Vaginal microbiome, sometimes referred to as "vaginal flora," is the broad name given to the microorganisms that colonize the vagina.

"Good" bacteria that help the body fight infection inhabit every opening into your body. For example, your nasal microbiome helps protect against inflammation and allergies. Similarly, your vaginal microbiome helps protect you from any bacteria that are not supposed to be there.

'Normal' vs. 'abnormal'

Everyone is different—and so is every individual's vaginal flora. However, the element that most consistently should be present in a vaginal microbiome is the type of bacteria. A "normal" vaginal microbiome has a plethora of bacteria, predominantly Lactobacillus, said Kecia Gaither, M.D., Director, Perinatal Services, NYC HEALTH + HOSPITALS/Lincoln in the Bronx. 

"This bacterium is responsible for producing antimicrobial compounds such as hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, and bacteria-killing compounds," Gaither said. "These aid in maintaining a balanced vaginal pH as