Therapeutic fields / Gynaecology
Healthy equilibrium – healthy vagina
The vagina is a sensitive area of a woman’s body and forms an “ecosystem” that is in equilibrium in a healthy state. Important elements of a healthy vaginal “ecosystem” are a well proliferated and matured mucous membrane (epithelium) and the natural vaginal flora consisting of lactic acid bacteria. Together they protect the vagina against infections.
A well proliferated, mature and intact vaginal epithelium provides the necessary moisture and elasticity. Furthermore, it is indispensible for the colonisation of protective lactic acid bacteria and thus for the establishment of a healthy vaginal flora. The proliferation and function of the vaginal epithelium is regulated by the body’s own hormones, particularly the estrogens.
Besides an intact vaginal epithelium, lactic acid bacteria (or lactobacilli) are essential for a healthy “ecosystem”. The lactobacilli adhere to the surface of the proliferated and mature vaginal epithelium and thereby form the healthy, protective vaginal flora, which prevents vaginal infections. This protection is based on various properties of the lactobacilli. On the one hand, they produce lactic acid, which leads to a healthy, acidic vaginal milieu with a pH-value of 4.0 – 4.5. On the other hand, the growth of disease-causing germs is inhibited or they are even killed by substances produced by the lactobacilli. The adherence and the colonisation of the vaginal epithelium by the lactobacilli also prevent adherence and colonisation of the disease-causing germs.
Thus, the equilibrium and the interaction between the intact vaginal epithelium and the lactobacilli play an important role in the natural defence against disease-causing germs and the maintenance of a healthy vaginal ecosystem.