Hygiene and Probiotics for Vaginal Health

Hygiene and Probiotics for Vaginal Health
 - Hyderabad


Hyderabad   |   22 May 2024

What are good hygiene practices?

The vagina is a muscular tube like organ,which is a natural orifice which communicates with the cervix and the uterus. The vagina before puberty is mainly inhabited by aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, which are relatively stable. But as the girl approaches puberty, the vagina microbiota changes to fermentative lactic acid bacteria, which reduces the vaginal pH and causes acidification of the vaginal environment. This acidic micro environment will not allow other harmful bacteria or pathogens to survive or grow. So maintenance of vaginal pH is of paramount importance to vaginal health, which acts as a barrier protecting  endometrium and Fallopian tubes from harmful pathogens.

Immediately after periods vagina may become dry for a few days but as the woman approaches ovulation, thin, colorless and odorless vaginal discharge may be noticed. As ovulation takes place,a thick sticky jelly-like discharge may appear that comes out of vagina in lumps, and the woman may experience wetness in her private parts. This also works as a lubricant during intercourse. And if there is no pregnancy, discharge will disappear, and the periods  commence.

So vaginal discharge is normal and physiological,But if you notice any change in colour (Greenish, yellowish or curd like) which stink like a fish or sour milk with increased discharge that is copious and other constitutional symptoms like itching, burning and rash at the vagina then it might be a sign of infection and calls for a medical intervention.

So, to summarize, good gut health, good sexual health, avoiding chemicals in your private area, and allowing aeration by wearing loose pants or “going panty-free” for a few hours a day may be key to good vaginal hygiene.

What are common mistakes women have about perineal hygiene?

Vaginal micro-flora is determined by various factors like genetics, sexual practices, diet, smoking, race, and sexual and social networks.Where majority of the vaginal health is maintained by vagina itself.
But few practices may be harmful and disturb the vaginal natural micro-flora, like

  • Use of harsh soaps to wash vaginal area. 
  • Douching
  • Tampons
  • Scented products
  • Shaving
  • Synthetic undergarments/tight panties
  • Washing underpants with antiseptics/ detergents
  • Not sun drying the underpants
  • Using unhygienic menstrual pads
  • Living in unhygienic conditions can change vaginal ph & lead to infections

When should women seek health provider?

Women with the following symptoms should seek help.

  • Copious vaginal discharge
  • Foul smell
  • Curdy discharge
  • Chronic pain in lower abdomen and low back
  • Burning in urine
  • Itching in perineum
  • Ulcers or rash in perineum

What are the benefits of taking probiotics for good vaginal health?

The vagina is an area well guarded and has its microbial universe dominated by lactobacilli. Though vaginal microbiota is not as diverse as the gut, the source of vaginal lactobacilli is generally from the gut, so the gut health is related to vaginal health and vice versa. The general health of a female in-house determines her vaginal health, and that further determines the couple's health and, eventually, their offspring's health as the child establishes its gut microbiota from the mother's vagina during normal delivery. Colonization of the infant's gut with healthy bacteria from the mother will influence the child's immune system.

Vaginal dysbiosis can cause various diseases like PID’s, STD’s, infertility, cervical cancer, pregnancy-related complications like PROM, premature delivery, chorioamnionitis can be related to vaginal dysbiosis.

Probiotics containing live bacteria can have health benefits for women and can be an alternative to antibiotics. Natural probiotics present in indian curd are a very effective way to prevent vaginal dysbiosis. In a study, girls taking 200mg of curd daily had lesser chances falling for urinary infection.

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