The vulva provides a complex microbiological environment. Its ecological characteristics range from zones of relative dryness to regions with high degrees of moisture and varying nutrient availability. Because of these variable characteristics, the vulva can be described as an anatomical structure with many diverse microbial habitats. Older culture-based studies have only hinted at the resulting microbial diversity. More recently, analyses of vulvovaginal samples using molecular techniques have indicated that microbial communities in this region are more complex than previously believed. As a result of using these improved tools, future research studying vulvar microbial ecology will likely yield a much more complete picture of the vulva's complex microbial communities.
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