To celebrate the test results of our new Perfume Free Cleansing Bar in the downstairs area, under gynaecological control, I’m going to talk about the mystery queendom of the vagina.
Our new Perfume-Free Cleansing Bar has been tested under gynaecological control, and we could not be prouder of the results.
But why does it make sense to care for the vulva microbiome, and what makes this intimate microbiome so special?
- First a bit of vocabulary: when we talk about vulva we mean the external part of the genital area, so the parts you can see and touch. The vagina is everything inside. So no, you can’t see Sharon Stone’s vagina in the infamous scene.
- For 100 scientific papers about the gut microbiome, you will find maybe 1 about the vaginal microbiome.
- The vaginal microbiome has a vital role to play in female health. A healthy microbiome in the vagina can increase chances of conception 4-fold during IVF, heighten protection against STDs, even HIV, and protect against UTIs and thrush*.
- So, what makes a healthy vaginal microbiome? Well contrary to all the other microbiomes where diversity is good, here diversity is BAD. There is only one queen of the microbiome, and it’s our favourite bacteria, the lactobacillus.
- The Lactobacillus queen reigns supreme in the queendom. She represents almost 100% of the bacteria present there. They are 4 sisters sharing the throne: Lactobacillus crispatus, L. gasseri, L. iners, L. jansenii. They cover everything with a protective layer preventing any other unwanted bacteria to take hold.
- Because Lactobacilli create lactic acid (it’s where their name comes from), it makes the vagina a very acidic environment. The average pH there is 4.5. If the pH changes new bacteria will find the environment comfortable, start to breed and the ecosystem will break. So always check the products you use on your vulva are acidic. For the vagina, nothing is needed, the Lactobacilli do a very good job of cleaning and protecting so never try to wash inside.
As a conclusion I would say, stay tuned! More and more scientists are getting interested in this area of research. The more we know, the more we’ll be able to prevent problems and treat diseases. While we wait please remember: respect your ecosystem and only use very gentle acidic products, possibly with lactic acid, and only on the vulva.
*You can learn more here: It’s a bit sciency but it’s worth it! https://academic.oup.com/femsre/article/37/5/762/542986 , https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333354360_The_vaginal_microbiome_as_a_predictor_for_outcome_of_in_vitro_fertilization_with_or_without_intracytoplasmic_sperm_injection_A_prospective_study