Healthy vaginal flora: Five things you should know

A healthy vagina is a happy vagina! Lets be honest: do you really know everything there is to know about vaginal flora? Do you use the right care products, and do you know if everything is okay with your discharge? Here, we reveal the most important things to know about your vaginal flora, also known as the vaginal microbiome, and how to keep your vagina in top condition.

#1: How a healthy vaginal flora works

The inside of our vagina is lined with vaginal skin. It serves a number of functions, the most important of which is protection. Thats because the three-millimeter-thick layer protects against fungi and bacteria. However, it needs bacteria of its own in order to do so. And it needs a lot of bacteria, in fact: approximately 100 million bacteria occupy one square millimeter of vaginal skin. The most important bacteria are the so-called Lactobacillus or Döderlein bacteria. They function like little guardians that maintain balance in the vagina and create an acidic environment with a pH of less than 4.5 – in such an environment, bad, unwanted bacteria, viruses, and fungus cannot survive. On the other hand, the vaginal microbiome accepts foreign material such as semen from men.
In short: When the different bacteria are in balance, the vagina is healthy. However, if the vaginal flora becomes unbalanced, for example, due to a weak immune system, it can lead to bacterial inflammation or a vaginal yeast infection. Unlike what many believe, vaginal yeast infection has nothing to do with poor hygiene. On the contrary, excessive washing with too strong shower gels disrupts the perfectly balanced vaginal flora and promotes the development of vaginal yeast infection (vaginal mycosis).

By the way: Nearly every woman suffers from a vaginal yeast infection at least once in her lifetime.

#2: How to keep your vaginal flora fit

This brings us to the next topic: Our intimate flora is perfectly optimized by nature and does not require any special care. Normal shower gels, but also some intimate soaps and sprays from drugstores, are unsuitable for the vagina, even if the advertisements promise something else. Because they are usually too aggressive for the sensitive vaginal flora and mucous membranes. It is sufficient to wash the vagina once a day under the shower with lukewarm water, even during the period.

#3: Vaginal secretions are a true hero

Not only does the acidic environment of the vaginal flora make for a healthy vagina. The vaginal secretions are just as important. They are produced by numerous tiny glands. On the one hand, the secretions, also known as cervical mucus, keep the vagina "supple". In addition, vaginal discharge prevents the entering and multiplication of disease-causing germs. White spots in your underwear are not only normal but useful! The vaginal secretions change during the female menstrual cycle. Before ovulation, cervical mucus is yellowish-white and thick. During ovulation, it is often clearer. A few days before your period, the mucus can be brownish or reddish. However, if your discharge takes on a greenish color, is crumbly and/or has an unpleasant odor, and perhaps even accompanied by redness, itching, and burning in the vaginal area, it may be a sign of a yeast infection. There are creams available in the pharmacy that provide quick relief. If you are unsure, you can also consult your doctor.

By the way: During sexual arousal, the glands produce more vaginal secretions. The thin fluid acts as a natural lubricant.

#4: Your Vagina. Your Scent!

Most women want to feel "clean and fragrant" in their intimate area. This is due in no small part to advertising, which suggests through products such as scented panty liners that our vagina smells bad and that we should be ashamed. However, the truth is that everyone has a very individual scent, which is not unpleasant to the opposite sex. The reason for this very personal aroma is the acidic pH of the vaginal flora. Some describe the scent as sour, while others compare it to the smell of yogurt. Be careful with a fishy smell, as it could actually be an infection.
As already mentioned, excessive use of intimate care products can disrupt the vaginal flora – this also intensifies the scent. For this reason, the motto is: less is more! Pubic hair acts like a natural air conditioning for the labia – protecting against heat and cold. However, those who are completely shaved sweat more between the skin folds – and where there is more sweating, odors develop more quickly. Wearing conventional panty liners can also promote the development of unpleasant intimate odors, as they also enhance sweating. Therefore, we recommend our period panties, which are breathable and thus better for our flora, more pleasant on the skin, and also produce less "period trash" since the panties are reusable. Our period panty Svea can absorb up to one tampons worth of liquid and is therefore perfect for heavy discharge.

#5: The Right Nutrition for a Healthy Vaginal Flora

And while were on the subject of smells, the influence of food is often overestimated. For example, with men, their semen tastes sweeter if theyve eaten pineapple or drunk pineapple juice beforehand. However, such fruits or other foods hardly have a positive influence on female intimate odor or taste. This is because vaginal secretions are produced in the glands designed for that purpose. Male semen, on the other hand, is produced in the prostate. However, you can keep your vaginal flora healthy with your diet.
  • Probiotics are suitable for stabilizing the pH value. These include yogurt, kimchi, pickled vegetables, or sauerkraut.
  • Healthy fats from nuts, olive oil, or avocado keep the estrogen level in the vaginal flora constant. Additionally, these foods are energy suppliers for metabolic processes in the vagina. They support the building of cell walls and hormones.
  • Buy meat and dairy products from organic farmers or organic markets. Because mass-produced goods often contain xenoestrogen, an artificially produced hormone. This can disrupt the delicate balance of your vaginal flora.
  • Drink a lot. Because pure water maintains all metabolic processes in the body. The mucous membranes are nicely moisturized, even in the vagina. This means: drinking lots of water helps against vaginal dryness. Unpleasant odors caused by coatings can also be tackled this way (similar to in the mouth).

Discover our period panties and make your days more comfortable.