One of the many benefits of probiotics is their positive effect on women’s health.
Specifically, probiotics help balance out the bacteria and yeast levels within the body.
When there is an overgrowth or imbalance of harmful bacteria, bacterial vaginosis (BV) can occur along with yeast infections.
Both vaginal infections have many uncomfortable and even painful symptoms such as burning, irritation, soreness, redness, and swelling.
Other tale-tell signs are unusual discharge, strong odor, and pain during urination.
When being treated for these infections, antibiotics and antifungal medications are the most commonly prescribed.
These prescriptions are meant to treat the infection but they can also cause harm to our bodies.
The Effect of Antibiotics on Vaginal Flora
These medications are so effective at treating infections because they kill off all of the bad bacteria.
Antibiotics can’t determine between bacteria so not only are the harmful bacteria killed, but so are the good bacteria in the vaginal flora.
It doesn’t stop there either; good bacteria are also killed in the gut.
In this bacteria killing frenzy, the lack of good bacteria in the gut often leads to a weakened immune system, inhibited digestion, and digestive disorders such as diarrhea.
The vagina also suffers from the lack of good bacteria and can be more susceptible to urinary tract infections (UTI) and even vaginal candidiasis.
The Importance of Probiotics on Vaginal Flora
Since yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis are caused mainly due to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria, it’s important to keep these levels in check.
Probiotics are a great way to support a healthy vaginal flora.
Certain probiotic strains, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, have been researched to show positive effects on vaginal flora and promote a healthy bacteria environment.
Not only can probiotics help correct the damage done by antibiotics, but they also help support the entire body.
Probiotics and Their Role in Women’s Health
As mentioned earlier, the effects of probiotics can be widespread.
Not only do probiotics help combat the negative effects of antibiotics, but they also support vaginal health, urinary system, immune function, and digestive functions.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a very common digestive disorder and it happens to be more prevalent in women than men.
Research studies have shown that IBS symptoms can be treated or lessened in women by supplementing with probiotics.
Probiotics help support vaginal health because it creates a more acidic environment, which keeps bacteria in check.
Studies also show that women who take probiotics daily (either by food or supplement) and have a diet rich in alkaline foods have a healthier vaginal balance overall.
A few good options for probiotic foods are:
- Miso soup
- Yogurt with live, active cultures
As for a great daily probiotic, check out our list of the 10 best probiotic supplements.
The health benefits of probiotics are vast and seem to be growing by the day as more research is conducted.
Probiotics should be taken in conjunction with antibiotics to help decrease some of those negative side effects.
Probiotics also help with vaginal and urinary support, immune function, and digestive health.
If you haven’t started taking probiotics yet, now might be a good time to start.
Cheers to good health!