Probiotics For Women’s Health
Everyone says you need probiotics, and guess what? They are right. Before you can decide which probiotic supplement works best for you, you must first understand what probiotics are and how they impact your health.
What are probiotics?
Probiotics sometimes referred to as the "good" bacteria, are live microorganisms that live naturally in your gut. Many people believe that microorganisms, especially bacteria, cause illnesses, but probiotics offer several health benefits.
However, there are times when you need an extra boost of probiotics to achieve these benefits, which is why many experts recommend taking them through food and drinks. It might also be useful to take probiotic supplements in addition to those recommendations. But you don’t just run into the pharmacy and grab anything off the shelf. Supplements containing probiotics are not created equal. They contain different species and strains and are tailored to meet a specific purpose.
Where should you start?
The best probiotics for women can vary depending on the individual’s health goals because different bacteria work differently and they have different effects on the body.
When you are looking into the best probiotics for women, you should take into consideration the microbiomes of the GI tract and urogenital system. Women’s urinary tract and vaginas, as well as their gut, are home to many beneficial microorganisms. These beneficial microbes exert similar effects on the vaginal and urinary tracts as they do in the gut. The presence of these friendly microbes prevents the growth of harmful bacteria that causes thrush, vaginal infection, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
Probiotics and vaginal health
Taking probiotic supplements can positively affect the flora of the urogenital system just like how it can positively affect the gut. These supplements can therefore help against vaginal and urinary tract infections.
- Bacterial vaginosis
It’s a type of vaginal inflammation due to an overgrowth of bad bacteria, which upsets the normal balance in the vagina. Females aged 15-44 most commonly suffer from vaginal infections.
Because BV is caused by an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina, it makes sense that taking probiotic supplements could help increase levels of ‘friendly bacteria. Studies show that taking probiotic supplements with the Lactobacillus genus for 2 months can cure or reduce the occurrence of BV.
To introduce beneficial strains of bacteria back into the vagina, may not be as simple as merely using a probiotic. The strains must pass through the entire digestive tract without being destroyed. Furthermore, they will have to be able to migrate to, and then colonize, the vagina. Probiotic strains that colonize well in the digestive tract do not necessarily adhere well to the vaginal lining.
- Vaginal thrush
Vaginal thrush is a common infection caused by yeast from the Candida group. Symptoms include itching, irritation, and white vaginal discharge. Probiotic supplements with L. reuteri and L. rhamnosus may help with managing thrush.
- Urinary tract infection
Taking probiotic supplements helps boost immune function and promote healthy digestion. In addition, they can be effective in treating and preventing urinary tract infections. With urinary tract infections, the good bacteria are replaced by unfriendly bacteria in the vagina.