Why A Healthy Vaginal Microbiome Matters When You Are TTC
Mar 21, 2022
We’re digging into the vaginal microbiome and why this matters when you are TTC.
For years I struggled with yeast infections, urinary tract infections, recurrent bacterial vaginosis (yep, that’s no fun!) and general dysbiosis in my vagina.
I remember one practitioner told me to put some garlic up my vagina (because of its antimicrobial properties). She said to tie a string around the garlic and up it goes. Except (as my handy husband told me later – I should have used a grommet hole in the garlic so I wouldn’t lose the string), because I placed it in my vagina and out came the string and I couldn’t reach the garlic.
I envisioned going to the emergency room having to explain my predicament. Eventually, as I relaxed the garlic came out.
Why do I tell you these stories? Because I want you to know you are not alone! Having a healthy vagina is key to optimizing your fertility.
Infections and imbalance are signals from your body that something is not right! And taking another antibiotic or anti-fungal medication cream is not the solution - it is a band-aid approach.
That’s why if you have experienced endometriosis, miscarriage, thrush, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections and more we suggest a vaginal microbiome test.
We like Juno Bio. Use this link to save $20 on your test.
Today I’m excited to welcome Katy Bradbury to the podcast. Katy is a registered nurse and nutritional therapist and part of my team at Fab Fertile.
In this episode you'll learn:
- How to know if the vaginal microbiome test is right for you
- Why optimizing the vaginal microbiome is essential when you are TTC
- What to do if you experience yeast, UTIs or bacterial vaginosis?
- Impact of hormones on the vaginal microbiome
- Passing infections back and forth to your partner and which lubricant is best for your vaginal microbiome.
3:01 WELCOME KATY & INTRODUCING TODAY’S TOPIC
4:03 KATY’S BACKGROUND AND HOW SHE CAME TO DO THIS WORK
- Katy’s struggle with fertility and journey to getting pregnant naturally
- A lot of people think that they have to ignore the conventional side of medicine and it's not about that.
- The benefits of marrying conventional and functional medicine
9:44 WHAT IS THE VAGINAL MICROBIOME
- How our understanding of the vaginal microbiome has evolved over the last decade
- The vaginal microbiome impacts all humans because it’s so important for reproductive health.
- The connection between a baby’s microbiome and the mother’s vaginal microbiome
- Why the vaginal microbiome matters for fertility and getting pregnant
- What we want is for the vaginal tract to be an acidic environment that is home to some species of good bacteria.
- Good bacteria that should be present in the vaginal microbiome
- The protective effect of a healthy vaginal microbiome
14:02 THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ACIDIC ENVIRONMENT
15:02 CONDITIONS THAT WE SEE ALONGSIDE VAGINAL MICROBIOME IMBALANCE
- If untreated, these conditions keep coming back and can lead to more complications over time
- The many ways these conditions impact fertility
16:26 HOW THE VAGINAL MICROBIOME AFFECTS THE BODY AS A WHOLE
- What impacts one can definitely impact another.
- We need to dig deeper to find the root cause of these conditions rather than just treating the symptoms
- A lot of the vaginal products on the market can seriously disrupt the vaginal microbiome
- The vaginal microbiome isn’t a static thing. It shifts and changes according to what's going on in our bodies at that time.
- If our immune system is compromised, that can affect the vaginal microbiome
19:23 DEALING WITH CANDIDA
- Many people with an imbalance experience major sugar cravings
- Why Candida is usually one of the last things we attack in our protocol
- Candida in particular is a stubborn one.
- Once it’s there, it’s really tough to get rid of it
- Equally as important as considering what feeds the bad microbes is thinking about what feeds the good microbes.
21:20 HORMONES AND THE VAGINAL MICROBIOME
- Ebbs and flows of diversity in the vaginal tract alongside the phases of the menstrual cycle
- Unlike the gut, we’re looking for less diversity in the vaginal microbiome.
- The goal is to have a Lactobacilli-dominant environment
- When hormones are not in balance, that directly impacts the diversity in the vaginal tract
23:38 TRANSFERRING INFECTIONS TO A PARTNER
- Common infections we see transferring between partners
- STIs are really significant here.
- Sometimes STIs may be lying dormant and cause an issue in the future
24:41 MEDICAL PROCEDURES & THE VAGINAL MICROBIOME
- How solutions used in routine medical workups can affect the vaginal microbiome
- Being aware of your exposure to chemicals that might upset the balance of your vaginal microbiome
- Why Katy prefers to avoid recommending external lubricants for intercourse
- We need to give our vaginas a break from external products.
27:28 OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS
- Sometimes there is just cause to use antimicrobials
- Building up the good microbes is just as important as wiping out the undesirable ones.
- Two of the best-researched probiotics for supporting the vaginal microbiome
29:07 PROBIOTIC PROTOCOLS
- When to consider oral or intra-vaginal probiotics
- Katy’s probiotic protocol recommendations for common issues with the vaginal microbiome
- Why Candida infections require a more complex treatment protocol
- It's really important to get a proper assessment from a practitioner before you embark on any protocols.
- My experiment with garlic for vaginal health
33:36 ESTROGEN DOMINANCE
- The connection between endometriosis and higher levels of diversity in the vaginal tract
35:10 THE FAB FERTILE METHOD
- Diet and lifestyle recommendations for a healthy vaginal microbiome
- Refined carbs are bad news for the vaginal microbiome.
- Although we can make recommendations of making steps towards a healthier diet, what you as a person should be doing depends on so many individual factors
- Testing is awesome but it's equally as important to then take action and make these changes.
38:33 VAGINAL MICROBIOME RESOURCES THAT KATY LOVES
40:45 ONE OF KATY’S SUCCESS STORIES WITH THE VAGINAL MICROBIOME
42:55 THE MENTAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH IMPACT OF RECURRING INFECTIONS
45:12 HOW YOU CAN CONNECT WITH KATY
Fab Fertile Method - https://wordpress-471581-2904792.cloudwaysapps.com/what-we-do/
Get Pregnant Naturally | Related Episodes
- Episode 193: How To Get Pregnant Naturally With Low AMH/High FSH
- Episode 339: Why These Symptoms Matter When You Are TTC
Connect with Katy Bradbury
- Katy Bradbury’s Website
- Katy Bradbury’s Podcast | Fertility & The First 1,000 Days
- Katy Bradbury on Instagram
- Katy Bradbury on Facebook
- Katy Bradbury’s Facebook Group | Fertility and the first 1,000 days with Katy Bradbury
Mentioned in this episode
- Invivo Healthcare
- Lily Nichols’ Book | Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition
During our call, we’ll be discussing what you have tried so far and where you’ve faced challenges. This can feel stressful but is designed to help us get to the root cause of your fertility issues and will help me to give you the best possible action plan at the end of the call. However, to reassure you – on this call we won’t be digging into the trauma associated with infertility/miscarriage/loss – rather we are focused on solutions and an ACTION PLAN as to how our Fab Fertile Method can help you get pregnant naturally.
This episode is sponsored by: Fab Fertile Store
Ensure your preconception supplements are free from dyes, filler, and top allergens. Check out our fertility bundles with the essentials for preconception health.
Visit FabFertileStore.com and use code FIRST10 to get 10% off your first order.
Got questions? Join the Fab Fertile Support Group for motivation, support, and education so that you can prepare for pregnancy success.
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