Aim: To discuss the role of prebiotics and probiotics in vulvovaginal infections.
Background: Depletion of vaginal microflora in healthy women can lead to various vulvovaginal infections (VVIs). Probiotics such as Lactobacilli are used successfully in treatment and prevention of VVIs. Prebiotics are nutrient substrates for probiotics.
Review results: Different strains of Lactobacilli possess different activities (pathogen displacement, bactericidal, and immunostimulatory) that are beneficial in women with VVIs. In nonpregnant women, probiotics administration either orally or vaginally improves clinical, mycological cure rate, and also reduces the recurrences in VVIs. In pregnant women also, probiotics are useful for bacterial vaginosis (BV). In pregnant women, it improves glucose metabolism and might be useful in cases with preterm premature rupture of membranes.
Conclusion: In VVIs, intravaginal microbial environment is dysregulated. Upregulating this microflora environment with the use of pre- and probiotics, referred as synbiotics, increases treatment success rate and helps in prevention of recurrences.
Clinical significance: Probiotic and prebiotic combination can be considered as one of the essential aspects in the management of VVIs.
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