Probiotics are all the rage and with good reason. They are best known for aiding digestion, and are especially helpful for those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and constipation. But if you’re a woman, research has shown that the beneficial microbes in probiotics may also support immunity, mood, and vaginal and urinary health. Here are some of the benefits of probiotics for women:
Healthy Feminine Flora
Everyone can benefit from taking probiotics, but for women, the benefits may extend to common feminine issues. Beneficial microbes can help keep the vaginal area somewhat acidic, creating a hostile environment to infectious bacteria. An imbalance between beneficial flora and pH levels can encourage yeasts to infect and grow. Taking probiotics on a regular basis can help balance the system, thereby minimizing the risk of yeast infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
The most common treatment for UTIs is antibiotics, but as many women are aware, taking antibiotics can wreak havoc on the system and often ends with a yeast infection to boot. Probiotics actually promote the growth of beneficial bacteria that fights the bad, compared with antibiotics, which kill all bacteria (including the good ones).
Supporting Women’s Health
According to the latest research, there are specific probiotic strains that may be helpful for fighting vaginitis and UTIs. Research suggests some strains of Lactobacillus are beneficial for vaginal health. As for UTIs, the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri appear to be the most effective at reducing risk. Probiotics support a healthy vaginal and urinary tract environment. Without an appropriate bacterial balance, a wide range of harmful bacteria can threaten vaginal health.
IBS and Constipation
Women are more susceptible to developing constipation and IBS, yet many don’t seek care for the condition. The use of probiotics can be a very effective alternative to drugs and other medical interventions. According to a recent study, all 20 IBS patients who received one probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum, reported resolution of their abdominal pain. The study also showed improvement in stool frequency for patients suffering from constipation. Another study found Bifidobacterium lactis effective in easing constipation symptoms.
If you suffer from frequent yeast infections or UTI’s, consider taking a high-quality probiotic supplement to get your system back in balance. If digestive difficulties including constipation and IBS interfere with daily life, it’s worth trying probiotics.