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Why vaginal health matters?
Intricate Relationship Between Human Health and Microbial Communities

The human body's microbiota ecosystem plays a crucial role in human development, physiology, immunity, and nutrition. While most of these indigenous microbiota maintain a beneficial relationship with their human host, a few can be harmful pathogens leading to infections and diseases. These microbial communities act as a frontline defense against harmful microorganisms, protecting the body from diseases [1].

One notable example of this symbiotic relationship is seen in the human vagina, where bacterial communities and the host maintain a delicate balance. The host provides essential nutrients for bacterial growth, sourced from sloughed cells and vaginal secretions. In return, the indigenous bacteria help shield the host from potentially harmful pathogens, such as those causing bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, STIs, and urinary tract infections [1].


Why Vaginal Health Matters?

The importance of vaginal health cannot be overstated. Understanding the intricate science behind a healthy vagina reveals the critical role it plays in women's overall well-being. From maintaining microbial balance to promoting sexual and reproductive health, the significance of vaginal health resonates in every aspect of a woman's life.

The colonization of the vaginal vault begins early in life and continues throughout a woman's lifespan, with significant changes occurring at different stages such as puberty and menopause. Estrogen levels profoundly impact the vaginal ecosystem, influencing the presence of lactobacilli and vaginal pH levels. These fluctuations in the vaginal microbiota, influenced by hormonal changes, can impact a woman's vulnerability to various infections and diseases [6]. Vaginal health's close connection to sexual and reproductive well-being underscores its importance in fertility, conception, and pregnancy. Ensuring optimal vaginal health is crucial and matters because of the vital role it plays in overall wellness.


The Science Behind Vaginal Health

At the core of vaginal health lies Lactobacilli, recognized as the cornerstone of vaginal communities in women of reproductive age. These beneficial microorganisms play a crucial role by generating lactic acid through fermentation, effectively reducing the vaginal pH to a range of approximately 3.5–4.5. This acidic environment proves inhospitable to fungi, protozoa, and other undesirable microorganisms that typically require a pH above 6.0 to thrive [2].

Lactobacilli thrive in acidic conditions, facilitating their optimal growth and dominance within the vaginal ecosystem. Moreover, the lactic acid produced not only contributes to lowering the pH but also generates hydrogen peroxide and promotes the action of bacteriocins. These actions collectively serve as a defense mechanism against a wide array of pathogens, offering protection against harmful invaders. [2]


Factors Affecting Vaginal Ecosystem Harmony

The delicate balance of the vaginal ecosystem can be disrupted by various factors, leading to conditions like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. This imbalance, known as dysbiosis, can be triggered by hormonal changes, sexual activity, menstruation, hygiene practices, and certain medications. Understanding these factors and embracing habits that support microbial equilibrium, such as proper intimate hygiene and avoiding harmful substances, is essential for sustaining vaginal health.

  • Menstrual Cycle: Menstruation alters the vaginal environment, making it less acidic (pH 6 or higher). Additionally, the population of lactobacilli decreases during menstruation as they attach to menstrual blood cells instead of the vaginal epithelial cells. This shift creates a risk factor for maintaining the vaginal ecosystem, leading to post-menstrual discomfort due to reduced lactic acid and Lactobacillus acidophilus levels  [2] [5] [8].
  • Douching: Regular douching disrupts the vaginal balance by washing away beneficial bacteria along with harmful ones, posing more risks than benefits. Using harsh soaps and alkaline hygiene products frequently can also disturb the vaginal environment [2] [4].
  • Antibiotics: Broad-spectrum antibiotics can impact the normal vaginal ecosystem by affecting lactobacilli acidophilus and other beneficial flora [2].
  • Hormonal Fluctuations: Changes in estrogen levels, such as those occurring during menstruation or menopause, can influence vaginal pH and the microbial flora [6].
  • Sexual Activity: Reproductive women typically have a vaginal pH ranging from 3.5 to 4.5. However, sperm acts as an alkalizing agent, neutralizing vaginal acidity after intercourse. This neutralization can create an environment where pathogens may thrive, potentially leading to alterations in the vaginal microbiota [2] [3].
  • Chronic Stress: Prolonged stress triggers the overproduction of stress hormones like cortisol, impacting various bodily systems, including the vagina. These can disrupt the growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus and lactic acid production in the vaginal environment [7].

Impact of the Vaginal Microbiome on Health

The disruption of vaginal microbiome balance can lead to various infections of the vagina and also have an impact on fertility and pregnancy[10].

Common Infections:

  • Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): Characterized by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, BV is a prevalent condition affecting about 25% of women globally. Symptoms include unusual discharge, odor, irritation, and a higher vaginal pH.
  • Candidiasis: An opportunistic yeast infection causing discomfort like itchiness, discharge, and pain during urination. It affects around 70% of women and can be triggered by factors like antibiotics and certain contraceptives.
  • Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are common among women due to factors like shorter urethras. The loss of protective bacteria in the vagina can pave the way for UTI-causing bacteria to thrive, leading to symptoms like painful urination and frequent bathroom trips.
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): An imbalanced vaginal microbiome can increase susceptibility to STIs like HIV, HSV-2, HPV, and Trichomonas vaginalis.
  • Impact on Fertility and Pregnancy:
  • Preterm Births (PTB): Infections originating from the vagina can contribute to preterm births. Maintaining a healthy balance of Lactobacillus bacteria is crucial for optimal vaginal health, particularly during pregnancy [10].

Understanding and supporting the vaginal microbiome is key to promoting overall health and well-being.


Enhance Vaginal Health with These Lifestyle Tips

Taking care of vaginal health is crucial. Simple adjustments to daily routine can make a significant difference in vaginal well-being. By prioritizing these lifestyle factors, you can ensure a happy and healthy vagina for years to come.

  • Prioritize Hygiene: Maintain cleanliness by washing the outer area of vagina regularly with mild soap and water. Avoid douching as it can disrupt the natural pH balance. Opt for clean, cotton underwear and change sanitary products often during menstruation.
  • Embrace a Balanced Diet: Daily diet impacts the entire body, including the vaginal health. Emphasize a healthy and balanced diet and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water to keep the vaginal tissues moisturized. Limit consumption of sugar, alcohol, and caffeine, as they have an impact on vaginal health such as dryness, influencing the growth of yeast in the vagina.
  • Stay Active: Engaging in regular exercise can boost blood flow to the pelvic region, nourishing the vaginal tissues. Hence, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise most days, such as walking. Kegel exercises can specifically strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.
  • Manage Stress: Excessive stress can have a negative impact on vaginal health. Practice relaxation techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or taking a warm bath. Ensure to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, as lack of sleep can stress the body and weaken your immunity.
  • Consider Probiotics: Incorporating probiotics can be beneficial for maintaining vaginal health. These supplements help support the natural pH balance and beneficial bacteria in your vagina. Opt for probiotic supplements containing Lactobacillus strains like L. rhamnosus and L. acidophilus to promote optimal pH balance and overall vaginal health.


Unived Vaginal Flora is a probiotic supplement featuring clinically proven strains of Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus. It aids in maintaining vaginal pH levels between 3.5-4.5 and supports the restoration and maintenance of ideal vaginal flora.



1.Bing, Ma, L. J. Forney, and J. Ravel. 'The vaginal microbiome: rethinking health and diseases.' Annu Rev Microbiol 66 (2012): 371-89. 

2. Haya, Javier, et al. 'Importance of lactic acid in maintaining vaginal health: a review of vaginitis and vaginosis etiopathogenic bases and a proposal for a new treatment.' Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 4.13 (2014): 787.

3. O'Hanlon, Deirdre E., et al. 'Cervicovaginal fluid and semen block the microbicidal activity of hydrogen peroxide produced by vaginal lactobacilli.' BMC infectious diseases 10 (2010): 1-8.

4. Ness, Roberta B., et al. 'Douching in relation to bacterial vaginosis, lactobacilli, and facultative bacteria in the vagina.' Obstetrics & Gynecology 100.4 (2002): 765-772.

5. Eschenbach, David A., et al. 'Influence of the normal menstrual cycle on vaginal tissue, discharge, and microflora.' Clinical Infectious Diseases 30.6 (2000): 901-907.

6. Farage, Miranda A., Kenneth W. Miller, and Jack D. Sobel. 'Dynamics of the vaginal ecosystem—hormonal influences.' Infectious Diseases: Research and Treatment 3 (2010): IDRT-S3903.

7. Amabebe, Emmanuel, and Dilly OC Anumba. 'Psychosocial stress, cortisol levels, and maintenance of vaginal health.' Frontiers in endocrinology 9 (2018): 403253.

8. France, Michael, et al. 'Towards a deeper understanding of the vaginal microbiota.' Nature microbiology 7.3 (2022): 367-378.

9. Chen, Xiaodi, et al. 'The female vaginal microbiome in health and bacterial vaginosis.' Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology 11 (2021): 631972.

10. Bing, Ma, L. J. Forney, and J. Ravel. 'The vaginal microbiome: rethinking health and diseases.' Annu Rev Microbiol 66 (2012): 371-89.




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