What’s the Best Probiotic Supplement for Women?
What’s the Best Probiotic Supplement for Women?
Probiotic supplements for women are especially designed to improve your vaginal health. Taking probiotic supplements on daily basis will help you reduce the risk of developing a vaginal yeast infection or BV by replenishing the levels of healthy bacteria in your vagina which help maintain a healthy vaginal pH level and boost your defenses against pathogenic organisms that cause infections. Apart from improving your vaginal health, probiotic supplements will also:
- improve your digestive health
- help you lose weight faster
- reduce bad cholesterol levels
- control Rheumatoid arthritis
- relieve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms
- relieve colon and bowel cancer symptoms
There are much more health benefits offered by probiotics which are still being discovered and investigated, but there is no doubt that taking probiotic supplements can dramatically improve your overall health and relieve an array of unpleasant symptoms.
How exactly do probiotic supplements support vaginal health?
Some of the probiotic strains found in probiotic supplement for women have been found to permeate into the vagina from the digestive system. They are then able to colonize and:
- produce lactic acid and acetic which will help maintain correct acidity in your vagina preventing yeast and bacteria from spreading and causing an infection
- leaving no physical space for yeast and bacteria to thrive
- boosting your immune system enabling you to fight off infections
How to choose the best probiotic supplement for women?
When choosing the best probiotic supplements for women I followed these criteria:
- It should have a high number of probiotic strains to ensure successful colonization and a full array of health benefits
- It should contain at least one of the probiotic strains able to colonize the vagina when taken orally (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri)
- The probiotic strains in the probiotic supplement should be guaranteed to be alive until the best before date
Take a look at my picks:
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Women Review
This is my favourite probiotic supplement because it’s got a very high number of various probiotic strains (32!) including L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri, proven to be able to colonize the vagina when taken orally. On top of that, it’s got 85 billion CFU, which in combination with the number of stains makes it one of the most potent probiotic supplements on the market.
Garden of Life Probiotics are enriched with 17 types of vitamins and minerals, especially selected to boost women’s health. The manufacturer guarantees the probiotic strains to be alive until the best before date, as long as you keep them under 77°F (22°C).
I like the fact that the capsule is made from 100% natural materials. Some probiotic supplements use synthetic capsules which can have a negative effect on your health.
If you want to know more about Garden of Life Probiotics, check my review here.
Garden of Life Probiotics are regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and certified organic. It’s got fantastic reviews on Amazon with 79% of 4 and 5 star reviews.
Being a very potent probiotic supplement, it can occasionally cause diarrhea and bloating or other digestive issues. It could also overstimulate your immune system making users more prone to infections. However, it’s worth knowing that these side effects usually happen to people with underlying conditions, such as digestive system diseases.
Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women’s Complete Review
Ultimate Flora Women’s Complete is a good quality probiotic supplement. It contains 10 probiotic strains and 90 billion CFU count, very decent, but not as potent as Garden of Life, which may be better for those with a sensitive stomach. It’s got Lactobacillus rhamnosus, one of the strains that can permeate into the vagina when taken orally, so it’s guaranteed to support your vaginal health and boost your defenses against yeast and bacterial infections. The probiotics are contained in capsules made from natural materials.
The manufacturer guarantees the probiotics to be alive until best before date if you store them under 73°F (23°C). In 2015 it was a finalist in Best Women’s Health Supplement category by Delicious Living magazine!
Some users still complain of upset stomach after taking the supplement, but the number is lower than that of Garden of Life Raw Probiotics. It’s because there are fewer probiotic strains and a lower possibility of getting those that could cause you stomach problems, but it’s still very effective and it’s got excellent reviews on Amazon.
Primadophilus Optima Women’s Review
Primadophilus Optima Women’s have a vast selection of probiotic strains (12) and a very high number of colony forming units (90 billion CFU) to ensure maximum colonization of your digestive system and vagina, boosting your defenses against harmful organisms that could cause infections and improving your overall health.
According to studies, the more probiotic strains you ingest the higher the chances of successful colonization. It also contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri which can get to your vagina when taken orally. It makes Primadophilus Optima Women’s very effective in keeping a healthy intestinal and vaginal microflora.
Like most probiotic supplements, Primadophilus Optima should be kept refrigerated to keep the probiotics alive until the date of expiration.
I was surprised not to find any negative reviews of this product. Not even one complaint about Primadophilus Optima causing stomach issues which makes it one of the best probiotic supplements on the market.
How to use probiotic supplements?
Studies show that probiotic supplements are most effective when ingested with dairy products. You can open a capsule and stir its contents into a pot of yogurt or a glass of milk, or simply take a capsule followed by a piece of cheese. If you don’t consume dairy, make sure you take your probiotic supplements straight after a meal, to lower the chances of stomach acid destroying the live bacteria. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to dosage, but if you’re experiencing any stomach issues, try to take one pill a day and see if your symptoms improve.
How to store probiotic supplements?
Most probiotic supplements have to be kept refrigerated or in temperatures lower than 77°F (22°C). In order to make sure the capsules contain live probiotics, make sure you always keep your probiotic supplement refrigerated.
Do probiotic supplements produce any side effects?
Probiotic supplements are considered safe for use in healthy adults and children. However, make sure you consult your doctor before taking them if you:
- suffer from severe immunodeficiency due to cancer or HIV infection
- have pancreatitis
- have an open wound after a surgery
- have a central line
If you have any of the conditions above, taking probiotic could lead to sepsis, a very serious bacterial infection of the whole body.
In healthy adults probiotic supplements can cause minor side effects that are usually temporary:
- bloating and gases
- eczema and skin rashes
Starting with a lower dose of probiotics and gradually increasing the dose, can help you prevent these side effects as your body slowly gets accustomed to the probiotics.
If you’re taking antibiotics, make sure that you take your probiotic pill 2 hours before or after your antibiotics. Antibiotics can decrease the effectiveness of live bacteria when ingested together.
It’s important to remember that probiotic supplements can interact with immunosuppressive medications which include the following compounds:
- monoclonal antibodies
To stay safe, consult your doctor before taking probiotic supplements if you’re on medication.
Can I use probiotic pills vaginally?
When suffering from a vaginal yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis, providing extra probiotic strains into the vagina will help you treat the infection and prevent recurrences. However, probiotic supplements are not meant for vaginal use, so it’s best to buy vaginal suppositories with probiotics instead. They usually contain a lower CFU count and only 1 or 2 probiotic strains, which is enough to colonize the vagina and maintain healthy pH levels, preventing harmful yeast and bacteria from spreading. Probiotic suppositories can be used:
- after swimming in a swimming pool to stabilize vaginal pH
- after a night out to reestablish healthy levels of good bacteria that may have been disturbed by alcohol
- along with an antifungal suppository to speed up your recovery from a yeast infection
- as a preventative measure after yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis treatment
Can I take probiotics during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
According to American Pregnancy Association, taking probiotic supplements during pregnancy is probably safe. There is very little scientific research involving pregnant women and probiotic use, but the result so far show no association between taking probiotic supplements and the rate of miscarriage, Caesarean section or foetal malformations.
What’s more, taking probiotics during pregnancy can help you relieve digestive issues and avoid vaginal infections. Make sure to consult your doctore before you start taking probiotic supplements.
Taking probiotics during breastfeeding is not only considered safe for mother and baby, but also beneficial. Probiotics support yours and your baby’s health in the following ways:
- they boost the immunity of mother and baby
- decrease the incidence of acid reflux in babies
- relieve constipation in mother and baby
- prevent skin conditions such as eczema and diaper rash and yeast infections
If you are breasfeeding, ask your doctor to recommend the best probiotic supplement so you and your baby can make the most of its health benefits.
There’s no doubt that taking probiotic supplements can dramatically improve your health and boost your vaginal microflora making it more immune to all sorts of infections. If you suffer from minor digestive problems when you start taking probiotics, don’t stop taking them because most probably these symptoms are temporarily. You can take probiotics for as long as you want, also during antibiotic or antifungal treatment to boost your vaginal health.
Have you ever used probiotic supplements? Do you feel they improve your health and helped prevent vaginal infections? Please share your comments, questions and experiences in the comment section below.