Recent studies have greatly expanded our understanding of the human vaginal microbiome and its association with the physiology and pathophysiology of reproductive health. We have learned that the prevalence of certain taxa and community structures in the vaginal microbiome vary between populations, and this is an important consideration in evaluating microbiome associations with disease. We have learned that characteristics of the vaginal microbiome and host inflammatory response associate with reproductive outcomes, including success of in vitro fertilization and preterm birth. Despite all we have discovered, this is a developing field that will be made stronger by more comprehensive characterization of the microbiomes to include viruses and fungi, expansion to more diverse populations of subjects, characterization of the microbiome and host response together to understand context of the microbe-host dynamic, and future studies to understand the mechanisms underlying the associations between microbes and reproductive health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-93
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Physiology
StatePublished - Feb 2020


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