Maintaining a healthy vagina is extremely important because any vaginal problem can be both uncomfortable and painful. Plus, even minor discomforts can leave permanent consequences for women, such as infertility or even malignant diseases.
Normally, it’s a disturbed vaginal microflora that accounts for the emergence of various infections and illnesses. In fact, the vaginal microflora is sterile at birth, but as the child grows, it soon becomes populates with various bacteria, including staphylococcus, streptococcus, E. coli and lactobacilli. All these tiny microbes live in a slightly acidic environment in symbiosis with each other. However, it’s the immune system that plays crucial role in keeping these microbes under control. As soon as a woman’s immune system weakens, her vagina becomes a favorable environment for proliferation of “bad” or pathogenic bacteria and fungi such as Candida.
There are numerous factors that contribute to weakened immunity including antibiotics, pregnancy, unprotected sexual intercourse, menstruation, menopause, harsh chemical-laden shampoos for intimate hygiene, and stress.
On the other hand, lactobacilli are the “good” bacteria that keep your vaginal microflora healthy, and prevent the proliferation of unhealthy microorganisms. A misbalanced vaginal microflora will result in vaginal discharge, itching and irritation, as well as unpleasant odor.
At the first signs of this, you should immediately visit your gynecologists to determine the right causes of infection.
The next thing you should do is make necessary changes into your diet, most of all, increase your intake of fermented dairy products, probiotics as well as prebiotics. But do you know the difference between probiotics and prebiotics? Unlike probiotics, prebiotics are not living organisms, but digestible nutrients such as inulin, cellulose, oligofructose, and fructooligosaccharides, and it is prebiotics that probiotics feed on. Prebiotics are actually added to fermented dairy products to enhance the survival of probiotics. Such food is also suitable for diabetics because they have a zero glycemic index, which does not stimulate insulin secretion. In addition, they contribute to the improvement of intestinal and vaginal microflora and lowering bad cholesterol.
Probiotics, on the other hand, are actually living organisms that have positive effects on health when ingested. It is probiotic yogurts that contain high concentrations of probiotic bacteria, mainly bifidobacteria, acidophilus bacteria LGG bacteria. These products also contain other important nutrients such as B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin K, calcium, enzymes and proteins.
Thus, for optimal vaginal health, stick to a diet based on fermented products including acidophilus, yogurt and kefir, then whole grains, fresh vegetables and, of course, fish.