Your microbiome is essential to your fertility health. Studies have shown that infertile women possess different microbiota than fertile women. Focusing on bettering your microbiome will improve your fertility health. Microbiome is the term for all of the microorganisms in your body, they may be found on your skin, in your tissue and biofluids, but the majority are found in the large intestine or gut. They play an important role in helping your body to digest food, protect against disease-causing bacteria, and produce vitamins. They are classed as part of the endocrine (hormonal) system but their existence was only recognized in the 1990s. A healthy human will have as many as 100 trillion microbiomes that could weigh as much as five pounds.1
Microbiome and Your Fertility Health
According to research, the female reproductive tract contains an active microbiome comprising mainly bacteria from the lactobacillus genus, which is associated with a healthy microbiome state. The lactobacillus is the most abundant genus throughout the female reproductive tract. Its role is to maintain vaginal homeostasis by producing lactic acid to lower the vaginal pH which should be around 4.0-4.5. Levels of Lactobacilli can vary depending on factors such as race, genetics, and geographic factors.1
An active uterine microbiome has been characterized in healthy reproductive-age women, but bacteria have also been found to inhibit the fallopian tubes and the ovaries with lactobacillus. Decreasing the numbers of bacterial pathogens in the reproductive tract and increasing the proportion of beneficial lactobacillus could improve reproductive outcomes.1
The Human Microbiome Project has assessed that the vaginal microbiota accounts for about 9% of the whole human microbiota. A woman’s microbiome can also benefit her offspring because it can transfer microbiota to the fetus. This can help the fetus’s immune response. The microbiome of the men’s semen can also have an effect on the fetus.2
The vaginal microbiota is influenced by several environmental factors, such as hygiene habits, sexual exposure, change of sexual partners, and use and type contraceptives, that may be responsible for microbial fluctuations over time. 2
How to Maintain and Build a Healthy Microbiome
Having a healthy microbiome is so important for our fertility health. Below are some recommendations on how to ensure you maintain and build a healthy microbiome.
- Ask your doctor to check your vaginal pH. There are also pH tests you can buy and check yourself.
- Practice good genital hygiene. Use only gentle soaps or cleansers that account for appropriate pH levels (5.3).
- Never use a douche, the health risks outweigh any perceived benefits
- Enhance your microbiome by taking Nuabiome Women or Nuabiome Men.
Keeping and maintaining your microbiome health will increase your fertility health. Focus on your microbiome health and take the necessary steps and changes to put you on the right path to fertility. Find out how you can improve other areas of your life that impact your microbiome and fertility, like Home and Environment.