To achieve this, they employ several mechanisms:
- They stimulate the immune system.
- They compete with other microorganisms for nutrients and adhesion sites on the vaginal epithelium.
- They maintain an acidic pH in the vagina via the production of lactic acid.
- They produce antimicrobial substances, such as bacteriocins and hydrogen peroxide, which are toxic for pathogenic microorganisms.
The composition of this complex and dynamic ecosystem, which is normally rich in Lactobacilli, varies under the influence of numerous endogenous parameters, such as age, puberty, menstrual cycles and pregnancies, as well as other exogenous factors, such as potential infections, sexual activity, medication or hygiene.
These factors weaken the stability of the vaginal microbiota and can cause dysbiosis: harmful bacteria develop to the detriment of Lactobacilli. As a result of the loss of the protection offered by Lactobacilli, women become vulnerable to vaginal and/or urinary infections.