Innovation

Vaginal Fluid Transplant: New Treatment Helps Prevent STDs, Pregnancy Problems

A new treatment that transfers vaginal fluids from one woman to another has been found effective against a common bacterial condition. The approach promises to help millions of women and reduce the need for antibiotics amid the growing problems with drug resistance across the world. 

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a condition that occurs due to disrupted microbes in the vagina. It has been linked to complications during pregnancy and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, The Guardian reported Monday.

A new study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, suggests that vaginal fluid transplant can help treat BV. Researchers said an infected woman only needs a new set of healthy microbes from a donor to fix her disrupted vaginal microbiome.

“By introducing this new treatment approach, we hope that we may come a step closer to providing an affordable solution for the very many millions of women across the world that suffer with this disorder,” Eran Elinav, study co-author from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, said. 

The researchers tested that the potential treatment with five women, aged 27 to 47 years. All participants were diagnosed with BV and were taking antibiotics prior to the study. 

The researchers then took vaginal fluids from three donor women and transplanted the samples to the five participants. After a series of appointments to check their condition, researchers said the procedure was effective to treat BV. 

Four of the recipients experienced long-term improvements and their vaginal microbiome appeared very similar to that of their donor’s. Two of the participants only needed one transplant, while the others had three vaginal fluid transplants. 

The researchers also noted all participants did not experience any unwanted effects. BV can often be treated with antibiotics but the condition commonly returns after weeks or months of treatments. 

But during the study, the women who received vaginal fluid transplants stayed free of the condition for five months to nearly two years. 

“With this friendly microbiome takeover, symptoms and complications associated with BV rapidly subside,” Elinav said. 

The researchers aim to see another study with a larger group of participants to further understand how vaginal fluid transplants work against BV and the treatment’s long-term effects. They noted that the current approach could also transfer sperm from a donor to another woman.

Woman A new treatment that transfers vaginal fluids from one woman to another has been found effective against a common bacterial condition linked to complications during pregnancy and increased risk of sexually transmitted infections. Pixabay

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