How does Ramadan affect the vaginal microbiome? Let’s find out!

A gorgeous Muslim woman stands in the city looking up at the buildings with a big grin on her face.

A new project is studying the month of Ramadan on women’s diet and health, with researchers looking into the impact of intermittent fasting on eating habits, mental health, sleep quality, energy levels, social life, reproductive health, gut health, or respiratory health.

Isala is looking for participants for a new daughter project, Rufaida, named after Rufaida al Aslamia, the pioneering woman who founded the first Islamic health centre in Medina, Saudi Arabia. In the Rufaida study, the effects of fasting on the dietary patterns and health of Muslim women will be studied, in a world first.

Who can participate in the study?

  • A woman aged 18+
  • Live in Flanders, Belgium
  • Speak or understand the Dutch language
  • Plan on fasting the whole month of Ramadan
  • Curious about how fasting affects your health

Read more about the study (in Dutch)
Register for the study

Important: Questionnaires for this study are only available in Dutch.

The health impacts of Ramadan

Ramadan is much more than just fasting between sunrise and sunset; it’s a very spiritual month where people from the Muslim community congregate and share together.

With over a quarter of the world’s population Muslim, many many people observe Ramadan every year. Women, specifically Muslim women, are the focus of this study, with the vaginal microbiome and overall health being of interest specifically to the researchers.

What the study entails

Three questionnaires are sent before Ramadan starts, four during Ramadan, and three after. The questions are broad – lifestyle, mental health, environmental factors, stress, ‘me time’, nutrition, diet, and variations in these factors during Ramadan.

Do people eat healthier food? Do they find more peace? Does it remain after Ramadan?

Then, physical samples will be taken on the microbiome and metabolites.

Already over 250 women have signed up to participate in the research, but the researchers are looking for more people to join. The more participants, the better the research.

Would you also like to participate in the project? You can register on

Original price was: USD $9.95.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX
Original price was: USD $9.99.Current price is: USD $0.00. ex GST/VAT/TAX