Wanted: 1000 vaginas for new Isala studies!

The Isala train is embarking on its journey once more! Women are invited to write history together, advance global women’s health and to discover which bacteria live in their vagina. Would you like to join us? Be ready! 🙂

It all started in March 2020, in the middle of the corona crisis. We launched a call for 200 healthy women who wanted to take a vaginal swab themselves. To the surprise of our Isala team, more than 6000 women registered in one week! This enthusiasm immediately made Isala the largest study on the vaginal microbiome worldwide. Meanwhile, we are 20 sister projects richer, won many (inter)national prizes and helped advance research on the vaginal microbiome.

The first steps were taken. We mapped the bacteria in vaginas in Flanders. But there’s more! We found interesting associations, such as with contraception, the menstrual cycle, menstrual products, dietary habits, family relationships, and so on. The next step is to find evidence for this. And we aim BIG! Take your chance now because as a new participant you can actively help us find out which interventions have an effect on bacteria in the vagina.

Since the Isala team has grown so much now, there is a project for almost everyone. For example, you can choose to take a probiotic or vitamin and study its impact on your vagina and gut. In another study, you can test different menstrual products for your vaginal health. Or are you curious about the impact of your menstrual cycle on your vaginal bacteria? Then Isala also has a study for you. Do you often suffer from fungal infections? Have you always wanted to know if your vaginal microbiome resembles that of your mother, sister(s) or housemates? Isala is investigating that too! As was the case in previous phases, as a participant you will also receive your personal results in these new studies. But that’s not all: the Isala team is more than happy to tell you about all the interesting findings in an interactive way. In short: there is something for each of you and participation is completely free! Let’s write history together!