With over 100 trillion microorganisms living naturally inside our body and influencing our health, there are about 50 unique species of bacteria living down there in a vagina on any normal day. It is important to develop habits that maintain all of these organisms in equilibrium. A women’s vagina is acidic with a pH of 4.2 due to the presence of beneficial Lactobacilli bacteria to neutralize the alkaline semen discharge. If the pH increases, the bacteria overgrow, and any drop leads to fungal overgrowth, both ways leading to vaginal infections. Hence, having the right pH level also is vital for a fertile woman. A number of factors help in maintaining the pH balance of the vagina. Apart from considering the good diet such as including probiotic yogurts, maintaining hygiene, pregnancy, menopause, menstruation, etc. do play a vital role in keeping the pH balance right.
It is very common among women of menstruating age to develop itching, vaginal discharge, odor and pain that all hint towards a vaginal infection. Any abnormalities will lead to issues like bacterial vaginosis, yeast vaginitis, urinary tract infections (UTIs) or even HIV to a certain extent. Some studies link the vaginal health to the health of the digestive system, immune system, and the brain.
It is essential for the balancing of the microscopic cosmos of symbiotic bacteria for healthy physical and psychological well-being. In a healthy woman, there is domination by the lactobacillus species which are considered to be good bacteria to have a healthy vaginal microbiota. Any variation in this may result in conditions such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC). Specially formulated strains of probiotics will be given to women suffering from any infections or other conditions such as skin diseases, medically diagnosed irritable bowel syndrome to promote and balance vaginal flora. This enhances the immune support thereby allowing a female body to fight an infection. Probiotics are abundantly found in natural foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, etc. The growth and colonization of probiotics can further be ensured by including garlic, onions, bananas and raw asparagus as much as possible in the daily food which is rich in prebiotics and act as a source of food for the probiotics.
While it is best to talk to a doctor than trying self-treatment without proper diagnosis, what you can do is perhaps avoid it by inculcating proper eating and health habits. As they say- precaution is better than cure!