[ Intimate concerns ]

At any point in time, it is estimated that roughly 30% of women in the western world suffers from bacterial vaginosis and/or candida vaginosis; it is however not all who experience symptoms. This of course indicates that the vaginal microbiome is sensitive and often struck out of balance. It however also tells that imbalances in the intimate area are common and something we should talk about in an open, factual manner.

The vaginal microbiome is characterized by relatively low diversity compared to elsewhere on the body. It consists primarily of lactobacilli (lactic acid bacteria), especially of the species Lactobacillus crispatus, which maintains the essential, acidic ph-balance (~4.5 – same as many types of wine 😊), thus inhibiting the growth of microorganisms that can cause intimate problems. Even though a high microbial diversity is typically considered an indicator of health, it is opposite in the vaginal microbiome. When the dominating lactobacilli is replaced by other microorganisms it will often be considered a sign of dysbiosis which causes itchiness, irritation, bad odor or elevated levels of discharge.

Despite the low diversity of the vaginal microbiome, the microbiome’s composition will vary significantly from person to person. There are still plenty of unknown variables as to why these variations exist and how they’ve come to be. They are however affected by things such as ethnicity, age, regional origin, and more.