Vaginal probiotics: what they are, what function they have

We want to start by talking about probiotics , what they are, what function they have. Probiotics are live microorganisms that , when taken in adequate quantities, have great benefits in our body. One of the main uses of probiotics is to improve digestive health and restore the balance of the intestinal microbiota . Although in this article we are going to talk about another type of probiotics , vaginal probiotics.

Just as probiotics help the intestinal microbiota , vaginal probiotics are also live microorganisms that in this case will contribute to restoring the vaginal flora, also known as vaginal microbiota , acting as a natural barrier against infections of the female reproductive system.

What are vaginal probiotics ?

As we have said previously, vaginal probiotics are live microorganisms that help care for the vaginal flora, preventing pathogenic organisms from proliferating that could cause vaginal infections and problems.

It is made up of several different species of bacteria, but the most important and frequent are Lactobacillus , and specifically: lactobacillus crispatus , lactobacillus brevis and lactobacillus gasseri .

How vaginal probiotics work

The pH is the scale that measures the acidity of an area and will tell us if it is acidic, alkaline or neutral. From 0 to 6 is acidic, 7 is neutral and more than 7 is alkaline. For optimal vaginal health, you should have a healthy acidity between 3.8 and 4.2. When it is imbalanced, the body becomes more vulnerable to infections.

Lactobacilli promote the maintenance of the vaginal acid ecosystem by producing lactic acid, creating a vaginal pH below 7 to help prevent the growth of potentially pathogenic microorganisms.

The immune system is of vital importance for our vaginal flora, since its effectiveness can be affected due to certain factors. Some of them can be an unbalanced diet, stress and some unhealthy lifestyles can weaken it and therefore unbalance the vaginal microbiota , increasing the risk of infections, among other health problems.

Benefits of vaginal probiotics

Before delving into the benefits of vaginal probiotics , we will know what the main vaginal infections that may exist are.

  • Vaginal candidiasis: It is caused by a fungus called albicans . This type of infection affects up to 3 in 4 women at some point in their lives. Some of the symptoms it entails are: white or thick vaginal discharge (cottage cheese), itching or itching, irritation of the vulva, vaginal rash.
  • Vaginosis : it is the most common of all and the cause is the imbalance in the bacterial flora that lives in the vagina, due to excessive use of vaginal douches, taking antibiotics and hormonal alterations. The symptoms you may experience are: excessive vaginal discharge (white or gray), bad odor of the discharge, burning when urinating, vaginal itching.
  • Trichomoniasis : it is due to a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis , is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. Men can be carriers of this infection, but do not suffer from it, while women do. They may present the following symptoms: abundant vaginal discharge (yellowish-green), fishy odor, pruritus or itching, it may cause discomfort when urinating and pain during sexual intercourse.
  • Chlamydia: It is an infection caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis , like trichomoniasis , it is also transmitted through sexual contact. It affects young people and is not difficult to combat. It is usually asymptomatic, that is, it does not cause symptoms, but it is considered high risk because it causes: lesions in the cervix, sterility, discharge in the penis, pain during sexual relations, bleeding after sex in women, pain in the testicles.

The treatment of vaginal infections consists of eliminating the agent causing the condition, through certain medications that your specialized doctor will have to prescribe. On the other hand, there is the option of more natural remedies to combine both treatments, such as taking vaginal probiotics .

How to maintain vaginal pH balance

  • Incorporate probiotics into your diet : You can introduce more probiotics in different ways, orally as a supplement, intravaginally , or in probiotic foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi , or sauerkraut.
  • Eat garlic: Garlic is packed with antioxidants. According to a 2014 study of 120 women, garlic may be as effective as oral antibiotics in treating symptoms of vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis , with fewer side effects.
  • Decreases stress levels: Stress can affect all facets of the human body including the health of the vagina. There is a study that was done in 2018 that highlighted the connection between cortisol spikes and bacterial vaginosis .
  • Reduce tobacco or quit completely: according to studies, women who smoke may have more bacterial vaginosis .
  • How to clean the vulva and vagina: you should avoid vaginal douches, as well as vaginal soaps with fragrances, tampons or scented sanitary pads. They can considerably alter vaginal pH. To clean the vulva and vagina thoroughly, rinse the area gently with warm water . In the end the vagina cleans itself.
  • Underwear: try to wear cotton underwear, sleep in underwear to avoid moisture in the area, change your underwear during the day if you see that there is excess moisture.
  • Protection in sexual relations: according to a 2011 study, increased exposure to semen has an alkalizing effect on the vagina and can increase the risk of infections.

At Vitae we care about your health and that is why we try to offer the best of us, providing valuable ideas for your daily life. Next, we bring you one of our proposals for intimate health:

  • Vulbiotic is an oral synbiotic based on Lactobacillus rhamnosus , Lactobacillus crispatus and Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) that contribute to restoring the vaginal microbiome , favoring the balance of the vaginal microbiota and its role as a natural barrier against genitourinary infections . Balances the microbiota and improves protection against pathogens, such as Candida albicans , cystitis. It helps to recover post-infection or post-partum vaginal pH and contributes to improving the immune response against persistent infections.
  • UrinVita is a natural food supplement based on pomegranate extract, grape extract, cranberry and rosemary. Thanks to its content of proanthocyanidins and Procyanidins contribute to the well-being of the urinary system. It is a disruptor of the biofilms that bacteria can create in infections, which adhere to the surfaces of the reproductive system of women.
  • OlioVita Íntima is an externally applied vaginal moisturizing cream with sea buckthorn oil extract, mallow extract, argan oil, sesame oil, hyaluronic acid and soothing peptides. Respects the physiological balance of the area and reinforces the natural barrier function of the skin. It has an emollient, soothing, protective and moisturizing effect that contributes to the well-being and comfort of the vulvar area.
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