Women’s sexual health conditions are extremely common: About 70% of women have a vaginal yeast infection at some point in their lives, and a 2007 study estimated that over 20 million American women currently had bacterial vaginosis (BV). The question becomes: what products are safe to use for vaginal care, that will not perpetuate these issues?
While it’s true that the vagina is naturally self-cleaning and self-regulating, recent research shows that many popular OTC products can disrupt those natural processes, and especially one key player: the vaginal microbiome.
Just as we all have gut bacteria that help us digest our food, women also have vaginal bacteria that protect them against disease; and just as disrupting the gut microbiome can lead to a host of digestive disorders, disrupting the vaginal microbiome can open the door to disease in the vagina.
Study after study after study shows that products that don’t share the chemical properties of women’s natural secretions can disrupt the vaginal microbiome and damage delicate cells. The science is clear enough that the World Health Organization now recommends that personal lubricants be consistent with natural vaginal secretions — and yet medicine and consumer products have been slow to catch up.
This was the motivation behind Good Clean Love, a company dedicated to making vaginal products that are safe for women. In 2003, GCL partnered with Johns Hopkins biophysicist Dr. Richard Cone to develop and patent the Bio Match™ system for products that are safe to use in the vagina.
Restore Vaginal Gel promotes the maintenance of healthy vaginal flora by mimicking the body’s natural pH levels, salt balance and lactic acid produced by healthy lactobacilli. Additionally, BiopHresh Vaginal Probiotic Supplement_ combines the four most prevalent strains of probiotics found in the vaginal tract and has been clinically shown to help restore healthy vaginal flora* and promote urinary tract health*. BiopHresh probiotic strains produce lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide (H ₂O ₂) and have been shown in clinical studies to lower vaginal pH, creating a mildly acidic condition and promoting a healthy microbial environment.*
Interested in free samples?
Healthcare providers interested in providing free vaginal care product samples to their patients can sign up at http://goodcleanlove.com/healthcare-samples.
The research studies linked to in this article include:
- Effects of feminine hygiene products on the vaginal mucosal biome
- Hyperosmolal vaginal lubricants markedly reduce epithelial barrier properties in a three-dimensional vaginal epithelium model
- Is Wetter Better? An Evaluation of Over-the-Counter Personal Lubricants for Safety and Anti-HIV-1 Activity
- Vaginal Microbiomes Associated With Aerobic Vaginitis and Bacterial Vaginosis
- Vaginal Candidiasis (Vulvovaginal Candidiasis)
- The Prevalence of Bacterial Vaginosis in the United States, 2001–2004; Associations With Symptoms, Sexual Behaviors, and Reproductive Health
- Use and procurement of additional lubricants for male and female condoms: WHO/UNFPA/FHI360 - World Health Organization Advisory note
- Has knowledge of the vaginal microbiome altered approaches to health and disease?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.