Did you know that your vagina is a real Airbnb for a multitude of bacteria? Don’t panic, it’s completely normal! It’s your microbiota.
What is vaginal flora?
” The vaginal flora, or microbiota, is a set of microorganisms naturally present in the vaginal mucosa. It is mainly made up of bacteria from the family of lactobacilli which protect the intimate mucous membrane by creating an unfavorable environment for pathogenic germs, which thus makes it possible to limit infections. », explains Valérie Debray, doctor of pharmacy and marketing and communication director at Fleurance Nature. “The vaginal mucous membranes are naturally acidic, this acidity is a defense mechanism against pathogens, it is maintained by the production of a protective film on the surface of the mucous membranes and of different substances by lactobacilli. »
Symptoms of vaginal dysbiosis
We speak of “dysbiosis” when the balance of this flora is undermined, which weakens it and makes it more vulnerable to harmful germs. Women can therefore more easily suffer from bacterial vaginosisin other words, infections. ” A vaginal pH greater than 4.5 indicates that there is an imbalance in the vaginal flora. Symptoms may be unusual discharge, vaginal itching, unusual vaginal odorsor burning sensations / vulvar pain, in this case you must quickly consult a doctor because an infection is possible. »
This imbalance can be caused by several factors, internal or external. ” Taking medication (antibiotic or hormonal treatments in particular), natural hormonal factors (pregnancy, menopause, physiological variations in estrogen levels during the menstrual cycle), tobacco consumption, stress or fatigue, inadequate intimate hygiene ( too frequent or too aggressive)”, details the specialist.
The right steps to restore your vaginal microbiota
In case of dysbiosis, a supply of good bacteria through food supplements based on probiotics adapted to the vaginal sphere could make it possible toact favorably on the vaginal microbiota. Our expert recommends in particular probiotics based on the strains Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus salivarius, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which are naturally present in the vaginal flora.. ” These probiotics can help restore or maintain a balanced vaginal flora. They can be used in prevention or in addition to antibiotic treatment if you already suffer froma vaginal infection », adds Valerie Debray.
From what age to take probiotics?
The specialist explains to us that the vaginal microbiota is directly linked to hormone levels, and in particular estrogen, in the body. As a result, a woman’s vaginal microbiota evolves throughout her life, depending on her hormonal state: at puberty, during menstruation, during pregnancy, at menopause… Therefore, taking probiotics is possible. from 16 years old.
The right gestures to preserve your intimate flora
If there is no need to have a green thumb to preserve your vaginal flora, some good reflexes must be adopted.
- During personal hygiene, preferably use your hand rather than a glove or a shower flower.
- Don’t do no douching.
- When using the toilet, wipe back and forth to prevent faecal bacteria from migrating to the vagina and urethra.
- Avoid wearing too tight clothes and underwear that promote irritation.
- Change underwear every day and prefer cotton ones.
- Change sanitary protection regularly (every 4 to 6 hours).
- Urinate after each intercourse (this will also allow you toavoid cystitis)