Best Probiotic Strains To Support Healthy Vaginal Ph
Reminder: Lactobacillus is the primary bacterial genus found in the vagina. Its vital for making lactic acid that keeps pH low. So supplemental probiotics that contain this strain tend to have the best results in restoring vaginal pH. Theres also a chance Lactobacillus supplements can also lower your risk of UTI. Woot!
The best probiotics for a healthy vaginal pH include:
- Lactobacillus reuteri. In an older 2009 study, researchers found that participants who took a Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri supplement alongside antibiotics had better results than those who only took antibiotics. The probiotics group also had healthier bacterial numbers.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus. A 2013 analysis of 5 studies comprising of 294 participants found that Lactobacillus bacteria including L. rhamnosus helped prevent UTIs. But we need more research to prove the exact effects of L. rhamnosus on its own to treat vaginal conditions.
- Lactobacillus acidophilus. A 2021 study found that a combo supplement of Lactobacillus acidophilus and a yeast-based probiotic called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae supported healthy bacteria growth when added to an antifungal treatment for yeast infections. It also helped minimize the risk of reoccurrence.
- Lactobacillus crispatus.Studies show supplementing with Lactobacillus crispatus might help keep harmful bacteria away and help maintain a healthy vaginal environment.
Probiotics For Yeast Infection: What Are Your Options
Vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections are some of the most prevalent womens health concerns. In the United States, more than 1 million women experience yeast infections each year.
This overgrowth of yeast in the vagina can cause serious discomfort, including burning, itching, redness, and white discharge. When left untreated, yeast infections can lead to serious complications. Several prescription and over-the-counter antifungal medications can effectively treat vaginal yeast infections, and emerging research suggests that probiotics may also be helpful to promote vaginal health.
In this article, Ill describe the common symptoms and causes of yeast infections as well as what probiotics are and how theyre used. Then Ill cover prescription, OTC, and other natural yeast infection treatment options. Finally, Ill describe when its important to reach out to your provider to determine if you have a yeast infection and if probiotics may be right for you.
Promoting Better Gut Health
Maintaining a healthy gut is about more than just a healthy diet and ensuring you eat your five a day. Studies show that probiotics can help with maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract. This can contribute to keeping common GI illnesses at bay. If you suffer with bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, finding the right probiotic could help you get things under control.8
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How To Take Probiotics For Vaginal Ph
For an active or recurrent infection, you may want a higher amount of probiotics at one time, so supplements can help or be used in addition to food sources of probiotics. You can also take Lactobacillus supplements as a preventive measure, especially if you get recurrent vaginal infections.
Probiotic supplements are found in a variety of forms like:
You can prob find probiotic supplements containing some of the best strains for vaginal health at your local health food store. If not, you can def get high quality products online. While theres no exact recommended daily dosage, your doc can give you a recommendation based on your unique needs.
Food can be a solid source of probiotics like Lactobacillus. Some sweet options include:
Boric Acid Suppositories For Bv
Boric acid suppositories have long been used for vaginal infections, including BV and yeast infections. It is regarded as a simple, safe home remedy for vaginal infections. It is thought that boric acid may affect the biofilms of BV-causing bacterial.
One study showed that treatment with nitroimidazole followed by 21 days of intravaginal boric acid suppositories and then, if in remission, metronidazole gel twice weekly for 16 weeks. BV cure rates at 12, 16, 28, and 36 weeks were 87%, 78%, 65%, and 50%, respectively.
Though the BV cure was not permanent for 50% of women in the trial, this study indicates that boric acid , may be useful in delaying recurrence of BV. More studies are needed to determine if ongoing use of boric acid may be helpful for BV prevention, especially for those with recurring BV.
Please note: Oral use of boric acid is toxic vaginal use only. Pregnant women should not use boric acid.
You can purchase boric acid suppositories online quite easily. As always, it is best to discuss any of these remedies with your doctor before use.
Other home remedies for BV that are less studied include: herbal suppositories , tea tree oil for BV, and hydrogen peroxide for BV.
If you are considering any BV treatment over the counter or home remedies for BV, talk to your doctor.
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Getting Back In Balance
Experts say no conclusive evidence shows that probiotics are effective at preventing and treating BV or other conditions related to vaginal imbalance. Currently, antibiotics remain the recommended treatment for these conditions.
As its important to get a proper diagnosis and treat underlying causes, the recommendation to take a probiotic in supplement form should be made by the healthcare provider only after a complete assessment and proper diagnosis of the condition is made, says Haar.
Study Summary: Probiotic Use Lowered Recurrence Rate
Ya et al enrolled 120 Chinese women with a history of recurrent BV in a double-blind RCT. To be eligible, women had to be healthy, between the ages of 18 and 55, and free from BV . They also could not have had any antibiotic treatment within a week of study participation, and had to be willing to refrain from using other intravaginal products during the course of the study.
The researchers excluded women who were found to have other causes of vulvovaginitis or urogenital infection within 21 days of participation, were pregnant or lactating, ate yogurt or fermented milk on a daily basis, were allergic to study product ingredients, or were immunosuppressed.
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What Foods Have Probiotics In Them
There are many different foods that contain probiotics. Some of the best sources include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso soup, and tempeh. Probiotic-rich foods can help replenish the good bacteria in the body and promote a healthy balance.
When it comes to probiotics and vaginal health, yogurt is one of the best sources. Yogurt contains live and active cultures that can help replenish the good bacteria in the body. Make sure to choose a yogurt that is plain and unsweetened for the most benefits.
Sauerkraut is another excellent source of probiotics. This fermented cabbage dish is rich in live and active cultures that can help promote a healthy balance in the body.
Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented cabbage. It is rich in probiotics and other nutrients that can help improve vaginal health.
Which Probiotics Are Best
Not all probiotics are the same. Different strains have different effects and offer up various benefits depending on the condition. Some will fight infection in the gut, others will fight it in the vagina. Some need to be hardy enough to survive the acid in our guts so they can get to the stomach intact. Whereas those needed to fight tooth decay only need to travel as far as the mouth.11
It goes without saying that its important to select the right strain for your own individual health needs. Knowing which specific probiotic strain to choose will help your body target the goodness where its needed most.
Taking a prebiotic in conjunction with probiotics is also recommended. Prebiotics are complex carbohydrates. You can find them in foods including wholegrain oatmeal, bananas and even onions.12
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What Is A Probiotic
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that provide a benefit to your bodys function and overall health. There are literally trillions of good bacteria that help keep your immune system in check, keep pH levels in the vagina acidic, and help with digestion. When we talk about having a balanced microbiome, probiotics are the good bacteria helping accomplish that.
Probiotics For Digestive Health
Healthy gut bacteria feed on fiber and some other prebiotic foods, so experts recommend that people eat a diet rich in high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.
To improve digestion, choose probiotics known to support gut health, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. The L. rhamnosus GG strain, in particular, has many protective factors that may benefit gut health, for example, inhibiting the growth of some salmonella bacteria.
Taking a probiotic supplement will not always benefit a persons digestive health and should not replace a healthy lifestyle. People should ensure they are:
- eating a healthy diet
support vaginal and digestive health. This product contains 1 billion CFU of L.acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum.
The company claims that Probiotic Pearls may protect against UTIs.
This probiotic contains softgel capsules. They are free from gluten and sugar, and do not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. However, this product is not suitable for vegetarians.
Also Check: Nature’s Bounty Acidophilus Probiotic Reviews
Best Probiotic For Bv That Includes Lactobacillus Rhamnosus Gr
Clearly, these two probiotics strains have some promising results for those with BV. If youre looking for a BV treatment over the counter to help improve the efficacy of your medical treatment, probiotics are a wonderful choice. Its an easy remedy that you can administer at home!
Fem-Dophilus from Jarrow Formulas is a great option if youre looking for a probiotic supplement that contains these two strains.
You can also find these same strains in RepHresh Pro B probiotic capsules.
Ideally, I would love these companies to share the exact CFU counts for each individual strain, but none of them do . Both of these options contain 5 billion total CFUs, but they dont specify how much of those 5 billion is coming from each of the strains. If you know of a brand that tells you how much of each strain their supplement contains, Id love to hear about it in the comments!
What Is The Womens Probiotic For Bacterial Vaginosis
Sorry if youre perplexed. I know its not an easy choice! But its one of the most crucial choices youll ever make. If youre still unsure which type of womens probiotic for bacterial vaginosis is best for you, I recommend comparing the characteristics and functionalities of the womens probiotic for bacterial vaginosis listed above. Each has advantages and disadvantages.
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A Solution Springs From Frustration
But sometimes women dont respond to the standard treatments and experience recurrent problems that leave them searching for solutions. Dr. Mitchell says that some women shes encountered are trying not only probiotic supplements, but also alternative treatments theyve found on the Internet. These include putting yogurt-soaked tampons, tea tree oil, and even garlic cloves into their vaginas in an effort to introduce beneficial bacteria. These solutions, she says, are not only ineffective but highly inadvisable.
Its true that a compound in garlic, allicin, has been shown to kill yeast in a laboratory. But you cannot put enough cloves of garlic in your vagina or take enough oral garlic capsules to achieve the same effect, says Dr. Mitchell. Tea tree oil also has no demonstrated benefit and can cause irritation. Yogurt-infused tampons dont work either. Many probiotic supplements and most yogurts do contain Lactobacillus bacteria, but its generally not the same type of Lactobacillus found in your vagina. L. crispatus and L. iners are the most common species found in the vagina. Most probiotics and yogurt contain other species, such as L. rhamnosus or L. acidophilus, which are more common in the gut.
The Three Main Groups Of Probiotics
Most probiotics come from one of these three groups13:
- Saccharomyces boulardii
For a healthy vagina: Look out for lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus fermentum strains. They help to keep vaginal microbes in balance.
To help with fertility: Add supplements and foods containing lactobacillus species to your shopping list. This strain protects the vaginal microbiome against pathogenic infections associated with infertility, pre-term labour and pregnancy risk factors.14
For gut health: For bloating and constipation, lactobacillus acidophilus or lactobacillus casei can help restore gut flora. For diarrhoea from gastroenteritis and food poisoning, lactobacillus strains may be more effective. However, if IBS is the cause of your upset tummy, try probiotics from saccharomyces boulardii and a combination of the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium strains.15
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The Risks Of Probiotics
The FDA doesnât regulate probiotics that are sold as dietary supplements. That means their labels can make claims about what’s in them and how they work that may not be true. So itâs best to be cautious. We need more research on how safe probiotics are. But scientists say they may have some harmful effects, including:
- Unlisted ingredients that could pose health risks
- Unsafe substances made by probiotic microorganisms
Your risk of harmful side effects is higher if you have a serious illness or problems with your immune system.
Renewlife Health & Wellness Ultimate Flora Probiotic
Image courtesy RenewLife
Renew Life is here to help you feel lighter, brighter and more energized. Our #1 selling women’s probiotic contains 10 specially selected strains designed for digestive support as well as immune health. Additionally, they use a potent Lactobacilli formula so that your vaginal environment can be optimal as well!
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Should You Use Probiotics For Your Vagina
You know probiotics can be good for your gut, but does your vagina need one too? You might think so, based on probiotic marketing these days. Probiotics are in everything from drinks to pills and powders, and in many cases, are being promoted as a means of improving your vaginal health.
Women seem to be listening, says Dr. Caroline Mitchell, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. Vaginal probiotic supplements are hugely popular. This includes both probiotic pills and suppository capsules that are inserted into the vagina using an applicator.
But evidence of effectiveness is scant. There is almost no evidence that these have benefit for vaginal health. The studies are mostly poorly done and dont adhere to rigorous reporting standards, even if they are randomized trials, says Dr. Mitchell. But that hasnt stopped companies from promoting products for that purpose.
However, while todays vaginal probiotic products should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism, that may change as scientific knowledge builds. Meanwhile, heres whats known and unknown about probiotics and your vaginal health.
How Do Probiotics Treat Bv
Probiotics contain live bacteria L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri which are the most common in helping to treat BV. By being able to restore the normal flora in the vaginal ecosystem, it will help relieve the BV symptoms.
Lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus helps control the proliferation of bad bacteria or anaerobes in the vagina. It does this by creating a slightly acidic vagina that discourages the growth of anaerobes and other foreign pathogens.
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Best Probiotics For Vaginal Health
This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
If youre like most women, you probably dont think about your vaginal health until something goes wrong. And when something does go wrong, its usually pretty uncomfortable . Luckily, there are some simple things you can do to keep your vagina healthy like taking probiotics.
In this blog post, well discuss the 9 best probiotics for vaginal health and how they can help maintain good reproductive health.
2. Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic
3. Garden of Life Doctor Formulated Probiotics
4. Physicians Choice Probiotics
5. GNC Probiotic Complex Daily Need
6. Swansons Probiotics for Daily Wellness
7. Align Probiotic
8. RenewLife Health & Wellness Ultimate Flora Probiotic
9. Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care
Other Options For Yeast Infection Treatment
Especially if its your first time experiencing symptoms, speak to a gynecologist or healthcare provider to determine whether you have a yeast infection before you try any type of treatment. Many of the symptoms of a yeast infection can also occur with other types of vaginitis, and you want to be sure you use the best treatment for your condition.
Effective treatments for a yeast infection include:
- Prescription antifungal medication: These creams, ointments, pills, and suppositories come in one-day, three-day, and seven-day strengths. Note that pregnant women should not take single doses of oral medication such as fluconazole .
- OTC treatments: Over-the-counter vaginal creams and suppositories, such as miconazole , also come in one-day, three-day, and seven-day strengths. These products often have the same ingredients as prescription medications but in less concentrated amounts.
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Bacterial Vaginosis Vs Yeast Infection
Despite the fact that yeast infections are talked about much more, they are the second most common cause of vaginal symptoms, beat out only by bacterial vaginosis.
So whats the difference between the symptoms of bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection?
Common symptoms of a yeast infection include itchiness or burning in or around the vagina, and a white discharge that often looks like cottage cheese. This discharge is typically odorless and might have a yeasty smell .
This differs from the thin consistency and strong fishy odor of the discharge associated with bacterial vaginosis.
Of course, the best thing to do if you have any of these symptoms is to visit your healthcare provider who can perform an exam and testing to determine which of these infections you might have.