1. What does a healthy vaginal microbiome look like?
The conventional wisdom to date was that a vaginal microbiome dominant in Lactobacilli was a ‘healthy vaginal microbiome’. However, what scientific discoveries have shown recently is that that might not be altogether true for all women and that when it is true, the type of Lactobacilli is important. Moreover, the presence or absence of small numbers of keystone species, and their active/inactive state are also important determinants of a ‘healthy vaginal microbiome’. In short, it’s complicated. But at Juno, it’s our mission to unravel this for you and all womxn. It’s high time we had real answers in womxn’s health research.
2. When should I get my vaginal microbiome profiled?
Anytime that’s not your period. You want to avoid taking a vaginal microbiome test when you are on your period. The blood can wreak havoc with the chemicals used to stabilise your sample so that you can have as accurate of a picture of your vaginal microbiome as possible. Your vaginal microbiome does change over time and most significantly when you make a change to a sexual partner, contraception or medication.
3. Does my vaginal microbiome affect my fertility?
Until very recently, clinicians thought that the uterus was sterile but it turns out: not so much, there are microbes there too! The microbiome of the upper reproductive tract is implicated in fertility and the vaginal microbiome has been shown to be correlated with IVF success rates.
4. Does my vaginal microbiome affect preterm birth?
There is a very strong body of global research that implicates the vaginal microbiome in preterm birth. Most of this research came from The Human Microbiome Project and shows that vaginal microbiomes can be used as an earlier and improved predictor of whether or not a pregnancy will result in preterm birth. It’s important to note that there is no FDA approved diagnostic based on the vaginal microbiome for this and though very promising, is still at the research phase.
5. Does my vaginal microbiome affect STI acquisition?
Studies are showing that having a disrupted vaginal microbiome is correlated with an increased chance of acquiring an STI. The latest research provides mechanistic answers for how HPV, HIV and BV enhance each other’s ability to take hold.
6. Does my vaginal microbiome affect my recurrent yeast infection?
Recurrent yeast infections are a primary condition of the vaginal microbiome. That means what’s in your vaginal microbiome can help fight against or allow for yeast infections.
7. Does my vaginal microbiome affect my recurrent UTI?
The scientific evidence suggests that your vaginal microbiome is correlated with the rate and likelihood of acquiring UTIs.
8. Does my vaginal microbiome affect recurrent bacterial vaginosis?
Bacterial vaginosis is a primary condition of the vaginal microbiome. Having a disrupted vaginal microbiome is associated with infection and recurrence.
9. What other conditions is the vaginal microbiome important in?
There are over 30 conditions in which the vaginal microbiome has been implicated throughout a womxn’s life and sexual and reproductive journeys. Watch this space as we add more info!
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Juno Bio is for women and people with vaginas who want to learn more about their microbes. Juno Bio tests are currently exclusively intended to be used for wellness purposes. The tests we offer are not intended to diagnose or treat disease, or to substitute for a physician's consultation.