Cervicovaginal bacterial communities are closely linked to reproductive health. Communities characterized by diverse anaerobes and low Lactobacillus abundance are associated with preterm birth, infertility, and risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Women in South Africa are more likely to have these 'high-risk' bacterial communities than women in the U.S. and Europe. But the transition between high- and low-risk community states is not well understood. To examine this, researchers profiled the cervicovaginal bacterial communities of healthy young Black South African women over time. They developed a Markov-based model of transition dynamics that accurately predicted bacterial composition in a separate cross-sectional cohort. While communities with high levels of Lactobacillus spp. are usually considered low risk for adverse health outcomes, this model suggested that Lactobacillus iners-dominant communities have a higher probability of transitioning to high-risk states than Lactobacillus crispatus-dominant ones. Thus, simulations based on the model predict that manipulating the movement between these two community types in favor of Lactobacillus crispatus would increase the prevalence of low-risk communities. While these findings are computationally based and require experimental confirmation, they may lead to intervention strategies to reduce bacteria-associated adverse reproductive outcomes for women in sub-Saharan Africa.