Menopause is a natural part of aging in women. During this period, hormonal changes in a woman’s body can affect many areas of health, including the gut.
Scientists report that specific probiotic strains show promise to ease menopausal symptoms along with providing support for related concerns such as bone health and glucose control.
Whether in the pre or postmenopausal phase, choosing a quality probiotics brand may be challenging. Hence, we reviewed the 5 best probiotics for menopause out of 100+ products available, offering you a helping hand in the selection process.
Best probiotics for menopause: a shortlist
- Unbloat — overall best all-in-one probiotics for menopause
- Culturelle — best anti-inflammatory probiotics for menopause
- Ritual — best probiotics to aid weight loss during menopause
- Routine — best probiotic brand for menopause bloating
- Ora — best probiotics for vaginal health during menopause
Selecting the best probiotics for menopause
When choosing the best probiotics for menopause, keep in mind the following criteria.
|Strain specificity||Specific probiotics for menopause|
|Safety||Testing and manufacturing|
|Price per serving||$0.90–$1.90|
- Strain specificity. Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus, Streptococcus, Akkermansia, and Roseburia strains have been studied for menopause. They have been shown to help manage some menopause symptoms and related concerns.
- Ingredients. Besides checking the probiotic strains in the supplements, we paid attention to their sourcing. We also gave priority to probiotics containing additional ingredients for menopause.
- Safety. For the safe consumption of probiotics, they should be third-party tested for purity and be free from toxins and allergens. Additionally, probiotics should be developed in cGMP-approved manufacturing sites.
- Price per serving. The indicated price range per serving estimates how much you spend on your daily consumption of probiotics.
1. Unbloat — overall best probiotics for menopause bloating
Unbloat is a quality, all-in-one supplement combining probiotics with prebiotics, micronutrients, herbal formula, and digestive enzymes. Magnesium in this formulation plays a role in maintaining healthy bones.
The herbal formula containing ginger and turmeric extracts, and peppermint leaf can help reduce inflammation, and along with folate, it can reduce the severity of hot flashes. Fennel seeds extract in the formula may help with vaginal dryness and discomfort during sex.
Although fennel seeds extract has estrogenic properties that may be beneficial during menopause, women with hormone-sensitive cancers should consult a doctor before the intake.
Unbloat probiotics contain 7 bacterial strains from Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium genera for easing menopausal symptoms. With 2 daily capsules of Unbloat, you will receive 25 billion CFU of live bacteria to reduce bloating.
Designed by Shilpa Mehra, M.D., Unbloat was developed in cGMP and FDA-compliant manufacturing sites.
A one-time purchase of Unbloat costs $47.99 ($1.59 per serving).
2. Culturelle — best pro and prebiotic blend for menopause
Culturelle Women’s 4-in-1 Protection probiotics are designed with 5 Lactobacillus strains and 4 prebiotics, helping to balance the bacterial environment in the gut that is linked to vaginal health.
These probiotics have been suggested to balance the pH levels in the vagina, along with supporting immune health and digestion.
The recommended daily intake by the manufacturer is 1 capsule delivering 15 billion CFU of probiotic blend and 15 mg of prebiotics. The capsules are vegetarian, as well as free from gluten, dairy, and nuts.
Note that it contains caramel and titanium dioxide as additives that some people may be sensitive to.
As a safety measure, the provider of Women’s 4-in-1 Protection by Culturelle manufactures the supplements in FDA-approved facilities.
Culturelle’s probiotics for menopausal women come in moisture-absorbing and heat-resistant packaging to ensure bacterial viability and shelf-life.
A one-month supply of Culturelle probiotics costs $27.49 ($0.91 per serving).
3. Ritual — best probiotics for menopause weight loss
Sourcing its ingredients from reputable manufacturers, Ritual designed the Synbiotic+ formula with pre, pro, and postbiotics to support women’s metabolism.
Clinical trials with this probiotic brand have been reported to increase butyrate production, which may play a role in weight management.
Synbiotic+ combines L. rhamnosus and B. animalis, providing 11 billion CFU with a single capsule daily. The combined administration of these two strains has been shown to reduce inflammation in postmenopausal women with obesity.
The provider packed the ingredients in delayed-release capsules to safeguard the probiotics from getting destroyed in the stomach acid.
The moisture-control bottle protects the strains and allows storage of the supplement at room temperature.
Ritual’s Synbiotic+ is non-GMO and is third-party tested for safety. The provider also conducted in vitro studies to evaluate whether the probiotics deliver what the company is promising.
One bottle of Synbiotic+ by Ritual costs $54.00 ($1.80 per serving).
4. Routine — best probiotics for menopause stress
Routine probiotics contain ashwagandha root extract along with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains. Ashwagandha has been shown in several studies to reduce stress and improve sleep quality — effects that women in the menopausal period can benefit greatly.
Used as a prebiotic, chicory root extract in Routine may exhibit mild laxative properties reducing constipation.
It is important to note that people who have gallstones should consult their doctor before consuming high amounts of chicory in their diet or supplements.
The probiotic blend in Routine supplements delivers 24 billion CFU microorganisms to relieve menopause symptoms with 1 daily capsule. The probiotics are free from gluten, soy, and dairy and are made of non-GMO ingredients.
The brand ships its supplements in compostable mailers that pack grip-seal bags with a reusable glass jar. This is an innovative packaging method that maintains bacterial viability while shipping.
One-time purchase of Routine costs $39.95 ($1.33 per serving).
5. Ora — best probiotics for vaginal health during menopause
The scientists behind Ora manufactured Lady Bugs specifically designed to protect women’s vaginal health at all ages. Vaginal infections are common during menopause, and Ora’s Lady Bugs can mitigate them.
Lady Bugs contain 6 strains of Lactobacilli probiotics. These strains have been studied for their effects on women’s health from different angles — urinary, digestive, and reproductive health.
The manufacturer recommends taking 2 capsules offering 16 billion CFU for vaginal health during menopause. To increase the effectiveness of its probiotic supplement, the manufacturer added Jerusalem artichoke inulin as a prebiotic replenishing Bifidobacterium.
Lady Bugs by Ora contain no gluten, dairy, nuts, or soy. They are also third-party tested for purity and safety.
Ora Lady Bugs are sold at $37.99 ($1.26 per serving).
Comparison of the top probiotics for menopause
|Brand||Review||Serving size||Servings per bottle||Cost per serving||Cost per bottle||Dosage per serving (CFU count)||Form||Ingredients|
|Unbloat||-||2 capsules||30||$1.59||$47.99||25 billion CFU||Vegetarian capsules||Folate, magnesium, prebiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, herbal formula, nutrients for bowel support|
|Culturelle||Culturelle review||1 capsule||30||$0.91||$27.49||15 billion CFU||Vegetarian capsules||Prebiotics and probiotics blends|
|Ritual||Ritual review||1 capsule||30||$1.80||$54.00||11 billion CFU||Delayed release vegan capsules||Prebiotic, probiotics, and postbiotic blends|
|Routine||-||1 capsule||30||$1.33||$39.95||24 billion CFU||Non-vegan capsules||Probiotic blend, ashwagandha root extract, chicory root extract|
|Ora||Ora review||2 capsules||30||$1.26||$37.99||16 billion CFU||Vegan capsules||Organic Jerusalem artichoke inulin, probiotic blend|
How did we pick the best probiotics for menopause?
We considered several factors when nominating the best probiotics for menopause, picking the 5 top-rated products out of the overwhelming amount of brands on the market.
- Probiotics strains. Depending on the strains included in supplements, probiotics may provide different benefits for the host. Lactobacillus, specifically strains L. casei, L. helveticus, L. rhamnosus, and L. reuteri, may play a role in managing menopausal symptoms. Along with Bifidobacterium strains, it may support vaginal, skin, digestive, and immune health.
- Additional ingredients. Postmenopausal women may often experience other health concerns which need to be addressed. Additionally, with menopause, women may have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Hence, probiotics with these ingredients may help fill the gaps.
- Shelf life. Most probiotics can lose their viability when exposed to heat or moisture. Thus, some companies advise storing them in a fridge which may not always be convenient. When selecting the best probiotics for menopause, we considered shelf-stable products packed in moisture-absorbing and heat-controlling packaging.
- Quality and reputation. Third-party testing, manufacturing facilities, and sourcing are essential aspects of displaying the quality of probiotic supplements. These factors may indicate the purity and safety of the product. As the brand’s reputation is also built by customers, we looked into the reviews regarding product effects and company trustworthiness.
- Survivability. Probiotics have poor survivability (known as viability). Some of them are particularly sensitive to the stomach’s acidic environment. Delayed-release capsules may assist in delivering the promised amount of probiotics to the intestine. With ordinary capsules, a higher CFU count is important to ensure you get adequate levels of the probiotics.
What is menopause?
In simple words, menopause is when you stop having your menstrual cycles. This is a natural process every woman experiences starting from the age of 45–55. Some other life events, such as uterus or ovaries removal, chemotherapy, or genetic factors, may also cause early menopause.
The 12-month period leading to menopause is when you are likely to feel the symptoms. During this period, also called perimenopause, the production of progesterone and estrogen decreases. As a result, the gut microbiota and metabolism change, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) or obesity.
12 months after your last period, the actual menopause starts. Women who reach menopause can no longer get pregnant and may face certain health difficulties due to hormonal changes and related bacterial imbalance in the gut.
Symptoms of menopause
While the symptoms of menopause can vary from woman to woman, the common ones are:
- Hot flashes
- Joint pain
- Mood changes
- Vaginal infections
These symptoms are due to declining estrogen and progesterone levels. Fortunately, they can be treated with medications.
Due to the declined estrogen levels, most menopausal women may experience sudden feelings of heat in the upper part of their body. There may be several occurrences during the week, the day, and at night — the latter is called night sweats.
Hot flashes may last a few years after menopause, and the period differs for everyone.
Joint pain is another common symptom during perimenopause and menopause caused by low estrogen levels. This hormone is generated in different body parts and protects joints and reduces inflammation.
Increased inflammation may also play a role in osteoporosis development. Diets rich in vitamins C, D, zinc, calcium, and magnesium or their supplementation can help improve joint and muscle pain.
Although the exact reason behind mood changes during menopause is unknown, some doctors believe it might be related to hormonal disbalance. Apart from these, women may experience mood swings due to physiological changes.
This is not a widespread menopause symptom, yet, frequent mood swings should be discussed with a therapist.
Estrogen and healthy vaginal pH levels are interrelated. With decreased female hormone levels during menopause, good bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, decline in the vagina.
The insufficient acidic environment in the vagina during menopause may cause reoccurring yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis. Probiotics for menopause may help balance bacterial levels and reduce the recurrence of vaginal infections.
Do probiotics have the ability to manage menopausal symptoms?
Yes. Probiotics show several benefits in managing menopausal symptoms and associated health concerns.
A study with 20 postmenopausal women showed that L. halveticus administered in fermented milk helped increase blood calcium levels. Promoted blood calcium levels can improve bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Menopause and aging, in general, are characterized by bone and muscle loss. A study with 90 older women demonstrated that supplementation with L. reuteri may prevent the loss of total body mass density.
Although probiotics will not increase estrogen levels, they can increase the number and variety of beneficial bacteria in the gut playing a role in preventing obesity and T2D by improving insulin sensitivity, pro-inflammatory markers, and glycemic control in postmenopausal women.
Menopause and weight gain
The susceptibility to weight gain increases during menopause and perimenopausal periods. Many women notice fat accumulation around the abdomen and waist. It is a common body alliteration among women and is related to hormonal imbalance, among other factors.
Genetic predisposition, aging, and lifestyle factors may greatly affect body weight during menopause. One reason for age-related weight gain is the slow metabolic rate due to the loss of muscle mass. Lower total body mass density leads to poor calorie utilization resulting in fat accumulation.
Can probiotics help with it?
Yes. There is an association between the loss of beneficial microorganisms and obesity among menopausal women. Probiotics can support weight loss journey by increasing the number of “friendly bacteria'' in the gut.
Evidence suggests that supplementation with probiotics for a 12-week period significantly decreases the body mass index and fat percentage.
Other ways to ease symptoms of menopause
One of the well-known approaches to ease symptoms is menopausal hormone therapy. However, it may not be suitable for all women due to the risk of side effects such as heart attack, blood clots, and gallbladder issues.
To reduce some menopausal symptoms, women may be recommended alternative non-hormonal options, such as:
- Some botanicals
- Vaginal creams
- Dietary changes
- Regular exercises
Ginseng, angelica, black cohosh, and evening primrose oil are some of the traditionally used herbal medicines to help ease menopausal symptoms. Note that a doctor’s consultation is essential before consuming any botanicals.
Women experiencing vaginal dryness or discomfort during sex may be prescribed vaginal rings, estrogen creams, or pessaries to make their daily physical activities more enjoyable.
Eating foods with phytoestrogens, such as soy and fermented soy products, and chickpea sprouts can help mitigate symptoms. Also, omitting caffeine, alcohol, and spicy food can offer some support in managing night sweats and hot flashes.
Practiced with regular exercise, these can help maintain healthy body weight and mood, as well as lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Best probiotic for menopause conclusion
To put the above discussed together, some probiotics for menopause show promising effects in reducing symptoms. The adequate amounts and regular administration of these beneficial microorganisms may aid in metabolism, prevent bone loss, and support weight loss.
The most beneficial probiotic strains for reducing physio-psychological discomfort caused by menopause are Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Bacillus, Streptococcus, Akkermansia, and Roseburia.
Even though menopause is a natural stage in women’s aging process, it shouldn’t significantly affect the quality of life. Hence, to prevent the onset of related health concerns, women should follow a healthy lifestyle and check with their doctor regularly to avoid undesirable outcomes.
Other probiotics health benefits for women
Best probiotics for weight loss may help regulate metabolism and appetite.
Best probiotics for women may promote vaginal and digestive health.
Best probiotics for constipation can help with digestive issues and ease stools.
Best probiotics for women over 50 that can help to maintain optimal gut health.
What is the best probiotic brand for menopause?
The best probiotic brand for menopause is . Concluding from our review of this product, it’s a high-quality, all-in-one supplement containing a probiotic blend along with herbal compounds, digestive enzymes, and micronutrients for bowel support.
How do probiotics help menopause?
Probiotics help menopause by increasing the number of beneficial microorganisms that may be depleted due to estrogen decline. Different probiotic strains have been demonstrated in separate studies to support bone health, improve metabolism for weight management, and control blood sugar.
Can probiotics balance hormones?
No. Although probiotics cannot balance hormones, they may address changes in beneficial gut microflora affected by hormonal imbalance. There are several methods to balance hormones, including menopausal hormone therapy.
Do probiotics work for menopause?
Yes. Although there is small evidence, the available data suggest that probiotics can help with menopause by regulating gut microbial flora. It’s essential to choose suitable probiotic strains to address the symptoms that accompany menopause.
- Current Nutrition Reports. Probiotics and Prebiotics: Any Role in Menopause-Related Diseases?
- Diagnostics. Menopausal Changes in the Microbiome—A Review Focused on the Genitourinary Microbiome.
- Food and Function. The effect of multistrain probiotic supplementation in two doses on iron metabolism in obese postmenopausal women: a randomized trial.
- Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Dietary regulations for microbiota dysbiosis among post-menopausal women with type 2 diabetes.
- Journal of Internal Medicine. Lactobacillus reuteri reduces bone loss in older women with low bone mineral density: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, clinical trial.