variety test® - your vaginal microbiome check

If you are pregnant, checking for your vaginal microbiome gives you a good starting point. Your vaginal microbiome can be a first indicator for your general health and for your general feeling during pregnancy. Additionally, a healthy vaginal microbiome

If your vaginal microbiome is not in a good state, you have a starting point to change your lifestyle to improve it! Balanced nutrition, sports and probiotics can improve your bacterial household and may improve the outcome of your pregnancy.

variety test® process

A simple vaginal swab is enough to check for your vaginal microbiome. Approximately after 10 days, your healthcare provider receives a report.

The variety test® cannot tell if you will have a pregnancy without any complications. However, it can portray different state types of your vaginal microbiome that may correlate with medical conditions affecting conception success or avoidance of preterm delivery. Speak to your healthcare provider to see if variety test® would be a good choice for you or contact us directly. 

A diagnosis of your vaginal microbiome may

FAQs variety test®

Microbes or microscopic organisms exist everywhere on and in the human body, but there are specific areas of our bodies that contain large concentrations or communities of microbes. The vast majority of our microbiota resides in the gastrointestinal tract or what you know as the gut. Aside from the gut microbiome, scientists and physicians are looking at other sites of concentration including the eyes, lungs, mouth, nasal cavity, skin, and vagina. These trillions of microorganisms have a powerful effect on our well-being. They have an extremely important function in maintaining our health. 

Bacteria, some fungi, and viruses are the microorganisms that form a community in the female reproductive tract. We call this the vaginal microbiome. Just as in the gut microbiome, the microorganisms in the vagina play a key role in keeping women healthy. The vaginal microbiome can be likened to a second immune system for women, protecting them from all kinds of conditions and complaints. Therefore, an optimal balance of these microorganisms is very important. 

Your vagina can be disturbed through menstruation, sexual activity, lubricants, hormonal contraceptives, and antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of the microbiome. Variations in microbiota that can be considered optimal in terms of a woman’s health may also vary for different ethnic groups, different ages, and even for the individual woman. What is then the healthiest type of microbiota for the vagina? In general, it has become clear in research conducted in the last ten years that the lactobacillus serves as the main colonizer of a healthy vaginal system. Different types of lactobacilli function to keep the environment of the vagina acidic and discourage the colonization of other potentially harmful bacteria, yeast, and viruses. A domination of lactobacilli is a clear feature of a healthy vaginal microbiome. This can now be tested.

A negative microbiome does not mean that you are unhealthy but it can correlate with certain conditions and leave you at risk of developing infections and other problems.

Women who do not have a dominant lactobacillus in their microbiome may have a higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections and other conditions such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis, which usually does not cause any great discomfort but is feared for another reason. In pregnant women, this condition can significantly increase the risk of premature birth. Also, not all types of lactobacilli are good and one strain can also put women at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

A vaginal microbiome profile will help you understand what state the community of microorganisms is in and how, if imbalanced, to restore a good, healthy microbiome.

The variety test® cannot tell if you will have a pregnancy without any complications. However, it can portray different state types of your vaginal microbiome that may correlate with medical conditions affecting conception success or avoidance of preterm delivery.

Different bacteria can colonize the human vagina. There are five common bacterial communities that can colonize the vagina. These five different communities are called ‘Community State Types’, or CST. Some are associated with good health, some are associated with complaints, such as itchiness or malodor. In pregnancy, it has been found that some community state types are associated with a higher chance of a term birth of the child than others. Of course, even if your CST is not associated with the highest chance of term birth, the chance of having a normal term birth is still much higher than that of an early birth.

The human vagina is usually colonized by a high level of Lactobacillus species. Depending on the specific composition, a community state type can be assigned. State types 1, 2, 3 and 5 are dominated by different species of Lactobacillus. State type 4 is not dominated by Lactobacillus species and can be associated with complaints of itchiness.

There is usually only a limited number of different bacteria present in the human vagina. A species count up to 5 is considered normal. Higher counts may be associated with complaints of itchiness and may be unstable. Lactobacillus dominant microbiota is generally associated with low bacterial species counts.

A general healthy lifestyle will improve your vaginal bacterial household. A balanced nutrition plan and sports are recommended. If you want to improve your vaginal microbiome to a more lactobacillus dominant vaginal microbiome, probiotics can be an adequate way. If you choose to take lactobacillus-containing probiotics, you should look for probiotics with a significant dose of lactobacillus of more than 90%. Bifidobacterium-contained probiotics are not recommended. Probiotics can be taken as a suppository or orally. However, studies show that orally taken probiotics seem to be more effective.

According, the American National Institute of Health, it does not appear that probiotics carrry any risks during pregnancy[5]. Additionally, a Canadian meta-analysis found no association with probiotic use and the incidence of Caesarean section, birth weight, or gestational age.

Aditionally, avoid vaginal douching.

As with every medication or supplements, it is in general not recommend to take these if not needed due to side effects that can also occur by taking probiotics. In rare cases, groups of immunocompromised individuals or people who recently went through surgery may develop an infection from probiotics[6]

Vaginal douching, smoking, an unbalanced nutrition plan, stress and use of antibiotics or anti-fungals influence the vaginal microbiome.
Many strains of the most prevalent vaginal lactobacilli species were all demonstrated to be susceptible to commonly used systemic antibiotics.

The turn-around-time is approximately 10 working days.

The Variety Test® costs 250 EUR.

[1] Parry S, Strauss JF 3rd N Engl J Med. 1998;338(10):663-70. doi: 10.1056/NEJM199803053381006

[2] Donders et al.Am J Obstet Gynecol., 2000;183(2):431-7. doi: 10.1067/mob.2000.105738

[3] Hay et al. British Medical Journal; 1994;308(6924):295-8. PMCID: PMC28171

[4] Leitich et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;189(1):139-47. PMID: 12861153

[5] Elias et al. Can Fam Physician. 2011; 57(3): 299–301. PMID: 21402964

[6] Borriello et al. Clin Infect Dis. 2003; 36(6):775-80. Epub 2003 Mar 5. doi: 10.1086/368080

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