are, in particular, bacterial vaginosis, associated with the proliferation of certain bacterial strains, and vaginal yeast infections, with more serious consequences notably during pregnancy.
Studies have shown that the topical or oral administration of probiotics rebalances the vaginal microbiota, which improves symptoms while also reducing the risk of recurrence.
The first episode of MICROREVEAL will focus on the vaginal microbiota. Like Julie, you probably wish to know more about this microbiota which plays a key role in women’s health. Louise interviewed Dr. Jean-Marc Bohbot, andrologist and specialist in urogenital infections.
Mending W. Vaginal Microbiota. in A. Schwiertz (ed.), Microbiota of the Human Body, Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 902.
Affecting the microbiota
There are 3 ways to affect the equilibrium of microbiotas. Each of them has its own specific features.