The superhero in your vagina

This is an edited version of an article first published by Wellcome on Mosaic and is republished here under a Creative Commons licence.
Summer 2017
Kendall Powell

I have been a freelance science writer for the past 14 years after having trained in cell and molecular biology. I am particularly drawn to stories about women’s health and reproductive biology. I’ve written about why epidurals are safe for mom and baby for the Los Angeles Times and about the practice of female genital cutting for Nature Human Behaviour.While interviewing a vaginal mucus researcher for another assignment, he asked,‘Did you know that bacterial vaginosis affects nearly one-third of US women?’
I knew I needed to tell this story of a common bacterial imbalance that leads to life- threatening risks for women and their children.


While it’s healthy to have a variety of bacteria in our guts, there’s one place where a single dominant type is best: the vagina. Kendall Powell meets the researchers trying to make the world healthier, one vagina at a time.

First Paragraph

The aisle is marked with a little red sign that says ‘Feminine treatments’. Squeezed between the urinary incontinence pads and treatments for yeast infections, there is a wall of bottles and packages in every pastel shade imaginable. Feminine deodorant sprays, freshening wipes, washes for your ‘intimate area’.