Vaginitis – also called bacterial vaginosis – is characterized by the growth of infectious microorganisms and the disappearance of protective lactobacilli in the female reproductive system. This embarrassing condition can affect up to 30% of pregnant women and about 10% of family physician patients. And that’s not all: nearly one third of women experience a ‘relapse’ of vaginitis within one to three months of treatment with antibiotics1.
A Precarious pH Dependent Balance
The normal scale of vaginal hydrogen (or pH) ranges between 3.8 and 4.2, for the vaginal environment to be sufficiently acidic to keep the reproductive ecosystem healthy2. A change in pH results in an imbalance of the vaginal flora and a risk of infection3.
Risks beyond the Troublesome Symptoms
Infectious vaginitis causes pain and itching in the vagina, odours and greyish or yellowish vaginal discharge, and irritation or burning during urination and intimate intercourse.4. Furthermore, studies indicate that a woman with bacterial vaginosis is at greater risk of contracting other diseases of the reproductive tract, including sexually transmitted infections. Diagnosis and treatment are of paramount importance in managing infection5.
Probiotics Come to the Rescue
The use of probiotics such as vaginal Probalac for women with recurrent vaginitis treats infection and prevents recurrence in more than 80% of them for at least one year after supplementation6, 7. The intravaginal suppositories are the preferred method for the treatment of vaginitis, as opposed to the oral supplementation, since they provide rapid discharge of beneficial bacteria to the affected area with minimal losses8. Finally, the combination of probiotics and antibiotics helps to cure vaginitis well, as long as a few hours are allowed between the intakes of each of them9.
Down with infection, farewell vaginitis!
1 Public Health Agency of Canada [Website]. Consulted May 1 2017. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/std-mts/sti-its/cgsti-ldcits/section-4-8-fra.php
2 Probaclac [Website]. Consulted May 4 2017. http://www.probaclac.ca/formule-vaginale
3 Tachedjian G., Aldunate M., Bradshaw CS. et Cone RA. The role of lactic acid production by probiotic Lactobacillus species in vaginal health. Res Microbiol. 2017; Apr 20 [Epub].
4 Passeport Santé [Website]. Consulted May 4 2017. http://www.passeportsante.net/fr/Maux/Problemes/Fiche.aspx?doc=vaginite-pm-symptomes-de-la-vaginite
5 Probaclac [Website]. Consulted May 4 2017. http://www.probaclac.ca/formule-vaginale
6 Hanson L, VandeVusse L, Jermé M et al. Probiotics for Treatment and Prevention of Urogenital Infections in Women : A Systematic Review. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2016; May (3): 339-355.
7 Ya W, Reifer C et Miller LE. Efficacy of vaginal probiotic capsules for recurrent bacterial vaginosis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2010; Aug (2): 120.
8 Rodrigues FI, Maia MJ, das Neves J et al. Vaginal suppositories containing Lactobacillus acidophilus: development and characterization. Drug Dev Ind Pharm. 2015;41(9):1518-25. [Epub].
9 Kovachev S et Dobrevski-Vacheva R. Effect of Lactobacillus casei var rhamnosus (Gynophilus) in restoring the vaginal flora by female patients with bacterial vaginosis– randomized, open clinical trial. Akush Ginekol (Sofiia). 2013; 52 Suppl 1: 48-53.