M At The Doctor

Intimate Hygiene: Preserving the vaginal flora

Continuation of the interview of Dr. Anne de Kervasdoué, a gynecologist.

When we talk about personal hygiene, we often talk about vaginal flora. What is it exactly ?

Dr. Anne de Kervasdoué : The vaginal and vulvar flora is the ecosystem that must be protected. This flora is a whole set of protective germs. And, when all goes well, all these protective bacteria live in harmony. In fact, from the birth of a little girl, her vagina is colonized by a beneficial bacterial flora. At the time of puberty, vaginal secretions increase and the flora transforms to become that of a woman.

The most important bacterium is the Döderlein bacillus, also known as Lactobacillus.

Why is this vaginal flora so important?

Dr. AK : This Döderlein bacillus has the ability to secrete certain substances that protect against infections: hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and lactic acid. In fact, these two substances prevent the proliferation of pathogenic germs. They are the ones that form a kind of natural barrier to infection. They are also the ones that maintain the correct level of acidity in the vagina: a PH between 3.8 and 4.5. If for some reason (antibiotics, for example), the Döderlein bacilli are destroyed or become insufficient in number, then the other germs of the vagina develop and it is imbalance and infection.

To protect this fragile ecosystem, good personal hygiene is the basis of prevention.

Want to react, share your experience or ask a question? Visit our FORUM Gynecology or A doctor answers you!

Popular Posts

Category M At The Doctor, Next Article

Gum Graft: All About the Operation - M At The Doctor
M At The Doctor

Gum Graft: All About the Operation

Certainly, at first glance, a gum graft is not the sexiest cosmetic surgery ever. Yet, to look more closely, a gum transplant can recover a nice smile and especially can save teeth that otherwise would find themselves unhooked and lost forever. The intervention is quite painful and is not supported by the Health Insurance
Read More
MRI - M At The Doctor
M At The Doctor


MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an examination that visualizes all the organs of our body, and in particular soft tissues (as opposed to bones). Unlike the scanner, MRI does not use X-rays. It is not an irradiating examination. It uses an electromagnetic field and radio waves. MRI allows: analyze their structure, look for malformations, identify inflammation, abscess, to highlight a tumor, to know its exact size, its extension in the 3 planes of space, its cancerous or benign nature
Read More
Lymphocytes - M At The Doctor
M At The Doctor


The lymphocytes correspond to a specific family of white blood cells (or leucocytes) present in the blood. What are they for ? Why are they so important? And what does it mean to increase or decrease lymphocytes? We explain everything! What are the lymphocytes for? These blood cells, which belong to the family of white blood cells, play a major role in the body's immune defense system
Read More
Colonoscopy - M At The Doctor
M At The Doctor


Colonoscopy is an examination that visualizes the inside of the rectum and colon. It is usually asked when abnormal digestive symptoms occur, especially the presence of blood in the stool. What is colonoscopy? A fine pipe provided at its end with a mini-camera and a cold light is introduced by the natural channels, that is to say by the anus
Read More