Now there are probiotic gummies, capsules, yogurt and even drinks with probiotics added. But are they just a bunch of hype or do probiotics actually have some health benefits?
The main function of probiotics is to put good bacteria back into your body. If you’ve been on an antibiotic or have an imbalance of bacteria, they can be especially helpful for restoring that balance. This is particularly true for a woman’s vaginal health.
A woman’s vagina has a few different types of bacteria living in it that work together to maintain a natural vaginal flora with an acidic pH. Sometimes, though, the balance of bacteria can get thrown off. This leaves your vaginal area vulnerable to various infections (UTIs, STIs and fungal infections).
One of the most important strains of bacteria to repopulate your vaginal area with is called lactobacillus. This is the most prevalent beneficial bacteria in your vagina and it’s the one most women are in need of if they’re suffering from recurring infections or problems with yeast.
Dr. Anthony Agrios, OB/GYN and clinical professor at the University of Central Florida, explains to Health.com:
“Both yeast and BV thrive in an alkaline environment with few Lactobacilli,” says Dr. Agrios. “Providing an extra source of Lactobacilli may help to prevent the invading yeast from thriving or the noxious bacteria from multiplying.”
If you’re struggling with vaginal infections or have questions about vaginal health, talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you — adding a quality probiotic may be a good option.