This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.
The body makes thousands of microorganisms, including good bacteria, that help maintain pH balance and health. Probiotics are live microorganisms isolated from humans and cultured in a lab for supplements. When we ingest probiotics (whether in food or supplement form), they survive in the gut and benefit us, like the good bacteria we naturally have.
What are Vaginal Probiotics?
Vaginal probiotics come as supplements that include probiotic suppositories and pills that must be inserted in the vagina with fingers or applicators. Vaginal probiotics are promoted for their ability to introduce microorganisms into the vagina to improve vaginal health. Because countless microorganisms and bacteria live in the vagina, the balance can be off sometimes, leading to bacterial infections. Vaginal probiotics are advertised for their ability to ease the symptoms and discomfort of vaginal infections (i.e., yeast infection & bacterial vaginosis).
What Do Vaginal Probiotics Do?
Vaginal probiotics aim to increase the amount of healthy bacteria in the vagina and eliminate harmful bacteria via vaginal discharge. By doing so, the vaginal environment will be balanced and less prone to infections. Most people who use vaginal probiotics do so because of two common vaginal infections: bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection.
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginal bacterial infection in people of childbearing age. BV occurs when there is an overgrowth of harmful microorganisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis over the healthier bacteria in the vagina. There is a lot to learn about this condition. Many people who have BV do not have symptoms. For those who do, these are the most commonly reported symptoms of BV:
- Vaginal itching
- Thin white, green, or gray discharge
- Burning during urination
- Fishy odor
- Vaginal pain or discomfort
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Vaginal yeast infection is an extremely common bacterial infection that stems from an imbalance in the vagina. Yeast infection occurs when the candida (a fungus) grows too much and offsets the balance with the other microorganisms in the vagina by outnumbering them. Then, the infection starts when the overgrowth of the candida overtakes the healthy bacteria.
The symptoms of yeast infection can be mild to severe, such as:
- Vaginal itching, soreness, and irritation
- Vulvar itching and irritation
- Thick, odorless, white, cottage-cheese discharge
- Watery discharge
- Vulvar inflammation
- Burning sensation during urination or sexual intercourse
- Pain during sexual intercourse
Do All Women Need Vaginal Probiotics?
Women with a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis may need vaginal probiotics. But the simple answer is no because what works for one person may not work for the other. Before taking vaginal probiotics, reach out to your gynecologist first. If you have an illness or issues with your immune system, probiotics may not be the best option and pose risks to your health, such as an allergic reaction.
If you have a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis and want to try a probiotic for the first time, check out our boric acid suppository here. Our proven proprietary blend — medical-grade Boric acid, aloe, apple cider vinegar, and probiotics quickly and gently restores your natural pH balance and eliminates the need for antibiotics for good.
Make sure to take any vaginal probiotics as recommended for current and recurring bacterial infections for the best results. If the bacterial infection does not get better with probiotics or gets worse, stop usage immediately and contact your gynecologist or medical provider.