Vaginal Food & Cuisine (Fall 2004 at All About My Vagina)
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Don't Try This At Home

Yogurt: the other use for Lactobacilli

It's fairly common knowledge that Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria are responsible both for culturing yogurt and for keeping a healthy acid level in human vaginas. It is also a fairly common misconception that eating yogurt or even inserting it in human vaginas is a useful treatment for yeast infections— this is intended to restore a robust Lactobacillus population, but the yogurt dwelling strains don't tend to stick to vaginal walls, and the natural sugars in yogurt can actually feed a yeast infection.

Still, imagine my surprise at this intrepid's inventiveness (names have been changed).

I'm all for people getting off in their own special ways, but this still struck terror into my heart. (Take a moment to visualize that coworker, and everything that was growing in that yogurt that wasn't Lactobacillus.)

Microorganisms run wild! (Artist's rendition)

Lactobacillus may be the most famous vaginal inhabitant, but according to The V Book: A Doctor's Guide to Complete Vulvovaginal Health the population of a healthy vagina can also include any of E. coli, Candida albicans, Stapholococcus aureus and epidermis, Gardenerella, Bacteroides, Streptococcus B, and Corynebacterium, just for starters.

Who knows which mighty microbe would dominate after being incubated in warm milk? Recipes for homemade yogurt generally insist that equipment should be at least partly sterilized and the yogurt protected from contamination. Some contaminating microbes will alter the taste of the yogurt, others will not. Some will give you, say, a thrush infection, and some won't.

I'm really not sure what to feel for that greedy but unwitting co-worker.

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