By Dr. Prakash Chandra Bhatt
Founder of Billion Cheers and Fermentis Life Sciences
One of the most important health aspect in any women’s life is her urogenital health. It is since that women are more prone and susceptible to certain urogenital health issues like vaginal infections, infections in the urinary tract, sexually transmitted concerns and alike, it is important that they should be vividly aware on how to maximize their urogenital health.
Have you heard of vaginal microbiota?
A women’s microbiota – the colony of bacteria that lives at various places in our body like the eyes, gut and also the vagina of a women, consists of a large number of microorganisms like yeasts, bacteria and fungi. It is said that a single milliliter of a women’s vaginal fluid, on an average contains more than 100 million of these microorganisms. They are around 10 to 15 of varieties and are almost the same in all women across the globe. Scientifically researchers around the world have to say that they find the vaginal atmosphere to be moist and conducive to prosper and hence they host themselves there and in return they defend the virginal health from the adverse effects of harmful pathogens.
So, in a nut shell, it is these millions of bacteria called the vaginal microbiota that helps in protecting the health of the vagina and a misbalance or damage to the microbiota is the cause of all sorts or infections and other vaginal health issues.
Probiotics and Vaginal Health
It is said that healthier our intestinal microbiota is, the lower is the presence of harmful organisms that through the digestive tract passes on to the vagina. These beneficial bacteria are more elementary to flourish when a diet high in fibers, especially the probiotic fibers and low in sugar, carbs and processed foods. The health of these microbiota are better served when they are aided with probiotic foods and supplements.
In simple terms probiotics are good for us microorganisms that constitutes of a variety of bacteria that collectively promotes a suitable and conducive environment. If by chance due to any some reason or the other, the normal bacteria balance gets disturbed, probiotics helps in reinstating the good state of these bacterial balance and replenish their colonization.
It is said that though a women’s vagina does not needs any preventive care and treatment as it is self-suffice to rectify itself in case of any misbalance. But medical and women health practitioners have to say that if anyone is repeatedly having problems with infections and other vaginal health issues, having probiotics on a regular basis can prevent all these discomforts.
The intricate imbalance
The balance between the good and the bad bacteria that maintains optimal vaginal health is very delicate. The smallest of disruption caused by factors like stress, medication, sexual habits, menstrual cycle, food habits and more can throw the defence off-guard. It can create an environment inside the vagina that could let the harmful yeasts and bacteria to flourish and thereby, making the vagina prone to infections and other issues.
The most common vaginal health issues in women:
- BV – Bacterial Vaginosis: It is the common type of vaginal infections for women of all ages starting 14 till 45 years of age. It is a condition where certain non-beneficial bacteria overgrows inside the vagina causing minor to severe infections.
- Infections by Yeasts: It is said that more than 80% of women worldwide will experience vaginal infection by yeast atleast once in their lifetime. It is caused by a special group of yeast, namely Candida. The overgrowth happens because of the bacterial imbalance in the vaginal microbiota, which is otherwise kept under check by the good bacteria.
- UTI – Urinary Tract Infection: It is not the same group of pathogens that are responsible to cause BV, are responsible for UTI. Again a misbalance causes these pathogenic bacteria in the vagina enter the urinary tract and cause problems. UTI’s occur when these bad bacteria enter the urinary tract via the urethra and starts multiplying in the bladder. While the urinary system can keep the foreign bacteria out, they sometimes enter and cause infection.
The Vicious Cycle:
The never ending fight between the yeast and the bacteria living together continuous lifelong. What happens is when a women develops BV, antibiotics are given for the treatment. Now, antibiotics do kills the infections, but at the same time also kills the good bacteria in the vaginal microbiota. Killing the good bacteria, causes disruption in the balance, thus triggering a yeast infection. When this yeast infection is treated, it causes pH imbalance once again, causing the non-beneficial bacteria to overgrow and thus the vicious cycle continuous. And, this can only be restored using probiotics.
Restoring Balance and Vaginal Health with Probiotics
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that brings significant health benefits when takes in the right quantity and adequately. These micro-organisms are actually good bacteria that works in maintaining balance for the pathogenic or harmful bad bacteria.
Now, there are probiotics available especially for vaginal health. These probiotics for vaginal health helps restore and as well maintain the vagina’s pH at the best possible level to keep it healthy at all times.
These vaginal probiotics are smaller strains of lactobacilli that are scientifically proven to improve vaginal health by restoring the vaginal microbiome to normal and treat against BV and yeast infections.
Regular probiotic use helps restores a balance of micro flora specifically in the urogenital tract. This is very helpful for females with urogenital problems such as bacterial vaginitis, yeast infection, candidiasis and urinary tract infections.
Although more researches are being conducted on the subject to further confirm that are probiotics the most reliable means to prevent and treat vaginal microbiota imbalance and the problems it can cause. Regularly taking probiotics foods and supplements is always a useful way of establishing a healthy vaginal balance and health. And above all, taking probiotics can never have any healthy risk for any women otherwise.