Women’s Probiotic: Find Out What Are The Pros And Cons

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.

Learning the term: women’s probiotic

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. 

But what is in women’s probiotic?

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.

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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.

Benefits of women’s probiotics

  • Vaginal Health & Fertility 

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.

 

  • Gut health

 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.

  • Immunity building

 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.

  •  Healthy skin

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.

  • Mood stabilizer

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.

 

Side effects of women’s probiotics

 

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.

  • A probiotic generally helps ease digestive issues;however, some people may experience the opposite. Some experience gas and bloating when they consume bacteria-based probiotics, and some complain of thirst and constipation with yeast-based probiotics.

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.

  • Probiotics can trigger allergic reactions in some people. People with allergies or any kind of food intolerance should check the labels of the probiotic supplements before consuming them, as they could contain ingredients which cause an adverse reaction.

Probiotic supplements may contain common allergens of soy, dairy, egg, milk sugar or lactose.

  • People with compromised immune systems, venous catheters, and recent surgeries or prolonged hospitalization must avoid probiotics as they can increase the risk of infection in some.
  • If you are pregnant or nursing, always consult your doctor before taking a probiotic.

Takeaway

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

 

 

 

 

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At Women's Web we try to bring you information on Fitness & Wellness topics of interest to you. This is not, however diagnostic or prescriptive information, so please do consult your doctor or therapist before using any of it.

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About the Author

Anjali Paul

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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