What is vaginal health?
The vagina is part of the female anatomy. It is muscular canal of about 8cm long with a labia and vulva at the entrance, and the cervix and uterus at the other end.
The vagina itself has no glands but is lubricated by the secretion of the cervix. Normal vaginal discharge has a pleasant, mild smell and looks like milky white cream or clear egg white, depending on the moment of the menstrual cycle.
What is vaginal flora?
The vaginal flora is a community of micro-organisms which colonises the vagina. The dominant bacteria in a healthy vaginal flora consist of lactobacillus.
Lactobacillus protects the vagina by producing lactic acid, which provides the typically acidic pH value of the vagina. The acidic environment thus forms a protection barrier against pathogens.
Additionally, some lactobacillus also produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which kills germs and prevents germs from multiplying freely.
Other micro-organisms such as yeast and coccoid bacteria are also found in the vagina and they live in a delicate balance with the lactobacilli. This balance is very important for the healthy vagina.
What causes vaginal discomfort?
Hormonal imbalance - The mucous tissue of the vagina is strong and protective, and its thickness is determined by the balance of the sex hormones. this balance can be easily disturbed and changes during menstrual cycle, pregnancy and with age. Hormonal imbalance can cause the vaginal flora to be disturbed and ultimately cause vagina discomfort.