Having vaginal imbalances can put a huge toll on a woman’s sex life and life quality in general, causing discomfort with every move. While antibiotics are widely available for effective relief, taking probiotic supplements may give a better edge in maintaining and promoting better vaginal health.
Today, we’re listing some of the best probiotics for vaginal health to help you decide which product suits you best. We also have tips on picking the right supplement and a handy FAQ section to keep you informed.
- Top 5 Probiotics for Vaginal Health
- How Do Probiotics Supplements Work?
- How Probiotics Benefit Vaginal Health
- Best Probiotic Supplements for Vaginal Health – The List
- How to Choose the Right Probiotic Supplement
- Risks and Precautions of Using Probiotics for Vaginal Health
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are probiotics, and how do they benefit vaginal health?
- What different types of probiotics can be used for vaginal health?
- Can probiotics treat vaginal infections such as yeast infections or BV?
- How do I choose the right probiotic supplement for my vaginal health?
- Are there any risks or precautions to be aware of when using probiotics for vaginal health?
- When is the ideal time to take probiotics?
Top 5 Probiotics for Vaginal Health
2 – Bonafide Clairvee
3 – URO Vaginal Probiotic
4 – HUM Nutrition Private Party
5 – Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics
Routine’s Probiotics For Her is our #1 pick for the best probiotic for vaginal health since it offers a more detailed and diverse blend of probiotic strains. The formula is also designed to yield better results, having a pre-probiotic combo offering other health benefits like better mood and a healthier gut microbiome.
The brand uses strictly all-pure natural and organic ingredients to ensure maximum quality and safety.
How Do Probiotics Supplements Work?
This good bacteria helps you in many ways. For instance, more bad bacteria are present when you get an infection, which throws your system out of balance. What the good bacteria does is help eliminate the bad bacteria away, returning the balance to its normal state. In short, think of it as a way of keeping your body neutral.
Probiotic dietary supplements aim to restore the composition of the gut microbiome and introduce important functions to gut microbial communities, preventing gut inflammation and other intestinal or systemic diseases. They contain live organisms; one dose may contain high doses of a single probiotic strain or multiple probiotic strains.
Aside from keeping the bad bacteria at bay, good bacteria keep you healthy by sustaining your immune function and preventing inflammation. Certain types of good bacteria can also:
- Help your body digest food.
- Create vitamins.
- Prevents bad bacteria from entering your blood.
- Break down and absorb medications.
How Probiotics Benefit Vaginal Health
A healthy vagina is full of bacteria – Yes, you read it right, but good bacteria. More than 50 different species of tiny organisms (called microbes) live inside a vagina. Many of these microbes are a type of bacteria called lactobacilli, which keeps the vagina healthy and free from infections by producing various antimicrobial compounds.
Hence, a lack of lactobacilli and an overgrowth of other microbes can cause an imbalance in the vagina. Factors that could trigger this imbalance include:
- Unprotected sex with (different) male partners
- Various changes in hormones
- Poor hygiene habits
And this imbalance manifests itself through the following symptoms:
- Fish-like odor from the vagina
- Grey, green, or foamy vaginal discharges
- Itching and irritation
- Swelling around the vagina
- Pain or burning sensation during sex
- Burning sensation while urinating
How do probiotics come into the picture? Probiotics, or the lactobacillus found in probiotics, produce lactic acid, which then produces hydrogen peroxide, which contributes to a healthy vagina, establishing a defense against pathogens that could cause result in other imbalances like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis.
Types of Probiotics Used for Vaginal Health
The Lactobacillus strain is considered by experts as the best probiotic to promote a vaginal pH balance. Other lactobacilli-based strains beneficial to vaginal health include
- Lacticasebacillus rhamnosus
- Lactobacillus acidophilus
- Lactobacillus fermentum
- Lactobacillus reuteri
- Lactobacillus crispatus
- Lactobacillus gasseri
- Lactobacillus iners
- Lactobacillus jensenii
On the other hand, the Bifidobacteria strain helps modulate the gut microbiota, prevent inflammation, and protect from many diseases, including cancers, inflammatory bowel diseases, and even depression. It also helps maintain healthy bacteria in the vagina.
Living microorganisms like probiotics can deteriorate after exposure to the stomach’s low pH levels. Certain microbes, however, are resistant to acid. Lactobacillus species, for example, are intrinsically resistant to acid. Another study found that resistant bifidobacteria can also handle the stomach’s slow pH ranges.
Best Probiotic Supplements for Vaginal Health – The List
Here are some of the best-selling probiotic supplements for vaginal health available online. This selection is based on customer reviews and their brand reputation.
Routine’s complete prebiotic-probiotic supplement contains about 24 billion CFU per capsule and is formulated with 5 ultra-premium strains, which are guaranteed to ensure optimal gut and vaginal health.
The unique formula contains lactobacilli-based strains beneficial to vaginal health – L.rhamnosus and L-acidophilus, which promote healthy vaginal flora. The bifidobacteria strains B.lactis B-420, HN019, and Bl-04 contribute to optimized metabolism, improve gut health, and assures a healthier immune response.
The formula also contains ashwagandha root extract, whose antimicrobial and antibacterial properties may provide additional support against vaginal infections.
The Routine probiotic supplement is vegan and works for anyone with any type of dietary restriction. It’s free from GMOs, artificial colorants or preservatives, and allergens like gluten, soy, sugar, dairy, and wheat.
Routine is committed to being environmentally friendly, focusing on sustainability by using packaging from recycled materials. The first order comes with a compostable mailer pouch and includes a reusable glass jar you can refill each month upon getting a new shipment.
- Clean, traceable ingredients
- 100% vegan/plant-based
- No artificial flavors
- No synthetic fillers
- Environmentally friendly
- Sustainable packaging
- Third-party tested
- Free from allergens like grain, soy, nut, and dairy
- Manufactured in an FDA-certified facility
- No minimum commitment
- Free & easy cancellation
- On the pricier side
- Capsule size is fairly large
With just one pill daily for two weeks, Clairvee can help you take control of your vaginal microbiome, and significantly reduce odor, itching, and discharge all month long, thanks to its live active probiotic strains that target the primary cause.
Clairvee’s rigorously formulated formula contains 4 billion CFU lactobacillus acidophilus (BLA-14) and 1 billion CFU lactobacillus rhamnosus (BHN001) to help balance the vaginal microbiome to allow for more comfort and ease as you take it month after month. Unlike antibiotics or other over-the-counter products, this probiotic supplement respects and promotes the optimal state of the vaginal microbiome.
Other ingredients included in the formula, like folate and lactoferrin, both play a role in maintaining a healthy vaginal microbiome and offer additional protection.
- Uses quality ingredients
- Safe and hormone-free
- Only one pill per day for 15 days
- Easy-to-swallow pills
- No refrigeration needed
- Offers free shipping
- Easy cancellation
- Contains lactoferrin, which could affect lactose-intolerant consumers
- Not covered by medical insurance
URO’s Vaginal Probiotic Capsules boasts its V-Positiv Probiotic Blend™, containing a probiotic and prebiotic blend of 5 billion CFUs, to promote vaginal health and provide additional benefits for the gut and the immune system.
The blend contains 4 important lactobacillus strains beneficial for vaginal health – L. acidophilus, L.rhamnosus, L.reuteri, and L.fermentum, which contain antimicrobial properties, relieve vaginal inflammation, and promote a good pH balance. The XOS prebiotics, on the other hand, helps them stay active for longer.
The strains also provide additional support for the immune system, digestive health, and gut microbiome.
To ensure maximum efficiency, the formula contains no antibiotics to maintain the integrity of the vaginal microbiome. It’s also vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free, so it’s suitable for many diet types.
- Contains 4 principal lactobacilli-based strains
- 100% vegan
- Provides free shipping
- Easy cancellation
- Ships only within the USA (at the moment)
HUM Nutrition’s Vaginal Health Probiotic aims to balance a healthy vaginal microbiome and promote optimal urinary tract function thanks to its potent blend
The blend has 3 strains of lactobacilli probiotics to support a healthy vaginal microbiome – L. acidophilus, L.rhamnosus, and L. reuteri, all integral in establishing and maintaining a healthy vaginal balance. The cranberry proanthocyanidins (PACs) support urinary tract function and can also prevent possible vaginal infections.
The supplement strictly uses verified clean ingredients and is triple-tested & 3rd-party validated to ensure their purity, potency, and efficacy. It’s also free from major allergens, artificial flavors, additives, and preservatives.
- Contains pure and clean ingredients
- Undergoes rigorous testing for quality
- No artificial colors, sweeteners, flavors & preservatives
- Can cause side effects like irritation and discharge
Good Girl Probiotics supports three key areas – reproductive health organs, the gut, and the immune system to help maintain a balanced vaginal pH, urinary tract functions, and healthy levels of vaginal yeast and bacteria.
Love Wellness’ shelf-stable vaginal probiotic contains 8 strains of probiotics (compared to most brands containing only 3-4) to support vaginal health and microbiome. Aside from balancing vaginal pH and bacteria, it also maintains urinary tract health to prevent infections that could affect vaginal health.
If you have difficulty swallowing capsules, they’re safe enough to be opened and added to a beverage of choice.
- Contains more probiotic strains than most brands
- No refrigeration needed
- Can be broken down and added to beverages
- Taste may be repellant to other customers
- Can cause side effects
How to Choose the Right Probiotic Supplement
When selecting a probiotic supplement for vaginal health, several factors should be considered, including:
- Probiotic strains – Different strains of probiotics have different effects on vaginal health. Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus reuteri are beneficial for vaginal health. Single-strain probiotics might offer fewer benefits to your body, so a high-quality, multispecies, and multistrain product for optimal benefits would be ideal.
- Ingredients – One should always check the label on a probiotic supplement to ensure that you’re compatible with all its ingredients. Steer clear of harmful chemicals and possible allergens.
- CFU (Colony Forming Units) Content – The number of CFU present in the probiotic supplement indicates the number of live bacteria in the supplement. A higher number of CFU is generally associated with higher potency and effectiveness of the supplement.
- Quality and purity – Choose a probiotic supplement manufactured in a GMP-certified facility that has been independently tested for purity and potency.
- Delivery system – Some probiotic supplements formulated for vaginal use come as suppositories or pessaries (inserted into the vagina, while others are oral supplements. Some people may prefer a certain probiotic supplement, such as capsules, powders, or gummies. It is important to choose a form that is convenient and easy to take.
- Possible allergic reactions– Probiotics are generally considered safe, but some people may be allergic to certain strains or ingredients. It is important to read the label and consult a healthcare professional before taking any supplement.
- Brand reputation – Choosing a well-established brand with a good reputation for quality and safety is important. Before purchasing, it is also important to check if the brand has customer reviews and testimonials.
Risks and Precautions of Using Probiotics for Vaginal Health
While probiotic supplementation offers many important health benefits, side effects can occur in some people. The more common side effects include temporary increase in gas, bloating, constipation, and thirst, though these occurrences are generally rare.
Some probiotic supplements may contain allergens, lactose (e.g., lactoferrin), and other ingredients that may cause adverse reactions in some people. Other brands may not be transparent regarding the content and quality of the ingredients, so it’s best to pick from a reputable brand with verified results and reviews.
Patients with compromised immune systems should not take probiotics can’t mount an appropriate response to any microbe they come in contact with. Those who are hospitalized, with venous catheters, and those who have recently undergone surgery should also avoid probiotics.
If side effects worsen, stop supplementation or go see your healthcare provider.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are probiotics, and how do they benefit vaginal health?
Probiotics are the “good” live bacteria/yeasts that live inside your body naturally. These living microorganisms help boost your health. You can get them from certain food sources, while others use probiotic supplements, which are also a good way to add good bacteria to your body.
Recent studies prove that probiotics effectively treat bacterial vaginosis, improve vaginal flora, increase beneficial bacteria, reduce the number of harmful bacteria, and maintain the stability of the vaginal flora environment.
What different types of probiotics can be used for vaginal health?
Lactobacillus acidophilus is considered the best probiotic strain to promote a healthy vaginal balance.
Other lactobacilli-based probiotics such as lacticasebacillus rhamnosus, ñactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus fermentum, and lactobacillus reuteri are also effective in treating bacterial vaginosis.
Can probiotics treat vaginal infections such as yeast infections or BV?
Probiotic strains help relieve yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis by working to balance out the pH level of the vagina, which makes for a healthy and hospitable environment and prevents potential infections.
How do I choose the right probiotic supplement for my vaginal health?
It’s important to pick a probiotic supplement that will suit your specific health needs and whose benefits are clinically tested and backed by clinical studies for the best results – this will ensure the quality and efficacy of the supplement. When in doubt, you can consult your doctor to help you choose the right probiotic supplement.
Are there any risks or precautions to be aware of when using probiotics for vaginal health?
Taking probiotic supplements may result in some side effects, such as increased gas, bloating, constipation or thirst when they start taking probiotics. Allergic reactions may also occur, but such side effects are rare overall.
When is the ideal time to take probiotics?
Experts say that probiotics work best when consumed on an empty stomach – this ensures that the good bacteria make it to the gut as safely and quickly as possible. Otherwise, they might not survive the leg of the journey, rendering the supplementation useless.
That said, the best time to take a probiotic is either first thing in the morning before eating breakfast or before going to sleep at night. But experts believe that taking probiotics late in the day or at night before bed is more beneficial, especially for individuals who eat dinner on the early side.
Ideally, one should take probiotic supplements 3 hours after your last meal and 30 minutes before the next one.
Probiotic supplements are a recommended health habit for keeping your body working, especially for maintaining vaginal health. Various lactobacillus probiotic strains can help relieve yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis besides boosting one’s immunity.
More research, however, is still needed to determine whether or not probiotics are a reliable way to prevent and treat vaginal imbalance and the conditions it can cause.
If you’ve decided to settle for a particular supplement, always remember to observe a healthy lifestyle to make the most out of its benefits and see visible optimal results. When in doubt, consult your trusted medical professional to weigh possible outcomes and risks. If you’re experiencing side effects, seek immediate medical attention.