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Introduction Series Vaginal Health

February 22, 2024 . jessie

At Yoni we believe vaginas deserve better care. To achieve this, education is crucial, and this is where writer and journalist Daan Borrel steps in.  

Our understanding of vaginal health remains limited, largely due to the historical neglect of the female body in scientific research. For instance, there is five times more research on erectile dysfunction than on PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) – while only 19% of men suffer from erectile dysfunction and 90% of women suffer from PMS symptoms. It’s worth noting that recent research suggests that menstrual symptoms can feel as severe as a heart attack. Thousands of studies focus on semen, whereas only a scarce few delve into menstrual blood. Fortunately, the tide is turning, and more and more research is being dedicated to vaginal health and its impact on overall well-being. 

Vaginal health has everything to do with the vaginal microbiome, which consists of a complex composition of bacteria, fungi and yeasts that reside in a vagina. A particular microbiome can cause STD’s, bladder and fungal infections – such as bacterial vaginosis – and affect a person’s fertility. 

But what influences vaginal health? Is it something you can control yourself with a healthy diet? Can stress and hormones affect your vaginal health? And how can it cause bacterial vaginosis? These are the numerous questions that science is currently looking into. We know too little about the female body, but the revolution has begun.   

Yoni, of course, is also participating in this revolution. For instance, we have started a collaboration with Crispatus: a femtech start-up that investigates how the lactic acid bacteria Crispatus impacts vaginal health. In the future, could vaginal health potentially be enhanced using sprays or pads containing lactic acid bacteria? 

Most of all, a revolution needs well-informed people. That is why, from next week onwards, we will start a monthly blog on this site. In a six-part series, writer and journalist Daan Borrel will explore vaginal health – what exactly is it? Can you make your vagina healthier? What even is an unhealthy vagina? What does the future of vaginal health look like? Could it become as routine to submit menstrual blood to your GP as providing a urine sample within the next few years? 

About Daan Borrel: 

Daan Borrel is a writer and journalist who mainly writes about the female body, sexuality and intimacy. In her book Soms is liefde (2018), she writes about female sexual desire; in Jaar van het nieuwe verhaal (2020) she explores the impact of the menstrual cycle on an individual’s life. She strives for a world where information about (female) health is readily accessible. 

Illustration by Robbyn Gray

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