Some types of bacteria are actually required to maintain the health of the vagina. However, the transition to menopause often disrupts the natural balance of bacteria by reducing the proportion of healthy bacteria and raising the vaginal pH. This can lead to urogenital infections and other vaginal health problems. The importance of vaginal bacterial colonization patterns during menopause will be discussed at the annual meeting of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) in Chicago, September 25-28, 2019.
The microbial community colonizing the vagina has a profound impact on reproductive and sexual health. The bacterial genus Lactobacillus dominates healthy vaginas, protecting women from urogenital infections while maintaining a low pH level below 4.5. They are also associated with a lower risk of HIV infection, sexually transmitted bacterial infections, and persistent HPV infection in menopausal women. However, after menopause, the proportion of lactobacilli usually decreases in the vagina, making women more vulnerable to genital infections, urinary tract infections, and cervical dysplasia. To date, few studies have focused on this association in menopausal women, so it has not yet been established whether decolonization of healthy bacteria also causes general vaginal menopausal discomfort.
Currently, the most reliable strategy to promote vaginal colonization of lactobacilli after menopause is estrogen treatment. However, additional therapies are being developed, including oral and vaginal probiotics. These strategies, along with a discussion of changes in vaginal germs during menopause, will be discussed at the upcoming NAMS Annual Meeting by Dr. Carolyn Mitchell of Harvard Medical University and Massachusetts General Hospital.
"It is important for women and their healthcare providers to understand the important role that bacteria play in the vagina and the limitations of current strategies for modulating the vaginal microbiota after menopause, due to lack of reliable data," says Dr. Mitchell. information about what we do and don't know. "
" With so many menopausal women affected by vulvovaginal atrophy, vaginal dryness, and the associated decline in their overall quality of life, this topic is expected to have widespread appeal. and presentation will probably educate healthcare providers about the latest treatment options, "says Dr. Stephanie Foubion, NAMS Medical Director.
More discussion is needed on vulvovaginal health when visiting women
North American Menopause Society
Microbes are a key marker of vaginal health during menopause (201
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