Women health: Vaginal fluid transplants may soon be a reality

Vet-Service Dept. declared no human DNA found in human-faced goat
Researcher takes a sample for test Reuters

Gynaecological health and disorders are affecting women that include bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, uterine fibroids and vulvodynia. So overlooking these issues will cause a massive health issue for any woman. Recently it was announced that a new program for screening of potential vaginal fluid donors has been set up in US to benefit women in need of healthy vaginal microbes.

The doctors are hoping to soon be able to transplant the fluid to women who could benefit from a dose of healthy vaginal microbes, which protect women against bacterial vaginosis (BV).

However, a BV infection can be treated by antibiotics, but the recent move is inspired by the success of fecal transplants, Johns Hopkins University team said.

BV, despite being an infection, is not a sexually transmitted disease and quite common among women. It can be characterized by an unusual discharge with a strong fishy smell.

Doctors with regulatory approval from the Food and Drugs Administration have screened at least 20 volunteers and now looking for "ideal" donor of vaginal fluid, in preparation to offer women with BV the transplants.

The participants, pre-menopausal females between the ages of 18 and 45 years, were made to fill a questionnaire and examined about their vaginal health apart from samples collected from them.

The findings, published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, suggested that vaginal fluid samples dominated by Lactobacillus crispatus bacterium having a high protective lactic acid content and low pH levels beneficial for the health of a vagina, which is home to various kind of microorganisms.

The participants as a precaution were asked to abstain from sex for 30 days prior to providing the sample and screened for other infections, including HIV and UTI.

Dr Laura Ensign, one of the researchers, said the process was "quick and easy and one sample collected like that would be enough material to make one dose for transfer".

"If we can get funding, we could start right away. Some of the donors that we studied said they would want to take part," she said.

BV, which usually grows when there is a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, makes women prone to catching sexually transmitted disease and urinary tract infections. The natural balance of bacteria can get upset by diet, lifestyle and some type of medications.

According to doctors, healthy micro-organisms in the vagina prefer an acidic environment and bacteria, including those that cause BC, can grow when the pH becomes too alkaline.