Gut Health

Probiotics and women's health

Victoria Hanlon (Admin)
February 6, 2019

Your vaginal bacteria works round the clock to keep you healthy. It’s time to show it some support.

Bacteria might not sound like the sort of thing you want hanging out in your lady bits, but believe us, the right kind of “good” bacteria can do an amazing job at helping to maintain vaginal health.

Good bacteria and your vagina

Your vagina is home to a complex ecosystem of bacteria, which works hard to keep everything in balance. The main bacterial strain is Lactobacillus1, which attaches itself to the vaginal lining to form colonies of healthy microbes. These groups help fight off “bad” bacteria, which can lead to vaginal discomfort5.

When bacteria goes bad

While your body works hard to keep a healthy amount of good bacteria in your vagina, things like stress2, pregnancy3 and sexual practicescan upset the equilibrium.  If things go a bit off-side, it can contribute to vaginal flora imbalances 5.

Maintaining healthy vaginal microflora

So, what can you do to keep the good microflora colonies on fighting form? Firstly, forego perfumed soap, vaginal wipes, vaginal deodorants, feminine gels and anything else designed to keep you “clean” down there. Your vagina is not meant to smell like a bed of roses and these items can upset the balance of good bacteria. Wash with water and unperfumed soap, and definitely don’t douche6.

Secondly, support your body’s level of good bacteria by eating probiotic-rich foods, such as fermented products like sauerkraut and kefir, and some dairy products like yoghurt. You can also consider taking a probiotic supplement, particularly one that contains Lactobacillus strains, as this means it’s beneficial for women’s health. Swisse Ultibiotic Women’s Flora Probiotic contains a combination of two clinically-trialled strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus (GR-1) and Lactobacillus reuteri (RC-14). It helps balance and maintain healthy vaginal microflora and supports urinary tract health to relieve vaginal discomfort.

Always read the label. If symptoms worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your healthcare professional. Follow the directions for use. Supplements can only be of assistance if dietary intake is inadequate.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11750220
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2367104/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5569030/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7986899
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662373/
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sexual-health/keeping-your-vagina-clean-and-healthy/

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