1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Vaginal Flora

By

Updated April 28, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Definition: The vaginal flora are the bacteria that live inside the vagina. The normal vaginal flora are dominated by various lactobacillus species, which help to keep the vagina healthy by producing lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and other substances that inhibit the growth of yeast and other unwanted organisms. A hallmark of bacterial vaginosis is disruption of this normal vaginal flora and a loss of lactobacilli, which can not only be unpleasant in and of itself, but also leave a woman more susceptible to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.