All women should know that their best defense against genital infections is their own vaginal flora because it forms a natural protective barrier.
Women must also learn to protect it and in the event of an infection, to restore it.
The vagina is not a sterile cavity. Nearly a billion different microbes cohabit harmoniously in the vagina under normal conditions. It contains large quantities of “friendly” bacteria, lactobacilli like Döderlein’s bacillus, which defend it by maintaining its pH level around four. It also contains small quantities of “bad” bacteria, which are fairly unaggressive in small numbers, but can become pathogenic.
This subtle balance between all these bacteria is actually quite fragile. At the slightest local attack, the “bad” bacteria proliferate and can cause infections.
– Refrain from using anything that can destroy it: antiseptics, local abrasive chemicals, inadequate or excessive hygiene.
– Increase protection when taking certain medicines like antibiotics or corticosteroids.
– Fight mucosal dryness commonly caused by oestrogen deficiency.
– Protect yourself against the risks of external contamination: STDs.
– Avoid local maceration: dampness, heat, friction.
– Use a good gentle cleanser on the vulvar mucous membranes at least once a day. It should cleanse and protect the lipidic film to prevent drying out, should have a physiological pH between 5 and 7 (neither too acid nor too alkaline) and contain no artificial coulours or allergens.
A balanced vaginal flora helps maintain good sexual health.