As if reducing the spread of STIs and helping prevent unwanted pregnancy wasn’t enough to want women to use condoms, new studies have found that condoms may have a positive influence on the creation of friendly bacteria for a healthy, happy vagina.
Try using that as a chat up line…
The study by researchers at Beijing Friendship Hospital found that the quantity of ‘friendly bacteria’ in vaginas was higher in women who were active condom users compared to those who didn’t and/or used different forms of contraception.
Now for the science.
The bacteria in question is lactobacillus, which naturally occurs in abundance and helps keep the vagina at an average pH of 4.5.
The slightly acidic nature of the environment is thought to help prevent bad bacteria forming which can cause infection and discomfort such as itching or odour.
In contrast, semen has a pH of between 7.0 – 8.0 which has an impact on the ecosystem of the vagina by disrupting the pH balance.
The research concluded that, from their study of 164 married Chinese women aged between 18-45, those who used condoms regularly had a higher quantity of friendly bacteria which help reduce risk of BV (Bacterial Vaginosis) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
In summary – condoms may actually be good for vaginas!