Vaginal flora is the set of micro-organisms that normally live in the vaginal mucosa of healthy women. Lactobacilli are dominant in this microbiota and they are essential for the maintenance of the vaginal ecosystem, creating an acid vaginal pH.
When the concentration of lactobacilli in the vagina decreases below a critical level, opportunistic micro-organisms or pathogens can colonise and infect the vagina or, from there, reach the urethra and infect the urinary system.
The factors that enable the imbalance of the vaginal flora are: the use of tampons, intrauterine devices (IUD), spermicides, menopause and treatments with antibiotics, antifungals and other products.
An imbalance of the vaginal flora results in vaginal problems (vulvovaginitis caused by the fungus Candida albicans, mainly) and in urinary tract infections (especially cystitis, the most frequent produced by the bacterium Escherichia coli).