When you first begin taking any new supplement, which includes probiotics, there are a few things to note. You might want to prepare yourself for some minor side effects within the first few days of beginning probiotics (including women's-formulated blends). This is the body’s way of adjusting to the new bacteria working its way through the body to the intended destination. Minor side effects are relatively common and nothing to be worried about; mild stomach discomfort and changes to bowel movements are among the most common side effects but should only last a few days! Once you are out of the side effects stage, your body will be more used to the probiotic bacteria and therefore be able to help balance your ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria. Imbalanced bacteria can be the cause of many digestive, gut and even intimate health concerns, so taking a natural supplement (like a women's probiotics) can help retain the balance and keep your body's natural function healthier.
What happens when you start taking women's probiotics?
So, what specifically can you expect when you start taking women's probiotics? Well, you are unlikely to feel or notice any major changes right off the bad, and that’s down to the probiotics needing sufficient time for them to work. In the early stages of probiotics, you can expect the body to react to the additional probiotics bacteria; which is normal. Many individuals experience bloating, gas and even diarrhoea in the beginning! This is likely to happen due to the changes in your gut microbiota; the additional bacteria can produce more gas than usual thus affecting your stomach- bloating. These early signs of the body reacting to the probiotic are common, mild in discomfort and should clear up within a few days. If pain or discomfort lasts a considerable amount of time or if they are becoming increasingly painful then you might want to seek medical advice to ensure that you are not allergic or reacting to the probiotic bacteria! Even though probiotics are considered safe, it’s still highly advised to speak to your GP or doctor before beginning any women's probiotics to ensure they are going to be right for you and your needs.
What probiotic side effects may I experience early on?
We previously mentioned that in the early stages of beginning a woman's probiotics, you may begin to experience some mild discomfort and that is normal for most new supplements that you begin taking. As we said, it’s likely to just be the body's way of getting used to the additional bacteria and nutrients that are being ‘fed’ into the digestive system, gut and intimate microbiome. In addition to minor bloating, gas and diarrhoea, you might also experience increased flatulence and heartburn. These side effects can occur due to the digestive system needing to break down and swallow the probiotics themselves before they get to the gut where it can then absorb the essential live bacteria! Now, you might not experience any side effects at all or maybe just one or two of those listed above. That is also normal; the effectiveness of your probiotic is not indicative of whether or not you experience any side effects and how ‘mild’ they are. So once again, if you experience any side effects, they should clear up within a few days. If you don't experience any, that is also common; neither scenario accurately reflects the effectiveness of probiotics.
What should I do if the probiotic side effects are not wearing off after a few days?
If it has been more than a couple of days, and you are still experiencing side effects, or if they seem to be getting more severe, you will want to seek medical advice about this. You might be taking a women's probiotic when you do not need one or along with medication (like antifungals) that should not be mixed. The probiotics could even be triggering an allergic reaction. Whilst reacting to probiotics, in these ways, are not common - they can still happen. That’s one of the main reasons why you are advised to consult with your trusted healthcare professional, GP or doctor, before taking probiotics. They might not be right for you but without speaking to a doctor first you might be unaware as to why. So, to be safe, always speak to your doctor or GP before you consider taking ANY new supplement that includes women's probiotics; even though they are generally considered safe.
How long does it take for women's probiotics to work?
Once you have gotten through the stages of any side effects (typically after 3-5 days) then you only need to wait around 2-3 weeks before you begin to feel as well or notice your probiotics are working. That time frame depends on the severity of your concerns and what specifically you are taking probiotics to help with! For example, if you are taking them to help reduce bloating, you can expect the gut's overall health to improve within a few short weeks. The process of repairing the gut will begin by tackling your bloating and any stomach pain you might be experiencing as the probiotic bacteria can help rebalance bacteria. It’s likely to be harmful bacteria build up inside the gut that could be causing you the most discomfort like bloating, inflammation or bowel issues. It may take longer for your probiotics to work if you are taking them to help improve your digestive system, gut or vaginal health. Rebalancing and supporting your ‘good’ bacteria can take time, 2-3 weeks is a guide that can alter slightly depending on how much help rebalancing the bacteria inside your body needs.For additional support on women's probiotics; their benefits and how to take them, be sure to check out our Health Insider Blog! We have several posts that you may find very helpful. If you still need further assistance with a personal query, you can send our experts a DM on Instagram and they will help you with any questions you may have.