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What is the relationship between women’s microbiota and women’s health?

Eldery woman cooking.
Eldery woman cooking.

Women’s health, traditionally overshadowed by men’s, is now receiving more of the attention it deserves. Recent research highlights the significant impact of microbiota composition in the reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts on various health conditions. These include urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, fertility issues and pregnancy outcomes.

The vaginal microbiota and women’s health

A healthy vaginal ecosystem is dominated by Lactobacillus species, particularly Lactobacillus crispatus, Lactobacillus gasseri, Lactobacillus jensenii and Lactobacillus iners. These bacteria maintain an acidic environment and inhibit harmful bacteria, promoting good reproductive and sexual health. This includes reduced risks of preterm birth, postmenopausal symptoms and vaginal and urinary tract infections. The composition of the vaginal microbiota varies among individuals and is influenced by factors such as hormonal fluctuations, sexual activity, hygiene, stress, diet, smoking, weight and antibiotic use.

The gut microbiota and women’s health

Traditionally focused on digestive health, gut microbiota now show influence on various aspects of women’s health. Imbalances in the composition of gut microbiota are linked to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, menopausal symptoms, irregular menstrual cycles, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and other urogenital conditions.

Probiotics and women’s health

Given the impact of microbiota on women’s well-being, specially designed probiotic formulations to improve vaginal and/or gut microbiota can help to manage women’s health conditions. As a result, Winclove Probiotics is developing several products for common issues within the field of women’s health.

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