Probiotic addresses vaginal infections, not smell

probiotic vaginal infections

When the Sweet Peach probiotic was presented at DEMO conference in San Jose, California last Wednesday, a misunderstanding led to the wrongful belief – repeated by several sources – that the product was intended to make the female sexual organ smell like the eponymous fruit. That in turn probably prompted many men to burst into The Presidents of the United States’ Peaches (movin' to the country/gonna eat me a lot of peaches). As it turns out, though, Sweet Peach is a customizable probiotic conceived by Audrey Hutchinson, a 20 year old former student at Bard College. The purpose of the product is to address the bacterial imbalance that causes recurring yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Sweet Peach consists of a kit that will allow women to swab their vaginas at home and mail the sample to a laboratory where the genomes of their vaginal bacteria will be sequenced. A customized probiotic will then be created based on the user’s swab, who may buy a monthly regime or a longer subscription. More details will be unveiled after the company starts a crowdfunding campaign this week. “It's nothing about scent,” Hutchinson told the Huffington Post. “A vagina should smell like a vagina, and anyone who doesn't think that doesn't deserve to be near one.”  

Company stakeholder Austen Heinz added that he “never said anything about making vaginas smell like peaches. The commercial product is not scented. [The goal is] to restore normal, healthy scent -- as a byproduct of being healthy and not having these infections.” Heinz lamented not naming Hutchinson during his presentation, whose work he says he fully supports. He further theorized that while it would be possible to scientifically make a vagina smell like peach, that’s not what Sweet Peach is about.

Hutchinson chose the name of the company of which she is founder and CEO because peaches have been typically used to represent vaginas in literature. “I don’t think women should have vaginas that smell like peaches or anything like that,” she said. “I’m obviously sort of appalled that it’s been misconstrued like this because it was never the point of my company. I want to apologize to every woman in the world who’s heard about this and wants my head on a stake.” She hopes the product will allow women to learn more about their bodies and help them manage potentially awkward situations. “This way people don't have to go to clinics, or pay to see a doctor,” she said. “It's an affordable way for women to have agency in their reproductive health.”

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