What Causes Vaginal Imbalance
Your vaginal environment tends to be pretty stable, but a few things can push it over the edge. Some of the most common reasons for a change in your vaginal microbiome or pH balance include:
- Antibiotic use
- Use of irritating hygiene products, for example, soaps, body wash, douche, etc.
- Hormonal contraceptives
And because probiotics generally have a very low incidence of side effects, using them is safe.
Reducing Urinary Tract Infections
If youve ever suffered a urinary tract infection youre not alone. Evidence suggests that 40-60% of women suffer a UTI at some point in their lives.3 And when it happens, you know about it. Women are at a higher risk of suffering a UTI than men. But the good news is that probiotics can help. Firstly, they can replenish naturally occurring vaginal bacteria. Secondly, they balance out the infection-causing bad bacteria with good bacteria. Together, this can reduce the frequency and risk of an uncomfortable UTI flare up.4
What Is A Good Female Probiotic
6 of the Best Probiotics for Women Probiotic Pearls Digestive and Vaginal Health. SHOP NOW AT Amazon. Culturelle Womens Healthy Balance. SHOP NOW AT Amazon. Flora Bloom Probiotics for Women. SHOP NOW AT Amazon. Vitamin Bounty Womens Pro-Daily. NatureWise Probiotics for Women. Renew Life Womens Probiotic Ultimate Flora.
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Swansons Probiotics For Daily Wellness
Image courtesy Swanson
Hectic lives can all team up to disrupt your natural balance. Supportive supplements such as Probiotic for Daily Wellness by Swanson Health help support general health with a higher population density in beneficial strains which will help restore harmony throughout your entire body.
Bifido Bacteria For Digestion And Intestinal Health
Our large intestine is important for our digestion and overall health because this organ is basically our waste management and disposal system. Digesting food properly to ensure your body stays regular, and getting the most nutrients out of your food, are essential components to feeling healthy.
To optimize the health of the large intestine, you can boost it with specific flora like that in Bifidobacterium bifidum.
One of the best ways to get Bifidobacterium bifidum is through Bifido Factor. This probiotic product is the second step in our custom probiotic system.
Additionally, many clients say their favorite option for its ease and effectiveness is Natrens Healthy Trinity. The bifidum bacteria plays an important role in the Healthy Trinity supplement, of which you receive 20 billion live, active bifidum bacteria in each serving.
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Probiotics For Overall Health
When purchasing any probiotic for overall health, a person should be aware that there is little research into the health benefits of probiotics and may find it difficult to determine their effectiveness.
While it is common for some people to take probiotic supplements to promote their overall health, and suggested by many healthcare providers for various conditions, it is important to understand that not all probiotics are effective or safe for everyone . It is much more important for an individual to support their overall health by focusing on diet and lifestyle as a whole rather than on taking one specific supplement.
The health benefits of probiotics are strain-specific, and probiotics for overall health often contain a lot of live microorganisms rather than single strains. This makes it difficult for a person to determine whether research supports the health benefits that the manufacturers claim.
Three probiotic options for overall health include:
Best for a raw probiotic
Persona claims that this vegetarian probiotic can support healthy digestion, immune health, and emotional well-being.
Each capsule contains 10 billion CFU of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.
The company recommends people take the probiotic differently depending on the time of day:
- in the morning, take with or after breakfast
- in the evening, take with a snack or dinner
- at night, take an hour before going to bed
Biom Vaginal Probiotic Suppository: Natural Vaginal Ph And Odor Control Regimen Balance And Nourishes Vaginal Microbiome No Parabens No Preservatives
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Safety & Side Effects
Probiotics are generally safe for most people, with the exception of some mild side effects like bloating or flatulence in some people. However, for some at-risk people, such as infants, elderly people, hospitalized patients, and those with compromised immune systems, probiotics may do more harm than good. Therefore, it is always a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider first before starting any supplement to ensure that it will safely fit within your current health routine.
Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, health editor, and founder of LighttrackNutrition.com. She has been a registered dietitian with the Commission on Dietetic Registration since 2010. Staci has graduate degrees in Biology, Human Nutrition, and Nutrition and Education from New York University, the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition, and Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been a featured expert for sites including Health.com, Shape.com, ThisisInsider.com, and Eat This Not That.
Restore Balance With Probiotics For Vaginal Health*
Luckily, now you can be proactive with your vaginal health. Probiotics for vaginal health like AZO Complete Feminine BalanceTMDaily Probiotic is powered with INTELLIFLORATM, a clinically-proven blend of four probiotic species.* INTELLIFLORATM uses the species most commonly found in a healthy vagina to replenish and colonize your vaginas microflora.* Taken regularly, the probiotics help restore and maintain your vaginas pH at an optimal level for ongoing vaginal health.*
If youre in the thick of a vaginal infection, AZO Yeast® Plus helps relieve the uncomfortable symptoms associated with vaginal and yeast infections. Of course, youll want to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment, but AZO Yeast® Plus can help you find relief in the meantime.
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Probiotics For Vaginal Health: Should You Use Them
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Amanda Olson, DPT, PRPC
It is common knowledge that probiotics promote the growth of good bacteria in the digestive tract to improve gut health. More recently, however, womens health experts are also recommending probiotics for improved vaginal health.
Just like a healthy digestive tract, the vagina depends on a healthy pH balance to function optimally. This balance depends on the appropriate amount of good bacteria and bad bacteria.
With over 50 different types of bacteria inside the vagina, imbalances can occur for several reasons, resulting in uncomfortable conditions such as Bacterial Vaginosis , Yeast Infections, Trichomoniasis, or Urinary Tract Infections.
Garden Of Life Doctor Formulated Probiotics
Image courtesy Garden of Life
Formulated by America’s Brain-Health Expert, a board-certified Neurologist who is also an expert on the human microbiome. This unique formula provides high counts of beneficial probiotics made from diverse strains that are resistant to stomach acid and bile so as not only support womens systems but their immune response too!
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When To See A Doctor
Usually, conditions caused by vaginal imbalance are mild to moderate, and dont cause severe health problems. However, BV and yeast infections can cause serious discomfort if left untreated. And you should always seek quick treatment for a UTI to avoid possible complications.
If youve recently had sex and notice itching, burning or other unusual symptoms in your vaginal area, you should also talk with your doctor. You could have a sexually transmitted infection, such as trichomoniasis.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you have BV, a yeast infection, or a UTI. Seek immediate medical treatment if you have:
- pain on your sides or lower back
- a high temperature
Frequently Asked Questions :
Though probiotics target the human body in general, certain strains of probiotics can show effective results in women, especially regarding the female reproductive system and urinary tract. According to research, women who had the presence of lactobacilli in the vaginal canals never had a urinary tract infection compared to women without the lactobacilli strain. In further studies, when women were treated with probiotics showed significant improvements in their urinary and vaginal health. Though many beneficial bacteria are effective in womens health, Culturelle Womens Healthy Balance can be claimed as the most effective and widely used probiotic for women.
It is natural to wonder if you should take probiotics daily. Since you menstruate every month and there are several other complications to the female body, it is common to worry over the safety of taking supplements every day. Though there are a few exceptions, you can take probiotics daily as long as you follow the recommended dosage. Supplements are not medicines, but you still need a doctors consultation on how to take probiotics with your diet.
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How Do I Choose The Right Probiotic For Vaginal Health
The best way to choose a probiotic for vaginal health is to talk to your doctor. They can help you select the right product based on your needs.
There are many different types of probiotics on the market, so it’s important to do your research before purchasing one. Probiotics come in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids.
When it comes to probiotics for vaginal health, look for products that contain Lactobacillus. This is a type of bacteria that helps keep the vagina healthy by maintaining its pH balance.
Probiotics with Lactobacillus can help treat and prevent yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, and UTIs.
The Vicious Cycle Of Utis Yeast And Other Vaginal Infections
The material provided below is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the diagnosis or treatment by a qualified healthcare professional. You should always seek medical advice before consuming any new medicines or supplements. AZO products referenced on this website are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease such as overactive bladder, urinary tract infections, or vaginal infections.
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What Are The Benefits Of Probiotics
Youre probably familiar with the benefits of probiotics. These handy little supplements consist of live bacteria that are beneficial to your body. Its important that our bodies have huge numbers of good bacteria teeming in them, from our mouths to our stomachs to yes, our vaginas.
Thats because of the microbiome. The microbiome is the giant, invisible ecosystem of bacteria that lives in and on your body. You are home to trillions of bacteria, many of which do important jobs to keep you healthy. Essential for immunity, digestion, and other aspects of health, the bacteria in your microbiome are the unseen helpers who balance your body.
So, back to the vagina . As anyone who has ever had a yeast infection can loudly attest, when the bacteria in your vagina are off, you can really feel it. The vagina itself is a microsystem of your microbiome, and the bacteria in it are affected by everything from your menstrual cycle to your hygiene to your diet.
See the connection? If we need good bacteria for our microbiome in general, we also need it for our vaginas. Which brings us right back to where we began: probiotics. Are probiotics good for vaginal health? The short answer is yes! For the long answer , read on.
Sorting Facts About Probiotics From Fiction
Vaginal probiotics are touted as a way to introduce live microorganisms into your vagina to improve health. Its true that your vagina, like your digestive tract, is teeming with beneficial bacteria and other microorganisms. When it comes to vaginal health, some common gynecological conditions are thought to be caused by an imbalance of bacteria inside the vagina. More often than not, when women seek out probiotics, theyre doing it in an attempt to ease discomfort caused by two of them: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection, says Dr. Mitchell.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common vaginal infection in women of childbearing age. Theres still a lot that experts dont understand about the condition, but it is associated with an overgrowth of harmful microorganisms , which outnumber healthier types of vaginal bacteria, including a common organism called Lactobacillus.
Vaginal yeast infection also stems from an imbalance in the vagina. But in this condition, the problem is a fungus called Candida, which overcomes healthy bacteria. Candida can exist normally in the vagina without any problem, but may cause trouble if it outnumbers other microorganisms.
For now, the only proven treatments for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection are antibiotic or antifungal treatments, says Dr. Mitchell.
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How Long Will It Take Probiotics To Start Working
The answer to this question depends on the person and the condition being treated. Some people may see results within a few days or weeks. However, for others, it may take months of taking probiotics before they notice any changes. It is important to continue taking them as directed and to be patient.
When choosing a probiotic supplement, it is important to look for one that contains live and active cultures. It is also important to choose a product that has been tested for purity and safety. Probiotics for vaginal health should be taken as directed on the package.
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Do I Need Probiotics For Ph Balance
Different areas of the human body have their own pH balance, including your blood, skin and reproductive system.
You may have seen products claiming to help balance the pH of your vagina. So, is vaginal pH balance something you need to be concerned about?
Your vaginal pH levels play a role in preventing infections, supporting healthy pregnancies and any hormonal changes.
How acidic a substance is runs from 0 to 14. A pH of less than 7 is considered acidic, and a pH of more than 7 is basic. Maintaining a normal vaginal pH greater than 4.5 could help achieve a balanced vaginal environment and prevent recurrent BV.
Turning to probiotics may help with your vaginal pH balance.
Probiotics, or lactobacillus found in probiotics, produce lactic acid which subsequently produces hydrogen peroxide, says Dr. Goje. Production of hydrogen peroxide contributes to a healthy vagina, establishing defense against pathogens.
Why Probiotics Matter So Much
After dissecting and inspecting the various key strains that may be in your probiotic supplements, it is easy to see why they, particularly those discussed above, are helpful in supporting your overall health.
Their long list of health benefits doesnt stop there. The inclusion of prebiotics on a probiotic supplement plays helpful roles in almost every system in the body to support and promote health.
1. Balancing the good and bad bacteria in your gut helps support proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
2. Nourishing good bacteria that may be overwhelmed by occasional oxidative stress.
3. Promoting proper food movement through your gut and breaking down food into nutrients your body can use for energy, cell repair, and growth.
4. Promoting mineral absorption from the foods you eat, particularly iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other minerals that support bone health.
5. Helping to metabolize occasional everyday toxins for removal from your body.
6. Supporting immune cell activity to protect against environmental and seasonal threats and promoting the production of natural antibodies in the body for healthy immune responses.
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Strains To Look For To Promote Overall Health
There are around 500 different strains of probiotics. When it comes to promoting the overall health of your vagina, you want to look for probiotics Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus rhamnosus, which have been shown in human trials to be beneficial for vaginal health.
- Lactobacillus crispatus.This strain is one of the predominant ones found in the vaginal microbiota and produces hydrogen peroxide. Lactobacillus crispatus is available as a supplement.
- Lactobacillus rhamnosus.This strain is typically found in your intestines and produces lactase, an enzyme. Lactase can break down sugar lactose into lactic acid. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is available as a supplement, but is also added to foods like yogurt, cheese, milk and other dairy products.
I recommend reading the labels and confirming it has Lactobacillus crispatus and or Lactobacillus rhamnosus amongst the other Lactobacillus in the probiotic, says Dr. Goje. Probiotics come as a combination of various Lactobacillus. Some have lactoferrin and those targeting UTI prevention may have cranberry extracts.
While probiotics dont have any side effects, make sure you take any supplements as directed. And if you have recurrent BV and yeast infections, even after trying medications and probiotic supplements, its important to see your doctor.