Changes in the Microbiome of Vaginal Fluid after Menopause in Korean Women

J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2021 Nov 28;31(11):1490-1500. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2106.06022.


Various microorganisms reside in the human vagina; the vaginal microbiome is closely linked to both vaginal and general health, and for this reason, microbiome studies of the vagina are an area of research. In this study, we analyzed the vaginal microbiome of women before and after menopause to further increase our understanding of the vaginal microbiome and its contribution to general health. We did a 16s rRNA gene-based metagenomic analysis on the vaginal fluids of 11 premenopausal and 19 postmenopausal women in Korea. We confirmed that the taxonomic composition was significantly different between the two groups. In postmenopausal women, species richness was significantly decreased, but species diversity was significantly increased. In particular, among the taxonomic components corresponding to all taxon ranks of the vaginal microbiome, a reduction in Lactobacillus taxa after menopause contributed the most to the difference between the two groups. In addition, we confirmed through metabolic analysis that the lactic-acid concentration was also decreased in the vaginal fluid of women after menopause. Our findings on the correlation between menopause and the microbiome could help diagnose menopause and enhance the prevention and treatment diseases related to menopause.

Keywords: Korean women; Vaginal microflora; metagenomics; postmenopausal; premenopausal.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metagenome
  • Microbiota*
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics
  • Republic of Korea
  • Vagina / microbiology*


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S