Skip links

Probiotics for women’s health


Do you or someone you know experience ‘lady problems’ occasionally? Ever wonder what triggers these issues and how to alleviate them? This detailed resource will shed light on probiotics’ function in women’s health.

Vaginal health issues are a prevalent concern among women globally, characterised by symptoms like tenderness, abnormal vaginal secretions, itching, pain during sexual intercourse, and sporadic menstrual bleeding. The vitality of our vaginal region hinges on multiple elements, primarily the balanced levels of oestrogen and progesterone hormones and the soundness of connective tissues.

The Role of Oestrogen

The crucial role of oestrogen in maintaining the optimal condition of the vaginal epithelial and connective tissues cannot be overstated. Imbalances in oestrogen levels can disturb the equilibrium of mucus proteins, heightening the chances of recurrent vaginal infections in women with hormonal irregularities. Furthermore, the hormonal fluctuations occurring during menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause can impact oestrogen levels, thereby increasing the susceptibility of women to these infections.

The Vaginal Microbiome

You’ve probably heard of the gut microbiome for a healthy gut, but did you know that the vaginal microbiome also plays a significant role in women’s health? A diverse balance of beneficial bacteria residing in the genital area is crucial for a healthy vaginal microbiome.

The cornerstone of a healthy vaginal microbiome lies in the predominance of Lactobacillus strains, including L. acidophilus, L. gasseri, L. rhamnosus, and L. plantarum, along with specific Bifidobacterium species. These strains diligently produce lactic acid, which is vital for maintaining the vaginal pH within the optimal range of 3.5-4.5. This well-balanced acidity effectively thwarts the multiplication of opportunistic bacteria. Additionally, the presence of Lactobacillus strains confers innate anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, effectively preventing the intrusion of foreign bacteria. Any disruption in the equilibrium of these bacterial strains can lead to infections and inflammation due to reduced lactic acid production, thus compromising the antimicrobial effect.

Factors Impacting the Vaginal Microbiome

The vaginal microbiome can be affected by various factors, encompassing gut dysbiosis, the consumption of a high-sugar diet, exposure to synthetic chemicals, personal care products, and fragrances that disrupt the vaginal pH and bacterial equilibrium. Furthermore, alterations in vaginal pH due to semen exposure, obesity, reduced immune function caused by stress, and the use of medications like contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy, steroids, and antibiotics can exert an influence. Additionally, pathogenic gut infections like E.Coli and Candida have the potential to directly impact the bacterial composition of the vagina by migrating and multiplying in that area.

Probiotics and Women’s Health

The findings of various studies have highlighted the potential of probiotics in reducing recurrent infections by addressing bacterial imbalances, with a specific focus on the Lactobacilli flora. By restoring this balance, probiotics contribute to maintaining a slightly acidic vaginal pH and preventing the attachment of pathogenic bacteria to the epithelial wall. Oral probiotics, particularly those containing Lactobacillus strains, have been shown to relieve symptoms of bacterial vaginosis within a week. Vaginal treatment is indicated for more rapid and targeted results, whereas topical Lactobacillus usage can help avoid the return of bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis.

Tips for a Balanced Vaginal Microflora

Here are some tips on how you can achieve a balanced vaginal microflora:

  1. Stay hydrated; dehydration can worsen dryness and impact vaginal discharge used for cleaning.
  2. Avoid environmental chemicals that negatively impact your hormones (switch from plastic to glass, paper, and stainless steel).
  3. Reduce stress as high stress can affect vaginal health; an increase in cortisol (stress hormone) can inhibit oestrogen-associated vaginal epithelium activity.
  4. Stress can also reduce the immune system and increase the risk of pathogens taking hold.
  5. Balance blood sugars, as pathogenic bacteria feed on sugar.
  6. Heal the gut, internal dysbiosis can cause recurrent infections. Consume probiotic-rich foods like live active culture yoghurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and fermented foods to feed the beneficial bacteria.

Other preventive measures include:

  • Wearing cotton underwear and avoiding tight clothing
  • Avoiding vaginal douching – the vagina cleans itself!
  • Avoiding the use of perfumed feminine products or toilet paper

At Perfect Balance Clinic, our Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner can discuss gut health with you, advise you on the best probiotics, and suggest a diet to complement the gut bacteria. This way, you can achieve a healthy body free from infections!

The Power of Probiotics

Probiotics have shown promise in treating menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes and vaginal dryness. Probiotics may also help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, according to some evidence, though more research is needed in this area.

It is essential to acknowledge that the response to interventions can differ among individuals due to the distinctive nature of their gut microbiomes. Consequently, personalised nutrition advice based on an individual’s specific gut microbiome composition can serve as the optimal approach to foster comprehensive well-being.

To summarise, probiotics offer significant prospects for improving women’s health, contributing to various aspects ranging from digestion to the well-being of the vaginal and urinary systems. Are you prepared to unlock the benefits of probiotics for your overall health?

If this resonates with you then…

Take advantage of our 15-minute sessions either with a Nutritionist or Functional Medicine Practitioner, designed to give you the support you need with your concerns and to get you started on your road to recovery. Find very quick and effective results!

At Perfect Balance Clinic, our Nutritionists or Functional Medicine Practitioners will provide you with an important assessment of your condition and discuss many routes to explore for optimum health. Our assessment covers important aspects that most practitioners seem to miss in normal sessions with their clients. This allows us to accelerate your recovery! Simply use the contact form below to provide us with your details to get booked in.


    Return to top of page