Vaginal fluid transplants could soon become available to protect women from an infection that makes them vulnerable to catching STIs.
Doctors in the US have been given the green light to start offering the transplant and they are now looking for potential donors following an initial pilot study.
Healthy bacteria from donors will be put into a tampon-like device and inserted in a health trial involving about 40 women who suffer from bacterial vaginosis (BV).
It is hoped the transplants could finally provide a 'cure' to women with BV, a common infection which causes an unusual discharge with a strong fishy smell.
Antibiotics can treat BV, which occurs when there is a change in the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina, but it often comes back within three months.
Some of the trial's volunteers will receive a dose of healthy vaginal microbes from donors to restore the balance.
Others will have a placebo instead of a vaginal microbiota transplant (VMT).
Donors would be screened for HIV and other infections and they must abstain from sex for at least a month before giving a sample.
Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, were inspired by the success of poo transplants.
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