In fact, yes stress can disrupt a body’s microbiome, both in the gut and the vagina. The “fight-or-flight” response that people experience when under stress may be harmful to the vaginal flora, especially if the stress persists on a long-term basis.

Here’s the science bit for you brainiacs: prolonged exposure to stressful situations can stimulate the production of cortisol, which will affect levels of glycogen in the vagina, and consequently the populations of Lactobacilli which like to ferment it. A reduction in levels of Lactobacilli can increase the risk of vaginal infections.

Learn more about Microbiome balance and other ways a body’s microbiome can be disrupted