Probiotics are not only an effective supplement for maintaining digestive health, but also one of the best supplements for women that help to maintain their urinary and vaginal health.
Other than the gut, a woman’s vagina and urinary tract also harbours plenty of microorganisms. The most common types of bacteria that reside in the vagina and bladder are some Lactobacillus species and Bacillus coagulans. These microorganisms migrate to the vagina and urinary tract from the colon and recolonize there.
These bacterial strains produce lactic acid which creates an acidic environment in the vagina and urinary tract which prevents the growth of yeast, Candida and other pathogens.
Problems occur when the balance of these beneficial bacteria is set off due to antibiotics or hormonal changes which increase the susceptibility to yeast infections, UTIs and vaginosis. Probiotics can help to tackle these health woes by re-establishing the balance of healthy flora in the gut, vagina and urinary tract.
But when it comes to choosing a probiotic supplement you might come across a number of questions like: Which probiotic strains are best for women? What are the best probiotic supplements for women? In this article, we have addressed all these questions and rounded up a list of some of the best quality probiotic supplement for women.
Top 10 Best Probiotic Supplements For Women 2018[table id=32 /]
Benefits of Probiotics for Women
1. Promotes Vaginal Health
Just like the intestine, a women’s vagina also houses a balanced microbiome that helps to maintain a somewhat acidic environment which prevents the growth of infectious bacteria. But an imbalance of the beneficial flora due to medications such as antibiotics, spermicides or birth control pills can change the pH level of the vagina and promote yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections). While most physicians prescribe antibiotics for treating UTIs, it kills the beneficial bacteria as well, thus, creating further urinary discomfort. So, the best long term treatment should include both antibiotics and probiotic supplements. Strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri are most effective at reducing the risk of vaginal and urogenital tract infections.
2. Supports Digestive Health
Although, digestive health conditioners are not gender specific, but there are a few digestive conditions such as bloating, constipation and IBS which are more reportedly more common in women compared to men. Problems such as bloating and constipation may either be constant or cyclical that worsens at certain points in the menstrual cycle due to chances in hormone levels. Probiotic supplements can help to resolve these digestive issues by encouraging the growth of good bacteria in the colon. Certain strains such as B. lactis BB-12 and Lactobacillus Plantarum are especially effective in relieving constipation and IBS symptoms.
3. Support Fertility and Pregnancy
Not many of us are aware of the fact that having a balanced vaginal microflora is important for improving fertility and increasing the chances of pregnancy. A balanced GI and vaginal microbiome helps to optimize fertility – with and without in-vitro fertilization (IVF) interventions. In addition, it also influences the health of the mother and the child in a positive way. Infections such as Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and other reproductive system infections increase the risk of preterm delivery and low birth-weight infants and reduce the success rate of implantation through IVF. Probiotics help pregnant women to prevent these problems by producing lactic acid and bacteriocin (their own endogenous antibiotic) that counters pathogenic organisms and supports a woman’s fertility and chances of pregnancy.
4. Relieves Menopause Symptoms
Women experience a wide range of menopause symptoms such as vaginal dryness, hot flashes, vulvo-vaginal atrophy (VVA), loss of bone density, headaches, low mood, etc. Probiotics can help to relieve some of the common symptoms of menopause. Probiotics have a protective effect on bone density which reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Probiotics also help to support the vaginal ecosystem and prevents the reduction of protective vaginal flora which in turn prevents vaginal dryness and irritation. Certain strains of probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus Rosell -52 and Bifidobacterium longum Rosell-71 also help to improve a low mood by increasing the level of some key “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA.
Which Probiotics Strains are best for Women?
There are a number of clinical trials which show that two specific species of the Lactobacillus bacteria – L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 are especially effective in clearing thrush and treating bacterial vaginosis and cystitis. These strains work by restoring a healthy balance of beneficial microorganisms in the vagina and maintaining an optimal pH in the vagina.
In a 2001 research conducted at the University of Western Ontario, it was seen that the strains L. rhamnosus (GR-1) and L. reuteri (RC-14) had the capacity to restore and maintain a normal urogenital flora and fight off harmful bacteria and fungi in women after just 28 days of oral use (1).
In another recent study, the effectiveness of oral probiotics containing GR-1 and RC-14 in treating bacterial vaginosis was tested in conjunction with a standard antibiotic therapy. The study was conducted on 125 women diagnosed with bacterial infections of the vagina. It was seen that at the end of the 1 month trial, 88% of the women taking both antibiotic and the oral probiotic were cured, while only 40% of the women taking the antibiotic and the placebo combination were found to have been cured (2).
Best Probiotic Supplements for Women
1. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Women’s Probiotic
This is one of the most effective probiotic supplements designed for women that provides 50 billion CUFs per serving and contains 16 different probiotic strains that support a woman’s digestive health, immune system health and vaginal health.
This supplement contains 16 effective probiotic strains including L. reuteri and L. fermentum which have been researched for vaginal and urinary health in women.
This is a 100% vegetarian and hypoallergenic probiotic supplement that is gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free.
This supplement comes with shelf-stable potency promise which ensures that the probiotic cultures arrive alive and stay alive.
- Provides 50 billion CFUs of probiotics per serving
- Contains 16 different strains including L. reuteri and L. fermentum
- Supports vaginal, digestive and immune system health
- Vegetarian and hypoallergenic product
- Shelf-stable potency promise, needs no refrigeration
- Easy once-daily formula
- May cause stomach pain, bloating and flatulence in some women
2. PRO-Women Probiotics for Women
This probiotic supplement is specially designed to promote urinary health in women.
This supplement contains 6 targeted strains of probiotics including L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri that are especially effective in treating UTI and yeast infections.
It also contains 100% naturally-occurring (non-synthetic) D-Mannose and cranberry extract that helps to maintain optimal urinary function and prevents the colonization of pathogens in the lining of the urinary tract.
It also helps to maintain optimal digestive and immune system health and relieve bloating, gas and irregularity. It improves mood, aids weight loss and enhances nutrient absorption from foods.
This supplement makes use of patented controlled-release delivery technology that delivers 15 times more beneficial bacteria to the intestinal tract compared to other supplements.
Each serving of this supplement provides 5 billion CFUs of active culture to the intestine.
This is a 100% vegetarian and natural probiotic supplement that is lactose and gluten free.
- Specially designed to maintain urinary tract health
- Contains 6 targeted strains
- Provides 5 billion CFUs per serving
- Contains natural D-Mannose and cranberry extract
- 18-months shelf life guaranteed
- Time release capsules ensures that the probiotics survive the stomach acids
- No artificial ingredients
- Contains trace amount of casein
- Large sizes pills
- Low potency supplement may not show quick results
3. Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic for Women 50 & Wiser
This is a uniquely formulates high potency probiotic supplement for women that is made from RAW whole foods. This probiotic supplement is designed to meet the needs of women over 50 years of age.
This supplement contains 33 different probiotic strains including L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus and B. animalis sub. Lactis that help to maintain urinary tract health and vaginal health, support healthy immune function and help to maintain optimum cholesterol level in the blood.
This supplement also contains probiotic-created vitamins, minerals and enzymes that aid digestion and help to break down casein and lactose.
Each serving of this supplement provides 85 billion CFUs of live culture to the intestine.
This is a 100% natural and raw probiotic supplement that contains no binders, fillers or carriers.
But this supplement needs to be refrigerated as soon as it is bought or received.
- Specially targeted for women over 50
- RAW whole food probiotic supplement
- Provides 85 billion CFUs of live culture per serving
- Contains 33 different probiotic strains
- Free from binders, fillers, carriers and allergens
- Supports digestive health, immune system health and thyroid function
- Needs refrigeration
- 1 serving equals 3 capsules
4. Renew Life Ultimate Flora Women’s Vaginal Probiotic
This is a decent quality probiotic supplement possessing 10 different probiotic strains and a potency of 50 billion CFUs that is specially designed for treating and preventing urinary tract infections and yeast infections.
Targeted delivery of the capsules ensures that the probiotics survive the stomach acids and make it alive to the intestine.
This is a 100% natural and vegetarian probiotic supplement that free from dairy, gluten, soy and artificial ingredients.
It is best to refrigerate this supplement to maintain its potency and purity.
- Provides 50 billion CFUs of live culture per serving
- Contains 10 different probiotic strains
- Relieves urinary tract infections and yeast infections
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- Time-release formula
- Requires refrigeration
5. Replenish The Good Womenâ€™s Probiotic
Containing 4 effective probiotic strains and a potency of 6 billion CFUs, this probiotic supplement is suitable for daily long-term use.
This supplement contains specially selected strains that help to prevent and treat urinary tract infections, yeast infections, vaginosis and vaginal dryness. It also helps to improve digestive health, immune health and brain health.
This supplement also contains vitamin D3, cranberry and D-Mannose that helps to prevent the pathogenic bacteria from colonizing the walls of the urinary tract and treats vitamin D deficiency.
Patented time release formula of this supplement delivers 15 times more probiotics to the intestine compared to other supplements.
This is a shelf-stable probiotic supplement that does not require refrigeration.
It is made from 100% natural ingredients and is lactose and gluten-free.
- Each serving provides 6 billion CFUs of probiotic culture
- Contains 4 probiotic strains
- Supports urinary and vaginal health, immune health, digestive health and brain health
- Contains vitamin D3, cranberry and D-Mannose
- Patented time release formula
- Shelf-stable probiotic supplement
- 100% natural supplement
- 1 serving equals 2 capsules
- Can cause bloating and constipation in some women
6. Renew Life Women’s CompleteÂ Probiotic
This is a high potency probiotic formula that helps to maintain digestive health, immune system health, vaginal health and urinary health.
Each serving of this supplement provide 90 billion active cultures to the intestine and it contains 12 effective probiotic strains.
This supplement makes use of time-release formula that ensures that the microorganisms survive the stomach acids and arrive alive in the intestine.
This is a 100% vegetarian supplement free from GMOs, wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and artificial ingredients.
It is manufactured in a GMP facility and the potency, quality and purity of the product is guaranteed through expiry.
- High potency formula for fast results
- Provides 90 billion active culture per serving
- Contains 12 targeted probiotic strains
- Delayed release capsule
- Easy one-capsule-a-day formula
- 100% vegetarian supplement
- Manufactured in a GMP facility
- High potency supplement not suitable for prolonged use
- Needs to be refrigerated to retain potency
- Can cause initial digestive distress in some users
7. RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Feminine Supplement
This is an effective probiotic supplement for women that helps to restore and maintain he balance of yeast and bacteria in the vagina and maintain overall feminine health.
This probiotic supplement is targeted at women’s health issues such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections and bacterial vaginosis.
This supplement contains a total of 8 strains with 2.5 billion cultures of each strain.
It comes in an easy 1-capsule-a-day format that is easy to use.
- Balances yeast and bacteria in the vagina and urinary tract
- Contains 8 targeted strains of probiotics
- Each serving contains 20 billion cultures
- One-capsule-a-day formula
- It contains some GMOs and gelatin
- Some women may experience break outs on the face and body
8. Best Nest Wellness Women’s Probiotic Supplement
This is a complete women’s probiotic supplement that contains 13 important probiotic strains and provides 50 billion CFUs of active culture per serving.
This supplement is specially designed to beat yeast and Candida infections and restore proper balance of flora in the vagina and gut.
It also promotes healthy digestion, boosts the immune system, supports brain function, improves mood and energy level and aids weight loss.
The patented time-release formula protects the probiotics from the stomach acids and ensures maximum effectiveness.
This is an all-natural vegetarian probiotic supplement that does not contain any artificial ingredients. It is GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, and nuts-free.
This supplement is manufactured in an NFS and GMP certified facility.
- Complete probiotic formula for women
- Contains 13 probiotic strains
- Provides 50 billion CFUs of active culture per serving
- Supports digestive health, immune system health, brain health, vaginal and uterine health
- Patented time-release formula
- All-natural and vegetarian supplement
- Made in a NFS and GMP certified facility
9. NatureWise Women’s Probiotics
This is a highly effective and shelf-stable probiotic supplement designed for women that helps to treat and prevent urinary tract infections, yeast infections, vaginosis and vaginal dryness. It also helps to relieve digestive disorders.
This supplement includes 8 different probiotic strains and each serving contains 6 billion cultures of each strain.
This is a highly shelf-stable product that does not need refrigeration.
This is a 100% natural and vegetarian supplement free from gluten, dairy, GMOs and artificial ingredients.
Sustained release capsules ensure that the probiotics survive the stomach acids and make it to the targeted site alive.
- Targeted towards women’s vaginal and uterine health
- Contains 8 different strains of probiotics
- Contains Cranberry and D-Mannose
- Includes 6 billion cultures of each strain
- Shelf-stable supplement
- Natural and vegetarian
- Sustained release capsules
- Contains trace amount of milk protein
- May cause rash and itching in some women
10. Garden of Life Digestive Supplement for Women 50 & Wiser
This is a high potency raw digestive supplement for women that also contains powerful probiotics. This supplement is specially designed for women over 50 years of age.
This is a vegetarian digestive supplement that contains 22 raw enzymes which improve the breakdown of proteins, carbs and fats in the intestine.
Each serving of this supplement also provides 50 billion CFUs of probiotic Bacillus coagulans and Saccharomyces boulardii that act as natural enzyme factories for generation of additional enzymes.
This is a 100% natural and vegetarian whole food dietary supplement that is gluten-free and dairy-free and contains no binders or fillers.
- Contains RAW enzymes, vitamins and minerals that aid digestion
- Formulated for the digestive needs of women over 50 years of age
- Each serving provided 50 billion CFUs of live culture
- Contains 2 probiotic strains
- 100% natural, vegetarian supplement
- More of a digestive supplement that a probiotic supplement
- May cause gas and bloating in some users
Probiotic supplements can offer a wide range of health benefits for women – right from digestive health and immune system health to urinary tract and vaginal health. It works by maintaining the balance of flora in the vagina and urinary tract and prevents the recurrence of yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and UTIs. But the most important thing is to choose a quality supplement that includes the women specific strains, has guaranteed potency and stability and is made from natural ingredients.
If you’re still looking for more information about this product, check out our post on probiotic supplements for men and dogs!