Washington: A new study says the delicate balance of microbes in the vagina can vary greatly between healthy women. The researchers of the study, led by the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences, hope further study will lead to personalized reproductive medicine for women, allowing doctors to tailor each woman’s treatment and health maintenance strategies to her individual microbial make-up.
Yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, a bacterial infection of the vagina, cause discomfort in patients and can have serious health effects. About 25 to 30 percent of women have bacterial vaginosis on any given day, and it is the most common vaginal infection that causes women of reproductive age to visit their primary care physician. The infection has been associated with an increased risk of such problems as acquiring sexually transmitted infections and even pre-term delivery during pregnancy. "If we could identify women as being at a high risk for developing bacterial vaginosis, we could develop preventive methods to lower the risk of infection," says Dr. Ravel. The study involved vaginal samples taken from 400 women representing four ethnic groups equally: black, Hispanic, Asian and white. ANI
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