What to do in case of vaginal itching?
Vaginal flora in disbalance
The composition of the vaginal flora is relatively simple: It primarily comprises lactic acid bacteria, traditionally also known as Döderlein flora. From puberty onwards, there is an abundance of lactic acid bacteria in the vagina. As the name suggests, the bacteria produce lactic acid and thus maintain a typical pH value of between 3.8 and 4.4 in the vaginal milieu. The acidic pH value makes it difficult for unwanted bacteria to colonise and multiply. Lactic acid bacteria also release substances which fight pathogens. These include hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Colonisation with H2O2-producing lactic acid bacteria is therefore an important factor in maintaining a protective vaginal flora.
What to do if the pH value increases
An increased pH value is the first indication of harmful bacterial colonisation, although the pH value is not always higher after unwanted bacteria have settled. If a patient is experiencing vaginal itching and burning even though the pH value is low, it is recommended that a test to identify pathogens is carried out in special laboratories. This is because under the microscope, the pathogens cannot always be distinguished from the natural lactic acid bacteria.
Repeated vaginal itching and burning may be caused by a biofilm
Antibiotics are often used to treat the deterioration of vaginal flora, or bacterial vaginosis. In most sufferers, the symptoms improve as a result. However, after three months, the whole cycle starts again for around 30 per cent of patients and they experience vaginal itching and burning once again. The relapse may be caused by a biofilm in which the deteriorated vaginal flora are grouped together.
A biofilm prevents unwanted bacteria from being treated
A biofilm is a thin layer of slime that can be formed by the bacteria themselves and in which they then embed. A biofilm can contain a number of different types of bacteria, which thrive on the good living conditions it provides. The bacterial community exchanges nutrients within itself and protects the surrounding layer of slime against external access. Where the vaginal flora is deteriorated – referred to as bacterial vaginosis – the vaginal area may be covered by a biofilm. Here, the bacteria can reach higher concentrations and are less sensitive to the body's own immune system and treatment using antibiotics.
Subsequent treatment using essential oils and lactic acid bacteria
Where bacteria have survived the treatment using antibiotics because they are protected by the biofilm, they can then continue to multiply. Subsequent treatment using essential oil suppositories or a bath essence for hip baths can therefore be helpful. If the right ones are chosen, essential oils can attack bacteria and prevent the biofilm from reforming.
Another natural type of treatment is therapy using the GynVaccine. To produce it, the patient's individual pathogens are multiplied, inactivated and made into the GynVaccine. The GynVaccine stimulates the immune system to intensively combat the pathogens.
If the pathogens are eradicated in the first step, vaginal suppositories with H2O2-producing lactobacilli (e.g. SymbioVag) help to stabilise the vaginal milieu and prevent the vaginal flora from becoming unbalanced again. This means that vaginal itching and burning can be permanently prevented.
Unbalanced vaginal flora during pregnancy
Unbalanced vaginal flora is particularly problematic during pregnancy. It encourages ascending infections and thus increases the risk of pre-term rupture of the fetal membranes, premature labour and an early delivery. However, even without an ascending infection, a disrupted vaginal flora can have consequences: A reduced number of H2O2-producing lactic acid bacteria is more likely to cause complications. If, however, the protective lactic acid bacterial flora is restored and the pH value lowered, the risk of an early delivery is reduced.