Some Women Have STD-Fighting Vaginas — Are You One of Them?

| Women's Health

A woman's body isn't so easy to understand. There are a lot of things that go on down there that we aren't always quite sure of. While you may be cursing your lady parts for the PMS symptoms, you may want to start being thankful — because your vagina could be fighting off STDs. Women's Health has the scoop:

vaginal

According to new research from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, the bacteria in your vagina could be protecting you from sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

For the study, scientists examined vaginal mucus from 31 women and used high-resolution time-lapse microscopes to test whether HIV particles became trapped in the mucus or spread out (which could then lead to an infection). The results were published in mBio, an open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.

Vaginal bacteria is considered “healthy” if it’s dominated by a species of the bacteria Lactobacillus, lead study author Sam Lai, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, said in a press release. But Lai and his team discovered that a strain of this bacteria, Lactobacillus crispatus, helps create a mucus barrier that fights off HIV and other STDs.

Want to learn more? See the full article on Women's Health.