International Women's Day: Vaginas for Science
As you know, Fairy Positron is a big fan of more women in science, but of course not only on the side of the scientists. Because women (and minority groups) are often underrepresented in scientific research, something is sometimes missed (and it took, for example, until 1998 before scientists discovered that the clitoris looks more like a penguin than a pea ;-)).
That is why today we donate 10% of our sales to Isala.
What is Isala?
Isala is a UAntwerp citizen science project that aims to break the taboo surrounding vaginal health and better understand the vaginal microbiome. In short, Isala wants to know what is going on in the vagina and you can take that literally.
The vagina contains millions of bacteria that play a crucial role in health. They are extremely important to protect against infections, bladder infections, STIs, … and Isala suspects that they also play a major role in fertility and healthy pregnancies. Only… that is not certain yet. Because scientific research has so far often been a man's world and so there has been little interest in the vaginal microbiome. Isala wants to change this.
Isala collected samples from more than 3000 women in 2020 to study their vaginal microbiome. They use this to read out the microbial DNA via sequencing and see which bacteria thrive there. Isala wants to investigate, among other things, the influence of contraception, hormones, nutrition and hygiene on the vaginal microbiome, how the dynamics of this microbiome work and whether the findings can help with forensic investigations.
Isala's ultimate dream is to help women who have complaints with scientifically substantiated therapies and advice. They do this by growing thousands of vaginal lactobacilli and finding out which ones have potential as medicine. A series of probiotic care products has already emerged from the same lab as Isala, hopefully medicines will be the next step.
More information about the functioning of Isala can be found on their website ( direct financial support is also possible). You can also follow them on Instagram and Twitter .