A microbiome is the community of micro-organisms living together in a particular habitat. Animals and plants have their own unique microbiomes, but so do soils, oceans, humans, and… vaginas!
It's known as the vaginal microbiome, and it plays a key role in keeping women healthy.
A balance of bacteria. Just like the gut, the vagina consists of trillions of microorganisms — mostly bacteria, plus some fungi and viruses. Together, these populations make up the vaginal microbiome. The primary colonizing bacteria of a healthy vagina is called lactobacillus. It helps to keep the environment acidic and discourage other bacteria, yeast, and viruses from thriving. But everyone is different and there's no one size fits all for the best or healthiest microbiota.
Disruptions to the microbiome. The vaginal environment is a dynamic space. It experiences all kinds of disturbances on a regular basis, which in turn disrupts the microbiome. Sexual activity, lubricants, semen, and traditional soaps can all change the composition of the microbiome, as well as hormonal contraceptives, menstruation and antibiotics. Disruption of the microbiome can cause an imbalance of bacteria, which may lead to bacterial vaginosis. It can also trigger the overgrowth of the fungus, Candida.
So what’s the best thing for your vaginal microbiome? Doing absolutely nothing! Douching, traditional soap and drugstore "feminine hygiene" products tend to upset the balance of bacteria. So unless something's wrong and you've got symptoms that are uncomfortable, it's best to leave your vagina microflora to look after itself.
Your vulva, aka your external genitalia, is a different story. Keep your vulva balanced and happy by using the only soap that maintains your vaginal microbiome: pH Balancing Cleanser. Our pH Balancing Cleanser is formulated using only clean, non-irritating ingredients that will keep you balanced down there. pH Balancing Cleanser is also completely fragrance free, because even “natural” fragrance can wreak havoc on your vaginal pH. And besides, you should smell like you.