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Shape (Malaysia) - - Live Healthy -

They’re tiny but pow­er­ful. Bac­te­ria help make your en­tire body healthy—even be­low the belt. “The vagina has a nat­u­ral mi­cro­biome that’s sim­i­lar to the gut’s,” says Dr. Leah Mill­heiser, a clin­i­cal as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor of ob­stet­rics and gy­ne­col­ogy at Stan­ford Univer­sity. It con­tains good bac­te­ria that keep ev­ery­thing run­ning smoothly and bad bugs that can lead to is­sues like yeast in­fec­tions and bac­te­rial vagi­nosis.

And just like the bugs in your GI tract, cer­tain meds and other fac­tors can cause the vagi­nal mi­crobes to fall out of bal­ance, in­creas­ing your risk of in­fec­tion or ir­ri­ta­tion. Keep your good bugs—and your vagina—healthy with th­ese four sci­ence-backed strate­gies.

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