Gynecological health and probiotics

Sandra Borges, Joana Barbosa, Paula Teixeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The vaginal tract is inhabited by a range of microorganisms, lactobacilli being the most common and relevant in healthy women. The vaginal microbiota has an important role in the impairment of colonization by pathogens and thus, prevents urogenital infections such as bacterial vaginosis, vulvovaginal candidiasis, and urinary tract infections. Probiotics have been administered to prevent or treat these infections and also have been used in combination with conventional antimicrobial treatment (i.e. antibiotic) in order to enhance the cure rates and reduce recurrences. The capability of some beneficial bacteria to adhere and compete for adhesion sites in the vaginal epithelium and the capability to produce inhibitory substances (lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, bacteriocins, and biosurfactants) are important features to be used as vaginal probiotics in different dosage forms (tablets, capsules, suppositories, films, and tampons).This review summarizes some of the antagonistic activities of probiotics, the use of vaginal probiotics for urogenital infections therapy, the dosage forms used for probiotic delivery, and some clinical assays that demonstrate their efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProbiotics, Prebiotics, and Synbiotics
Subtitle of host publicationBioactive Foods in Health Promotion
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128023716
ISBN (Print)9780128021897
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Natural antimicrobial compounds
  • Probiotics
  • Urogenital infections
  • Vaginal dosage forms
  • Vaginal microbiota


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