There are protective mechanisms in the vagina that increase the resistance of your vagina and vaginal mucosae, helping them fight fungal attacks or infections. One kind of defence mechanism in the vagina is a complex bacterial microflora that exists on vaginal mucosae and live in symbiosis with your body. The composition of so called good bacteria that live inside the vagina increases your body’s resistance to fungal attacks and external bacteria that can cause an infection.
Your vaginal flora is not invariable, but changes during different stages of life due to natural causes. One common cause that can result in a change in the bacterial balance are hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone.
What is vaginal flora
The vaginal flora consists of various types of bacteria. In normal cases, it consists mostly of lactobacilli. These bacteria are also known as lactic acid bacteria. There are normally small amounts of other types of bacteria as well.
There is a couple of different types of bacteria that do not belong to the category of lactobacilli. These are also known as pathogenic bacteria, and can cause problems. Many of the potentially pathogenic bacteria are anaerobic bacteria. Two common types are mycoplasma and gardnerella vaginalis.
The vaginal flora can change
When the bacterial balance in your vagina is disturbed, it is mostly due to a rapid growth of anaerobic micro-organisms that suppress the normal balance that is dominated by lactic acid bacteria. The concentration of anaerobic micro-organisms can be up to 10,000 times higher than normal.
When the balance is disturbed, women usually experience malodorous discharge that can be greyish-white or greyish-yellow. A change in the bacterial balance can also lead to increased vulnerability to fungal infections or infections by external bacteria.
It is possible to restore the bacterial balance in your vagina. An effective and gentle way to do this is to use agents that contain lactobacilli and increase the acidity in the vagina. Nirena intimate cleanser can restore bacterial balance. These agents are available as gels or creams. Agents containing lactobacilli add lactobacilli and stimulate the growth of them in order to restore a normal vaginal flora.
Restoring your vaginal flora removes symptoms and problems that result from bacterial imbalance, and it helps your vagina to maintain a natural protection against fungal attacks and bacterial infections.