Probiotics have many health benefits. They can help boost gut health. There has also been scant evidence that probiotics are good for vaginal health. One can get them from probiotic supplements or fermented foods such as sauerkraut. However, food sources may not have the strains needed to promote vaginal health. Usually, women take probiotics to help maintain good vaginal pH balance and support reproductive health. Even so, some probiotics marketed as good for vaginal health do not always provide their stated benefits. With this in mind, one should consider three key factors when choosing the best probiotic for vaginal health.
1. Probiotic Strains
The first factor to look at when choosing the best probiotic for your vaginal health needs is the probiotic strains. Research shows that the vagina has many live microorganisms, both harmful and beneficial. However, when there is an imbalance in the vaginal microbiota, women can develop bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections.
Theoretically, probiotics can increase the number of beneficial microorganisms in the vagina and prevent urogenital infections. Current evidence further shows that taking probiotics with specific strains can promote vaginal health. Contrary to the common perception, taking just any probiotic does not lead to better vaginal health.
The probiotic strains that help support vaginal health include Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Lactobacillus crispatus.
You should check the ingredient table to determine whether your preferred probiotic brand contains these bacteria. Although these strains are all important, one should pay more attention to Lactobacillus rhamnosus because more evidence supports its role in improving vaginal health.
2. Shelf Stability
Another factor to consider when looking for the best probiotic for vaginal health is whether the brand or product is shelf-stable. A shelf-stable product is safe to store at room temperature, often in a sealed container.
A shelf-stable probiotic does not require refrigeration. It also has a longer shelf-life or will not lose potency if kept at room temperature. It will remain safe to take until the last pill or dose. Remember always to keep the container sealed after use to ensure safety.
3. The Colony-Forming Unit (CFU) Count
The CFU count of probiotic brands matters. It ensures one enjoys the full benefits of taking probiotics. The American Association of Family Physicians recommends that adults take 10-20 billion CFUs daily. This dose ensures more significant benefits.
Even so, one can safely take higher dosages of up to 50 billion CFUs or more. Currently, there are no clear guidelines about how much CFU count is too much in a probiotic. However, there is consensus that very high dosages, for instance, 100 billion CFUs per day, is unnecessary.
Probiotics rarely cause side effects no matter the dose. They also have no known medication interactions.
My Three Picks for the Best Probiotic for Vaginal Health
The Garden of Life Probiotics for Women is one of the best probiotics for vaginal health. It meets the criteria identified earlier in this article. First, it has all four most helpful Lactobacillus bacteria and others that support vaginal health. The diverse probiotic blend does not only help boost vaginal health. It can as well improve digestive health and body immunity.
Renew Life Women’s Probiotics is the second brand with the right strains to support vaginal health. It is also shelf stable and supplies a sufficient probiotics dose. Its 12 probiotic strains are also good for urinary, immune, and digestive functions.
Doctor’s Recipes Women’s Probiotic is the third pick that satisfies the criteria for choosing the best probiotic for vaginal health. It has the right probiotic strains and others that support genitourinary health. This brand is also good for the digestive system and immune health.
These three probiotic picks have good ratings and provide bonus benefits to women taking them.
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