How Probiotics Can Help Your Yeast Infection
Everyone knows that probiotics are good for your gut health, but did you know they can also help with yeast infections? If you have been struggling to get rid of your yeast infection, it may be time to consider taking a probiotic supplement.
Probiotics work by balancing the pH levels in our stomach or intestines. This helps keep harmful bacteria at bay and creates an environment where the good bacteria thrive.
If you're suffering from chronic yeast infections or want to avoid them altogether, this article will tell you everything you need to know about how probiotics for yeast infections work!
What is a yeast infection?
A yeast infection is a common problem that affects many people. It's caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans in the vagina and can also cause other symptoms like vaginal discharge and itching.
Candida is a standard component of the vaginal microbiome, a collection of microorganisms within the vagina. Bacteria help keep yeast at bay. If this balance is thrown off, yeast infections result.
Symptoms of yeast infection include:
- Burning during urination
- An itching sensation in the vulva or vagina
- Swelling and redness on the vagina or vulva
- Vaginal rash
- Vaginal soreness or pain
- White, thick, odorless vaginal discharge
- Pain during intercourse
Causes of yeast infection include:
- Use of antibiotics: Antibiotics can kill harmful bacteria. Unfortunately, they also kill beneficial bacteria, which upsets the microbial balance. When this occurs in the vagina (such as when you take antibiotics for a urinary tract infection (UTI), you may get a yeast infection.
- Weakened immune system: Those with chronic diseases or who consume medications that suppress their immune systems may develop vaginal yeast.
- Hormonal changes: Menstruation, pregnancy, and contraceptives can alter hormone levels and yeast levels in the vaginal tract.
- Diabetes: High levels of sugar in your urine and vagina can promote yeast growth.
Probiotics for yeast infection
Probiotics for yeast infections are very effective because they restore balance to your intestinal flora, often disrupted with candida overgrowth.
The beneficial strains found in probiotic supplements help limit the growth of Candida while strengthening your immune system so that it can fight off future infections more effectively.
- rhamnosus and L. reuteri are two probiotic strains proven to inhibit Candida glabrata, a type of Candida that can cause yeast infections.
However, probiotics alone have not been proven to alleviate the symptoms of yeast infections or prevent them from returning.
Researchers compared probiotics' efficacy with fluconazole in treating recurrent yeast infection revealed that when fluconazole was combined with probiotics, the cure rate for yeast infections was 89%. In comparison, fluconazole alone was 70%.
Healthy lifestyle habits such as eating a balanced diet, wearing breathable cotton underwear, and more should generally support a healthy vaginal microbiome. In some cases, however, the vaginal microbiome becomes unbalanced, so you might want to consider using probiotics to get better from yeast infections. Probiotics, however, should not be used to treat severe conditions.