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Women's probiotic offers numerous benefits for us that were not just restricted to supporting a healthy gut. Some specific women's probiotics also maintain vaginal health, help with mild fertility issues, builds immunity and more.
Until recently, the term probiotic was never part of my active vocabulary, let alone women’s probiotic! It was over the past few weeks, when I was experiencing bouts of bloating, gas and abdomen pain, that I came to know more about it. These symptoms kept coming and going.
My doctor termed it as mild gastritis and gave me medication for the same, I was still not feeling like my old self. On hearing my plight, a friend suggested that I take women’s probiotic to prevent future occurrences of such gastrointestinal issues.
But before heeding her advice, I decided to do my share of research on women’s probiotic.
During my research, I also found out India, has a thriving market for probiotics, hence there were a number of prescription free supplements and pills that were crowding the pharmacy targeting women and men of different age groups.
Before picking a bottle claiming to help my womanly health, I needed to understand what did a probiotic do to my body!
I learnt that women’s probiotic offers numerous benefits for us that were not just restricted to supporting a healthy and functioning gut. Some specific women’s probiotics also maintain vaginal health, help with mild fertility issues, builds immunity and more. [First consult doctor, before consuming them.]
This article explains how women’s probiotics can benefit our health and well-being and whether any side effects are associated with them.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that we can consume as part of our daily diets by including fermented foods like kimchi, kefir and yoghurt or even take as supplements.
These microorganisms are also known as good bacteria, they help us digest food, destroy disease-causing cells, and produce vitamins in our body. The most common are bacteria are called Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Other bacteria found in probiotics like yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii.
Some of these man-made supplements are made with the intention of helping women health specifically, and are called as women’s probiotic.
These probiotics aim to boost the population of good bacteria already living in our body parts like the gastrointestinal tract, on the skin and even in the vaginal lining.
These good bacteria keep us healthy and maintain the balance of bacteria, which can be affected due to ill health or disease.
Did you know that, like the gut microbiome, women also have a vaginal microbiome? The vaginal microbiome refers to the microorganisms found in the vagina and are responsible for keeping it acidic.
Research has shown that probiotics are particularly beneficial for vaginal health, as they help maintain the delicate balance of the vaginal microbiome. Disruption of this balance can result in yeast infections, UTI, thrush and bacterial vaginosis (B.V).
Oral probiotics or a diet rich in probiotics is best for supporting vaginal health. In case you do suspect any infection, consult your doctor immediately.
Also, steer clear from DIY vaginal probiotics, especially those you can insert in your vagina, as they can worsen the infection.
Studies have shown that women experience more gastrointestinal issues than men. Hence, women need to pay special attention to promoting healthy gut health.
Taking women’s probiotics helps reduce symptoms associated with digestion issues.
Probiotic fermented milk drinks like Yakult or eating a probiotic-rich diet which already is in our Indian kitchen; pickles, dahi, dhokla, paneer etc!
These foods help us reduce the number of disease-causing bacteria and promote the growth of good bacteria like Lactobacilli.
Urinary tract infections are much more common in women than men due to the proximity of the vagina to the rectum. This results in the spread of E-coli bacteria from the anus to the vagina.
Women’s probiotics in the form of probiotic suppositories (to insert in the vagina or rectum) are known to help clean such infections and reinstate the balance.
However, always consult a doctor if you suffer from such conditions.
Poor gut health can result in skin irritations like eczema and other conditions. Taking a probiotic will encourage overall healthy flora of microorganisms throughout the body.
A good and diverse population of microorganisms will prevent the overgrowth of those microorganisms that cause skin irritation, inflammation etc.
Women experience mood-related issues during their monthly cycle, pregnancy or menopause because of hormonal fluctuations happening during this time.
Studies have shown that a healthy gut promotes good mental health, whereas an imbalanced microbiome can result in mood issues. A women’s probiotic will help keep the spirits high even during those challenging days.
While many benefits are linked to probiotics, there are also a few side effects. These side effects are rare and affect a small percentage of the population.
Some even experience diarrhoea. Thankfully, these symptoms generally subside after a few weeks of regular use as the body gets used to it. Seek medical attention if the gas and bloating persist even after a few weeks.
Probiotic supplements may contain common allergens of soy, dairy, egg, milk sugar or lactose.
Overall, probiotics can offer many advantages to women regarding their health and wellness. However, keep in mind the side effects of probiotics as well.
Through this article, you will be able to decide whether to include women’s probiotics in your diet or not.
Also, consult your doctor before taking a probiotic if you are concerned about possible side effects or reactions.
Image source: triloks, and pepifoto from Getty Images Signatures, free on CanvaPro
I am a mom who works from home and dabbles with writing when time permits.An avid reader since childhood, blogging and writing helps me de-stress.My five year old keeps me on my read more...
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Ms. Kulkarni, please don’t apologise ‘IF’ you think you hurt women. Apologise because you got your facts wrong. Apologise for making sexual harassment a casual joke.
If Sonali Kulkarni’s speech on most modern Indian women being lazy left me shocked and enraged, her apology post left me deeply saddened.
I’d shared my thoughts on her problematic speech in an earlier article. So, I’ll share why I felt Kulkarni’s apology post was more damaging than her speech.
If her speech made her an overnight hero among MRAs, sexists, and people who were awed by her dramatic words, then her apology post made her a legendary saint.
There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.
Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.
I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that
Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills
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