Vaginal Biome Science Q&A with Beth DuPriest
Ask the Expert: What are lactobacilli?
Chief Science Officer Elizabeth DuPriest, PhD explains exactly what lactobacilli are and their importance in maintaining vaginal health.
Vaginal Biome Science Q&A
What is vaginal pH and why does it matter?
A healthy vaginal ecosystem is naturally self-cleaning and has one of the lowest pH ranges in the body (3.5-4.5). Discomfort, abnormal odor, or irregular discharge are your body's way of communicating a pH imbalance. An imbalanced or elevated pH can leave the vaginal biome susceptible to bacterial infections.
Can pH imbalance lead to vaginal issues?
Harmful bacteria thrive when vaginal pH is elevated. Those are often the cause of itch, irritation, abnormal odor, and other health concerns. BiopHresh® Homeopathic Vaginal Suppository and Flourish Vaginal Care System® help address bacterial issues by supporting a healthy pH level and delivering billions of beneficial bacteria called lactobacilli, including L. crispatus which are commonly associated with vaginal health.
How does increased vaginal pH occur?
Many common situations can disrupt an optimal vaginal ecosystem - including intimacy, menstruation, exercise, exposure to harsh chemicals, medications, medical treatments and more. Bacterial vaginosis or other vaginal microbiome changes occur when that sensitive pH balance is disrupted, often resulting in dryness, discomfort, and abnormal odor that can impact a woman's overall health, self-confidence, and intimate relationships.
Our Flourish Vaginal Care System® offers relief from symptoms that are often associated with pH imbalance and bacterial vaginosis. Regular use of this regimen can also help support a healthy vaginal biome.
What is a microbiome?
The microbiome is the combination of all the microorganisms that live in or on the body, along with the “host” - the body itself. More casually, all the bacteria and yeasts that live on our skin, in our mouth, in our gut, in the vagina, in the nasal cavity, and other places are thought of as our microbiota, or “flora”. In most healthy women, the vaginal microbiome is dominated by one of a few species of Lactobacillus: L. crispatus, L. jensenii, L. gasseri, and L. iners. A woman’s vaginal microbiome interacts with her body’s immune system in ways we are just beginning to understand.
What are lactobacilli?
Lactobacilli are a variety of beneficial, probiotic bacteria which occur naturally in a healthy vagina. BiopHresh® introduces more than 5 billion cells of beneficial lactobacilli, which support the vaginal environment as the active homeopathic ingredients trigger healing of vaginal tissues irritated by infection. The entire process is what allows BiopHresh to effectively relieve recurring symptoms of BV. BiopHresh supports the vaginal biome with bacteria most closely associated with good health.
What is bacterial vaginosis? How did I get it? How is it treated?
Bacterial vaginosis – or BV for short – is a condition in which the healthiest bacterial species are no longer the dominant species in the vagina, and other bacteria grow in greater numbers. Symptoms of BV you may notice at home include having more vaginal discharge than usual, with a color that may vary from white to gray to light yellow. The discharge may have an unpleasant odor. You may experience vaginal irritation/burning or itching. Some women have no noticeable symptoms. Current medical guidelines call for treating symptomatic BV with metronidazole or other antibiotics. These treatments are usually successful, but unfortunately, BV recurs within 3 months to a year most of the time. Many women experience recurrent BV throughout their lives. Diagnosis should be confirmed by a healthcare provider prior to any treatment.
What does Bio-Match® mean?
The principle of Bio-Match® is the concept of matching a product as closely as possible to the body’s natural, healthy condition. For Good Clean Love®, this means making products with the right pH, osmolality, and lactic acid levels to match healthy vaginal fluid. We believe that by creating healthy conditions, the body is better able to do what they need to do to be healthy.
April is STI Awareness Month
Sexually transmitted infections (STI) are becoming increasingly more common. These infections are spread from one person to another during vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex. STIs are very common, and many people who contract STIs do not have any symptoms.
Osmolality has become an important concept in manufacturing vaginal lubricants, but it’s not something that women’s healthcare practitioners think of on a daily basis otherwise. Chief Science Officer Beth DuPriest, PhD explains osmolality and why it's important to understand the effect these different fluids have on the vaginal epithelium.