BioScience Trends. 2023;17(6):458-474. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01133)

The effect of the female genital tract and gut microbiome on reproductive dysfunction

Cao W, Fu X, Zhou J, Qi Q, Ye F, Li L, Wang L


Microorganisms are ubiquitous in the human body; they are present in various areas including the gut, mouth, skin, respiratory tract, and reproductive tract. The interaction between the microbiome and reproductive health has become an increasingly compelling area of study. Disruption of the female genital tract microbiome can significantly impact the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates, and lipids, increasing susceptibility to reproductive tract diseases such as vaginitis, chronic endometritis, endometrial polyps, endometriosis, and polycystic ovary syndrome. The gut microbiome, considered an endocrine organ, plays a crucial role in the reproductive endocrine system by interacting with hormones like estrogen and androgens. Imbalances in the gut microbiome composition can lead to various diseases and conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, and cancer, although research on their mechanisms remains limited. This review highlights the latest advancements in understanding the female genital tract and gut microbiomes in gynecological diseases. It also explores the potential of microbial communities in the treatment of reproductive diseases. Future research should focus on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying the association between the microbiome and reproductive diseases to develop new and effective strategies for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment related to female reproductive organs.

KEYWORDS: microbiome, female genital tract, gut, reproductive disease, dysbiosis

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