The vaginal microbiome – fertility and successful pregnancy

A specialised microbial community in humans is the vaginal microbiome. Successful human reproduction depends heavily on the correct balance of these microbes.

An optimal vaginal microbiome results in the production of lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, maintaining a level of acidity that keeps pathogenic bacteria at bay.

When the vaginal community becomes disturbed, on the other hand, acidity decreases. Pathogenic or other opportunistic bacteria may then invade, which can cause bacterial vaginosis. This is best described as a state of dysbiosis rather than infection.

Research suggests that probiotic supplementation may be of benefit in maintaining homeostasis of the vaginal microbiome thereby reducing the risk of infection, dysbiosis and subsequent inflammation and immune dysfunction.

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