Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that have shown promise in supporting various health aspects, including vaginal health. Specific bacterial strains such as Lactobacillus may play a significant role in maintaining a balanced vaginal microbiome, which is essential for supporting optimal vaginal health.
Some studies suggest that introducing these good bacteria may bring numerous benefits, although the research on their effectiveness for vaginal health is still ongoing.
Best probiotics for vaginal health: a shortlist
- Ora — best probiotic for supporting optimal vaginal health
- Culturelle — best women’s probiotic for promoting a healthy pH equilibrium
- Ritual — best probiotic for strengthening the immune system for vaginal health
- Routine — best probiotic for harmonizing vaginal microbiota
- Pure Essence Labs — best women’s probiotic with a large CFU count
How did we compile the list of the best probiotics for vaginal health?
To present this overview, we looked at specific criteria that allowed us to make a proper assessment. We took into account ingredient quality, provider reputation, CFU count, and specific probiotic strains.
|Ingredient quality||Natural sources, no additives|
|Reputable provider||GMP-certified, third-party tested|
|CFU||In billions range|
|Specific probiotic strains||Specific for vaginal health|
- Ingredient quality. We chose products made of safe and high-quality ingredients, ideally from natural sources. We avoided those with unnecessary fillers or additives
- Reputable provider. We selected reputable brands known for producing high-quality supplements. Particularly the ones that adhere to good manufacturing practices (GMP) and have third-party testing or certifications to ensure product quality and safety.
- CFU. Colony Forming Units (CFU) refer to the number of viable bacteria present in each probiotic serving. Higher CFU counts indicate a higher concentration of beneficial bacteria. We selected products with an adequate CFU count, typically in the billions, throughout the shelf life to support vaginal health.
- Specific probiotic strains. We chose probiotics with bacterial strains that may support vaginal health, such as Lactobacillus genus.
Best probiotics for vaginal health: an overview
We reviewed products and brands that offer probiotics with potential benefits for supporting vaginal health.
Selecting a product tailored to individual needs increases the chances of experiencing desirable health outcomes. Although many probiotic supplements share similar benefits, their individual compositions may slightly differ. Recognizing these differences is crucial when targeting particular health goals.
Every product is categorized based on its distinct advantages, ingredients, and other features. Additionally, the list outlines the strengths and drawbacks of each product.
1. Ora — best probiotic for supporting optimal vaginal health
Lady Bugs by Ora is a distinct probiotic and prebiotic blend crafted to support vaginal health. As stated by the company, this product boasts 16 billion CFUs of probiotics derived from 6 scientifically-supported strains, complemented by prebiotics.
According to the brand, this choice of bacterial strains may help maintain vaginal pH balance and minimize the likelihood of urinary tract issues.
The manufacturer suggests taking 2 capsules within a half-hour of eating, regardless of the time of day.
The ingredients feature organic Jerusalem artichoke inulin and bacterial strains from Lactobacillus family.
Ora prioritizes transparency and rigorous quality checks, subjecting each product batch to testing at independent third-party labs and publishing the results. The product is vegan, non-GMO, and free from gluten, soy, and dairy.
For a one-time purchase, the product is listed at $37.99, but subscription options come with a 20% discount
2. Culturelle — best women’s probiotic for promoting a healthy pH equilibrium
Culturelle Women’s 4-in-1 Protection Capsules aim to deliver all-encompassing feminine care with potential benefits for vaginal, urinary, digestive, and immune health in a single capsule.
According to the brand, the product may provide support for balancing vaginal microbiota and pH equilibrium while shielding the urinary tract against harmful bacteria. Additionally, it may help reestablish the natural balance of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, where 70% of the immune system cells are located.
Each dose provides 15 billion CFUs, merging the clinically researched probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG with four other lactobacilli typically present in the vaginal microbiome of healthy women.
The product is third-party tested by independent laboratories and uses evidence-based ingredients. It is also free from artificial additives, preservatives, and GMOs.
Culturelle Women’s 4-in-1 Protection Capsules are vegetarian, with the recommended dosage by the manufacturer of 1 capsule daily.
For a single purchase, the product is available at $27.49, but there's an option for a subscription at a reduced rate of $24.74.
3. Ritual — best probiotic for strengthening the immune system for vaginal health
Ritual's Synbiotic+ is a multifaceted supplement encompassing prebiotics, probiotics, and a postbiotic. The product features the two most studied bacterial genera — Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, containing 11 billion CFUs.
The supplement might have a positive effect on vaginal health by sustaining a harmonious gut flora and supporting the immune system.
Ritual emphasizes its commitment to transparency and stringent quality assurance, which includes third-party testing and a transparent sourcing process. The supplement is suitable for vegans, major allergen-free, and non-GMO.
The manufacturer advises taking 1 capsule each day. The cost of Synbiotic+ stands at $54.00, but subscribers have the option to avail of perks like complimentary shipping and a 30-day refund policy.
4. Routine — best probiotic for harmonizing vaginal microbiota
Routine Probiotics for Her offers a holistic prebiotic-probiotic blend catered to supporting vaginal equilibrium.
According to the provider, each capsule contains 24 billion CFUs and integrates 5 bacterial strains from Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus genus.
Additionally, the supplement incorporates organic ashwagandha, renowned for mitigating stress and anxiety.
Routine Probiotics for Her is FDA and Health Canada-compliant, upholding top-tier manufacturing standards.
The label suggests an intake of 1 capsule daily. The ingredients are vegan, non-GMO, and do not contain gluten, dairy, or other major allergens.
For a single purchase, the product costs $39.95, while a subscription option is available at $29.95, granting a $10.00 discount.
5. Pure Essence Labs — best women’s probiotic with a large CFU count
PureBiotics Restore by Pure Essence Labs is a probiotic blend boasting at least 30 billion CFUs. Research indicates that this amount might be effective in supporting vaginal health.
The supplement comes in vegan capsules with a delayed-release design, ensuring the probiotics remain protected from stomach acids. The manufacturer recommends taking 1 capsule daily with a glass of water.
Pure Essence Labs emphasizes its commitment to pristine quality. Every batch of their product undergoes a triple-testing process, checking for ingredient identity verification, presence of heavy metals, and contaminants. The company adheres to the highest regulatory standards for all its offerings.
For a single purchase, the item product is available at $35.80, but there's an option for a subscription at a reduced rate of 20%.
Comparing the best probiotics for vaginal health
|Provider||Cost (per month)||Daily dose||Probiotic strains||CFU count||Review|
|Ora||$30.39||2 capsules||6||16 billion||Ora Probiotics Review|
|Culturelle||$24.74||1 capsule||5||15 billion||Culturelle Probiotics Review|
|Ritual||$54.00||1 capsule||2||11 billion||Ritual Synbiotic+ Probiotics Review|
|Routine||$29.95||1 capsule||5||24 billion||-|
|Pure Essence Labs||$44.16||1 capsule||12||30 billion||Pure Essence Labs Review|
The science behind vaginal health and probiotics
Scientific studies suggest that probiotics may play a significant role in maintaining and restoring optimal vaginal health and balance.
Why is pH balance important?
Maintaining the vaginal pH balance is crucial for optimal vaginal health. An acidic vaginal environment acts as a protective barrier, deterring the rapid multiplication of harmful bacteria, fungi, and yeast. A balanced pH, typically between 3.8 and 5, ensures the growth of beneficial bacteria, which in turn prevents infections and keeps harmful microorganisms in check.
How do probiotics help?
Probiotics are live microorganisms found in supplements and fermented foods. They may provide benefits in maintaining vaginal health by balancing the good and bad bacteria in the vagina. This equilibrium prevents the proliferation of harmful bacteria, ensuring a healthy vaginal environment and reducing the risk of infections.
Best types of probiotic strains for vaginal health
Strains from the Lactobacillus genus, notably Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lactobacillus reuteri, and Lactobacillus crispatus, are believed to be the most effective for vaginal health. These strains may bolster vaginal health by maintaining an acidic environment, inhibiting harmful bacteria growth, and promoting a balanced vaginal ecosystem.
Benefits of using probiotics for vaginal health
Probiotics may support and maintain vaginal health. Here are some notable benefits:
- Balanced vaginal flora. Probiotics, especially strains from the Lactobacillus genus, may support a harmonious balance of vaginal bacteria. This balance is essential for a healthy vaginal environment, preventing the overgrowth of harmful bacteria and ensuring optimal pH levels.
- Protection against infections. A balanced vaginal microbiome, fostered by probiotics, may reduce the risk of bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. The presence of beneficial bacteria can create an environment where harmful pathogens find it challenging to thrive and cause infections.
- Enhanced immunity. Probiotics may not only balance the vaginal flora but also bolster the body's natural defenses. This enhanced immunity makes it difficult for harmful pathogens to establish themselves in the vaginal area.
Choosing the right probiotics for a healthy vaginal microbiome
When selecting the right vaginal probiotics for a supporting vaginal microbiome, several factors should be taken into account:
- Strain specificity. Not all vaginal probiotics are the same. It's essential to choose probiotics with strains known to benefit vaginal health, such as the ones from the Lactobacillus genus.
- Composition dynamics. The vaginal microbiota is influenced by various factors like age and physiological changes. Therefore, understanding these dynamics can guide the choice of probiotics.
- Safety and effectiveness. Ensure the ingredients have been researched and proven effective for supporting vaginal health and are suitable for you, especially if you’re taking other medications.
- Reliability. Opt for probiotics from reputable sources, ensuring the products are reliable and beneficial for vaginal health.
Considering these criteria can help you make an informed decision for maintaining a balanced and healthy vaginal microbiome.
Side effects and other considerations when taking probiotics for vaginal health
While prebiotics and probiotics are generally considered safe, they may have some side effects. Potential side effects, especially at the beginning of the administration, can include gas, bloating, and diarrhea. In rare cases, probiotics might cause allergic reactions. Additionally, not all strains are equally effective for vaginal health.
It's crucial to consult a gynecologist when considering probiotics for vaginal health. They can provide guidance on the most suitable strains and formulations based on individual conditions and needs.
Probiotics may be beneficial in supporting vaginal health. Research suggests that bacterial strains from the Lactobacillus family may be effective in maintaining a balanced vaginal microbiome. However, the research is still ongoing, and more evidence is needed to understand their full effectiveness.
It is important to note that probiotics should not be used as a method of treatment. When dealing with vaginal health-related conditions, it is necessary to consult with a family doctor or gynecologist for a personalized treatment plan.
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What type of probiotic is best for pH balance?
Lactobacilli-based probiotics are recommended for maintaining pH balance, especially in the vaginal flora. According to scientific research, bacterial strains from the Lactobacillus family may provide potential benefits in supporting vaginal health.
What is the best probiotic for vaginal health?
The best probiotics for vaginal health typically contain strains of the Lactobacillus species. In particular, Lactobacillus plantarum has been highlighted as a vital component of vaginal health. It's essential to choose probiotics that are specifically formulated for this use case to ensure effectiveness.
How should you take probiotics for vaginal health?
There are two types of probiotics for vaginal health: oral and vaginal. When taking them orally, it is crucial to ensure the bacteria survives the digestive process to benefit vaginal health.
- Frontiers in Microbiology. Healthy Vaginal Microbiota and Influence of Probiotics Across the Female Life Span.
- Frontiers in Cellular and Infection and Infection Microbiology. Use of probiotic lactobacilli in the treatment of vaginal infections: In vitro and in vivo investigations.
- International Journal of Women’s Health. Effects of a 10-Strain Oral Probiotic on Parameters of Vaginal Health and Microbial Community: A Pilot Clinical Study.
- Diagnostics. Vaginal pH Value for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Vaginitis.
- Frontiers in Cellular and Infection and Infection Microbiology. The role of probiotics in vaginal health.