Did you know a vagina hosts more than 50 different species of good bacteria? However, a slight overgrowth of other harmful bacteria causes vaginal imbalance. Women who have tried medication and home remedies to treat imbalance to no avail are now leaping the benefits of the best probiotic for women's vaginal health.
Vaginal imbalance leads to infections that result in discomfort, foul smell, and discharges. In some severe cases, it can lead to infertility. These symptoms affect women's confidence and mental health. So, to maintain the normal vaginal flora, keeping the vagina ph at a balance is paramount.
One of the best ways to maintain the required ph is through vaginal probiotics. Today, vaginal probiotic supplements and capsules are largely being promoted, and companies are making huge sales. But do vaginal probiotics offer the benefits manufacturers claim? How can one choose the best vaginal probiotics in the market? This article has all the information you need.
Probiotics for Vaginal Health
You probably have heard of digestive probiotics for gut health. But for vagina health? Most people find it intriguing. Digest probiotics are beneficial bacteria strains naturally found in some foods primarily consumed to improve digestive health.
With the discovery of digestive probiotics, researchers have tried to also link probiotics in solving other health issues, including vagina health. Note, healthy bacteria living inside the vagina feed off the naturally found sugars. In return, they produce lactic acid that helps maintain the ideal PH that only helpful bacteria can flourish.
However, certain medication, semen, menstruation, stress, and poor hygiene can disrupt the balance. Vaginal imbalance gives way for harmful microorganisms to flourish, exposing one to infections and other illnesses. Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is one of the significant vaginal infections affecting fertile women aged 15-45.
BV causes vaginal PH to rise, making it hard for helpful bacteria to survive. As a result, women experience a fishy vaginal odor, grey or yellow discharge, itchiness, and redness. Yeast infection is another common vaginal infection. It occurs when candida outgrows other healthy bacteria. Although candida lives harmoniously with other bacteria, it becomes a problem once it outgrows good bacteria, causing itchiness and discharge.
Achieving Normal vaginal balance is crucial when relieving the symptoms, and this is where vaginal probiotics come in. Probiotics for vagina health are a blend of helpful bacteria living in the vagina. Once consumed, either as supplements,or vaginal suppositories, probiotics restore and maintain vaginal ph, making it hard for harmful bacteria to survive.
Benefits: What Are the Benefits of Probiotics?
Our bodies contain good and bad bacteria, and to keep off infections, the two must maintain a healthy balance. In this regard, getting an outside source of helpful bacteria(once outgrown) from probiotics works in our favor. It is clear probiotics help maintain healthy vaginal flora. But what are the other benefits of probiotics?
Probiotics are suitable for the gut as they bring back harmony in the gut system. They help clear diarrhea, constipation and reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics support weight loss. In addition, gut bacteria play a significant role in metabolism. They facilitate a smooth process of digestion, appetite regulation, energy production, and storage. When gut microbiomes are balanced, the body breaks down food into energy, stores fats, and regulates appetite hormones.
Probiotics not only work on the inside, but they also do wonders for the skin. The skin also contains both unhealthy and healthy microbiomes, and they are brought back to a balance by probiotics, keeping skin acne and eczema at bay.
Good gut microbiomes are responsible for producing mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters. One of the neurotransmitters produced in the gut is serotonin, a feel-good hormone that helps reduce stress and anxiety.
How Do I Choose a Probiotic?
Today, probiotics are found everywhere, in your local store and online. They come in the form of pills or powder. The many options to choose from make it hard to settle on the best probiotic for you. Here are vital things to keep in mind when buying probiotics.
Probiotic strains. Probiotics are not all-in-one solutions as certain probiotic strains are far more beneficial than others for specific medical diseases and symptoms. For instance, lactobacillus bacteria is found in the vagina and gut system. But L. Crispatus strains are primarily found in the vagina while L. Rhamnosus lives in the gut.
Check the number of Colony Forming Units (CFUs). Cfus shows you how much bacteria each dose contains. Although the amount varies depending on the type of treatment and condition being treated, most of the quantities are 1-10 billion of CFUs. They are taken once or twice a day. You might not obtain the intended results if you consume fewer CFUs. On the other hand, taking more does not mean the probiotic will be more powerful.
Storage requirement. Probiotics are heat sensitive in general, and some must be kept refrigerated. Always read the product label for advice and follow it to the latter. The efficacy of the product may reduce if storage requirements are not met.
What Is the Best Probiotic for Vaginal Health?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is the most beneficial strain that aids in maintaining a perfect vaginal balance. Researchers report that women who take yogurt containing lactobacillus acidophilus can fight recurrent vaginal infections. Their counterparts who take pasteurized yogurt are at a higher risk of attracting illness.
Two other essential strains for vagina health include Lactobacillus Rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri. These strains stick on the vagina wall, making it impossible for unhealthy bacteria to flourish. They also hold on to the unwanted bacteria, kill them and prevent further spread.
Although probiotics are suitable for your vagina, always ask your doctor to provide medical advice. Sometimes taking antifungal medication together with probiotics is more effective.
Do Probiotics Help With Vaginal Health?
Although no conclusive study has been done, researchers insist that the best probiotics for women contain a combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains that help maintain healthy vaginal flora.
Once consumed, probiotics find their way through the digestive system into the vagina. If probiotics taken contain the most crucial strains (L. Reuteri RC-14, Bifidobacterium breve, and L. Rhamnosus GR-1,), it disrupts the yeast and unhealthy bacteria in the vagina.
As a result, probiotics reduce the risks of getting bladder and urinary tract infections. Also, taking probiotics lactobacillus does protect the vagina against the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. In return, it reduces recurrent bacterial vaginosis.
Which Probiotic Is Best for Yeast Infection?
If you are experiencing recurrent yeast infections, probiotics can be the treatment you need. In a healthy vagina, the flora is the predominant and safe bacteria, Lactobacillus bacteria. The bacteria is ideal for reducing yeast infection and vaginal ph balancing.
During yeast infections, Lactobacillus bacteria levels reduce drastically, altering the vagina balance. Researchers suggest that boosting the levels through probiotic intake can help relieve the symptoms. The researchers also suggest that probiotics with Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 and Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GR-1 and strains are suitable in dealing with yeast infections during yeast infection treatment.
However, there are claims that probiotics are not thoroughly tested and proven as they are not FDA-regulated. Therefore, consult your doctor before taking any dose.
Do Probiotic Pills Help With PH Balance?
Actions such as douching, wearing tight inner wears, using scented deodorants around the vagina encourage the growth of unwelcome bacteria. Some of these bacteria live in harmony with the healthy vaginal bacteria, but they provide a perfect environment for infection if they outgrow.
Therefore, maintaining a ph balance requires bringing back helpful bacteria to their normal levels and suppressing the growth of harmful bacteria. So, probiotic pills intake supplements the vagina with beneficial bacteria, making them dominant again. They also help maintain the delicate bacteria balance, thereby balancing vagina ph levels.
To attain pH balance, researchers recommend using probiotics with strains of L. Fermentum, L. Rhamnosus, and L. Acidophilus.
The Bottom Line
A probiotic that includes suitable microorganisms for a person's needs is the most effective. Before using a probiotic, like with any supplement, consult with a doctor, especially if they are on medication or have underlying health conditions. Also, if the symptoms persist, seek medical help as the problem could be more serious.