Did you know that the quantity and quality of your vaginal lubrication depend on your gut health?
You are a Whole Body. So doesn’t it make sense that what happens in one part of you influences other parts? In Western medicine, we often get so segmented with a specialist for everything. A return to a whole being approach is necessary for true health and vitality and to address concerns at a whole-person, root-cause level.
We don’t know exactly how these conversations between the gut and vagina happen, but there is cross-talk between all mucosal surfaces. There is an interconnection on a molecular (and energetic) level between the microbiomes of your sinuses, mouth, lungs, GI tract, and vagina – with the GI tract being the loudest contributor. One likely reason for this interrelationship is that embryologically, some of these tissues share the same origin in the ectoderm.
I’ve treated many women with gut-restoration protocols, who reported almost as an unexpected, very welcome, happy side-effect that they noticed an increase in vaginal lubrication, increased sexual desire, and increased pleasure after treatment. Functional Ayurveda is definitely in the business of providing happy, welcome side-effects – with many patients also reporting that concurrent to a gut protocol their skin cleared up, their personality shifted to a happy, peaceful, optimist, and their insomnia resolved.
The following information is a reduction and does not detail post-menopausal vaginal support. Vaginal lubrication diminishes with a loss of estrogen around menopause. However, the drop is less significant if the gut and adrenal system are supported. (More on that, in another article.)
The information also does not address the impact of sexual trauma on vaginal health.
Now that you know your parts are connected, let’s delve into the ‘how?’ and the ‘why?’
Remember the expression, ‘you are what you eat.’ Yes, and more specifically, ‘you are what your bugs eat.’ You decide with each meal which bugs you are going to feed today. That’s a powerful concept! You are the mom, nurturer, caretaker, and custodian of your body. It’s for you to decide who lives and dies in your gut today.
If you feed health-promoting bugs such as Lactobacilli what they like to eat, they will thrive and crowd out dysbiotic (unhealthy) bugs. Healthy bacteria are responsible for maintaining a healthy, functional vaginal lining, that does its job well – creates lubrication. Good bugs like to eat fiber. Bag bugs like to eat processed food and simple carbohydrates. So it’s up to you. Who are you going to feed?
And sometimes, it’s not about feeding at all. There is simply mass annihilation with an antibiotic.
When you take an antibiotic for a respiratory infection in your sinuses and end up with a yeast infection in your vagina, it’s because the antibiotics wiped out your good bacteria EVERYWHERE. It’s a competition for space and nutrients on your mucosal surfaces. With the good guys gone, anything not killed by the antibiotic, including things like resistant harmful bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses, takes over.
Then, you are starting from scratch and will likely never regain some of those ancient, good strains, no matter how much celery you eat. (That’s why we reserve antibiotics as a last resort, giving your immune system a chance to fight, before we wipe everything out – solving a short-term problem, but creating a very big, future mess.)
Common vaginal infections include:
Acute yeast infections: often a no-brainer barrier to sex or sexual interest. Not only is there an absence of lubrication, but the vaginal lining can burn and feel raw.
Acute bacterial vaginosis: often does not go unmissed because of a copious, foul-smelling discharge. It is caused by an overgrowth of dysbiotic bacteria in the vagina.
Chronic low-level yeast or dysbiotic overgrowth: will lead to a functional decrease in vaginal lubrication and hence, sexual interest and desire.
In all of these instances, there is a disruption in the healthy balance of bacteria. Many women alternate between yeast and bacterial vaginosis infections or are co-infected with both. Some cases are alarming and others are mild, often going untreated and leading to a functional decrease in vaginal lubrication.
- The first step is awareness. Now you remember that you can’t squeeze in one place, without creating a bulge in another. You are a whole human and cannot be treated in parts.
- Consider a 2-4 week experiment of removing simple carbs from your diet. Simple carbs are processed carbohydrates with the fiber removed. They include things like fruit juices, candy, and refined breads and pasta.
- Eat wholegrain – which means that you can see the individual grains, such as in oats, quinoa, or brown rice. Eg. quinoa pasta would have a higher sugar burden than wholegrain quinoa and therefore be a more bad-bug friendly food. Know that large shifts can happen in your microbiome within just 3 days.
- Avoid antibiotics when possible. Consult with a Functional MD for guidance – someone who is going to carefully listen to you and be aware of your long-term best interests, but also know when the benefit of antibiotics outweighs the cost.
- Consider a gut cleanse and reset, with the addition of anti-dysbiotic herbs and specific probiotics, followed by a gut rejuvenation plan. Most people need one as a foundational part of treatment, wellness, and disease prevention. My online Gut Cleanse and Reset Guide can be accessed via the Healing Courses tab of my website.
Why is vaginal health important?
Whether you choose to express yourself sexually or not, your vaginal health is a window to the health of your whole being.
Sexually, your ability to feel pleasure and experience and maintain vaginal orgasms directly relates to your innate lubrication. (I’m not talking about clitoral orgasms – the short, sharp, good, but also disappointing in their depth variety.) Vaginal orgasms are connective, creative experiences that enlighten you to the power of your being and the joy of your spirit’s existence and expression.
Those are the ones you want, and it takes good gut health to get there.
I hope this information helps and inspires you to consider cutting the simple carbs and seeing how you feel. Your Whole Body will thank you.
Nisha Khanna MD
This content is intended for educational and inspirational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice.