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Vaginal Flora

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Updated January 26, 2014

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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.
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