The female reproductive system is a rather sensitive region compared to other parts of the body, and the vagina itself contains lactobacilli, which regulate the pH and overall vaginal ecosystem. The balance maintained by these microbes is easily disoriented, which can lead to vaginal infection due to pathogenic microbes prevailing over beneficial ones. The purpose of this research was to discover if the use of feminine hygiene products and beauty products leads to the increase in vaginal infections and that these infections do not solely arise based on the vaginal ecosystem itself. A large range of scientific and medical literature was examined for information on the correlation between product use and likelihood of infection, as well as risks associated with the ingredients in products used. A list of ingredients from some common products was also gathered and compared to information found in the literature. It was found that with only some instances of benefits of some female products, there is a strong correlation between the use of several different products and the increase in vaginal infection, which can then lead to more major complications. There are alternatives that can be used in place of harmful products, but an overall increase and improvement on information available and education seems to be a key factor in decreasing these potential problems.
Ellie Camerato is a second-year molecular and cellular biology major, minoring in chemistry and mathematics. Upon graduation, she plans to work in a laboratory setting for a year or two before returning to school to earn a Master’s degree in a biology field of interest to expand her career goals. In her spare time, she enjoys music and spending time with family and friends.