When you think of probiotics, your gut health is probably the first thing that pops into your head. But the benefits of taking daily probiotics doesn’t stop at the gut, it is understood that strains of probiotics have a significant result on the pH balance and general health of the female intimate area. As beneficial as taking probiotics is understood to be, the scientific evidence is still somewhat lacking slightly, with ongoing studies taking place on a regular basis.
This, however, can’t be said for one certain strains, which will be the focus of today’s blog post, so let’s investigate together and find the best probiotics for your vagina.
Before we explore any further, let’s find out first why it is so beneficial for your intimate health to take probiotics. Let’s first start with the vagina’s microbiome and how it works to remain balanced and healthy. There are more than 50 different types of microbes in the vagina, these are tiny organisms that are a type of bacteria, also known as lactobacilli. It’s these bacteria that keep the vagina at its healthiest state without any risk of infection.
It is very easy for the lactobacilli to overgrow which can result in an imbalance to the pH levels and microbiome. This imbalance can be a result of a few reasons for many women, such as:
- Currently experiencing their menstrual cycle
- Following bad hygiene habits
- Having unprotected sex with a male partner
- Experiencing some changes in hormones
These are some examples of the causes of vaginal imbalance which will result in fishy odour, discomfort, itching, and discharge. These are mild symptoms that can often determine one of the following which are more severe and need treatment.
- Bacterial vaginosis (BV)
This is the most common imbalance that can occur and is a result of high volume of different bacteria in the vagina. With an imbalance in the pH levels in the vagina increasing the pH level above 4.5 reduces the amounts of lactobacilli bacteria naturally present in the vagina. Some symptoms of BV are as follows, fishy odour, burning when urinating, discharge that is milky or grey in consistency, and itching. The cause of contracting BV is not completely known, but it is thought that any of the following could contribute to the problem.
- Douching or using harsh soaps to wash the vagina as this will prevent it from cleaning itself effectively
- There is a natural lack of lactobacilli bacteria in the vagina
- Having more than one sexual partner, or perhaps a new sexual partner
The best treatment for BV is thought to be probiotics if antibiotics are considered unnecessary for treatment.
- Yeast infections
Yeast infections are a result of fungus known as candida albicans which can often increase in amount when there is a lack of the good bacteria in the vagina needed to keep the balance. The severity of yeast infections can alter between mild and moderate with such tale tell signs as irritation, thick discharge, intense itching in the vagina and vulva, rash on the vagina, pain or burning when urinating or during sex. There are some common causes of developing yeast infections,
- Taking oral contraceptives or any medication that can increase estrogen levels
- Completing a dose of antibiotics that have killed off all bacteria in the gut and vagina
- Impaired immune system
To combat these infections there are some oral treatments available as well as topical creams and ointments.
One of the most common sexually transmitted infection, trichomoniasis can occur any time and frequently so keep a look out for some of these symptoms.
- Discomfort when urinating
- Change in the appearance of vaginal discharge
For most effective and rapid treatment for trichomoniasis is antibiotics. Probiotics are not considered a treatment nor preventative, but it is thought that taking probiotics regularly will keep the pH levels balanced avoiding any risk of contracting BV lowering the chances of getting a sexually transmitted infection.
There you have a little more information about the different problems that can occur when you have an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Now we are going to move on to finding out the best probiotics to take to maintain overall good health and balanced pH levels.
What brand of probiotics is best for BV?
As I have already covered, bacterial vaginosis is one of the most common infections that can occur in the vagina. It is so common that it affects 1 in 3 women and can have symptoms such as a change in discharge, fishy odour, and severe itchiness in and around the vagina.
The best brand of probiotics that can help treat BV is a formulation containing the most effective strains of probiotics to be taken orally for the best, most rapid results. There have been several studies taken to explore the effectiveness of how various blends of probiotic strains. Some studies demonstrating how the correct blend of probiotics can target the concern and treat BV in no time.
If you are looking to find the best brand or product, the easiest way to determine if the formula will be effective for you is looking at the ingredients list and consulting with a doctor or medical expert. Finding the right formula containing the most effective amount of good bacteria is vital for the probiotics to work.
Which probiotics is good for BV?
To find the best probiotics to help with BV, there are some factors you must take into consideration.
1. The product contains multiple strains of probiotics, especially Lactobacillus.
The both Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri are known for being the most effective at treating concerns such as BV and restoring balance in the vagina. Lactobacillus rhamnosus is one of the most widely recognised and used probiotic strain. It has been used within food supplements for decades and is praised for being one of safest products to use. Known to benefit the general health of the intimate area, as well as treating and preventing thrush, bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, and other inflammations. It can effectively manage the infections by adhering to the uretha and lessening the discomfort and pain caused from the infections previously mentioned.
Lactobacillus reuteri is another probiotic strain that is naturally occurring in the gut and mouth. Known for treating an array of problems surrounding the gut for anyone of all ages. It is even able to help and prevent a range of health concerns in children and babies, such as colic that can cause severe stomach pain, especially in babies that can lead to them crying for hours. Lactobacillus reuteri can target the inflammation and relief the pain. You will also find that it is able to reduce any inflammation of the gut and help restore balance back to the pH levels of the vagina.
2. Do your research
It is important to take some time and do your research when looking for a probiotic supplement. Generic probiotic products contain numerous strains which look good on paper but the vast majority of those bacterial strains are not relevant to vaginal microbiome. This results in them not being as effective as probiotics that are specifically formulated for intimate health and contain bacteria that are naturally present in the vaginal microbiome.
3. Guaranteed shelf life
Most probiotics do not guarantee shelf life because their formulations are unstable meaning that by the time the product reaches you most of the bacteria are dead which is why they don’t work. Look for probiotics that guarantee shelf life under normal storage conditions.
4. Look for vaginal probiotics that are backed by clinical trials
Good vaginal probiotics are almost always backed by clinical studies which goes on to prove their efficacy. If you find a product that appears to suit your needs, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor to determine how effective it will be and whether it is suitable for your needs.
There you have a little more information about the best probiotics for helping keep your vagina’s microbiome balanced and healthy. Don’t forget, you if you are unsure of any formulas, it is best to consult with a doctor before introducing it into your daily routine. If you have any further questions, you can come and find us on Instagram for help.