It is common knowledge that probiotics are beneficial to the gut. However, a question arises. Are they good for the vagina? One might easily assume probiotics are also good for the vagina because of the way they are marketed.
Although certain people already use probiotics in keeping their vagina healthy, there are not lots of evidence as regards the benefits of probiotics to the vagina.
The use of a probiotic supplement for yeast infections is an attempt to get live microorganisms into the vagina to improve its health. Now, the vagina can be compared to the digestive tract as it is rich in microorganisms. These include beneficial bacteria and microorganisms that do not do much for the body.
So long the state of the vagina is concerned, it is believed that certain conditions are as a result of an imbalance in the bacteria present in the vagina. Furthermore, to a large extent, the use of probiotics by women is an attempt to tone down discomfort associated with yeast infection and vaginosis.
There are various vaginal infections that women of childbearing age have to deal with. Of these many infections, vaginosis is the most famous. This infection can be said to be broad and lots of experts are yet to understand many things about it.
Regardless of all that is yet to be understood about bacterial vaginosis, one thing is sure. It is a condition that involves harmful microorganisms overgrowing. Some of these microorganisms are prevotella and Gardnerella vaginitis. These overgrown bacteria are more than healthier bacteria such as lactobacillus.
What Causes Yeast Infections
Bacterial vaginosis is not the only condition that is caused by an imbalance in the microorganism present in the vagina. Vaginal yeast infection is also caused by vaginal imbalance. However, unlike bacterial vaginosis that is caused by bacteria, vaginal yeast infection is caused by a fungus known as Candida. This fungus overpowers the presence of healthy bacteria. The presence of candida in the vagina does not cause any issues. The challenge, however, is associated with it being more than other microorganisms present in the vagina.
The use of Probiotics in Treating Yeast Infections
According to Dr. Mitchell, not every woman will benefit from the use of probiotics. There, however, are those that will gain a lot from using probiotics. Some of the women that will benefit from the use of probiotics are those with yeast infections and those with bacterial vaginosis.
So long a woman is dealing with bacterial vaginosis that is recurrent, it is generally believed that the overgrowth of unwanted organisms can be prevented when helpful lactobacilli are introduced into the vagina. This is completely theoretical and does not have proof.
Although this is still a theory, if it turns out to be true, then, a probiotic can be used in treating vaginal yeast infection. At the moment, however, there is no certainty. Also, there is no clarity as regards the effect of orally taken probiotics on the vagina.
Beyond what is generally known about the relationship between lactobacilli and yeast, certain occurrences still remain unexplainable by experts. One of them is the coexistence of lactobacilli and yeast.
When in the vagina, lactobacilli and yeast can exist together without any of them being disadvantaged. On the other hand, in the laboratory, yeast and lactobacilli cannot exist in harmony. This is because lactobacilli can attack yeast.
Going by this, the use of probiotics in treating a vaginal yeast infection is not a strategy that is based on science. The reason for this is quite simple. The situation in the lab is very different from what occurs in the body.
At the moment, probiotics are not proven for the treatment of yeast infection and bacteria vaginosis. The only methods that have been approved for the treatment of these two infections are antifungal or antibiotic treatments.
How Beneficial is the Introduction of Bacteria into the Vagina
As it stands, information about the introduction of fresh bacteria through probiotics into the body being beneficial or harmful to the body is not known.
According to a study that was published in 2018, giving women a probiotic when they have had antibiotic treatment can make it longer for the bacteria that exist naturally in the gut to recover. It, however, takes a shorter time for the gut bacteria of people that did not make use of probiotics after antibiotic treatment.
All things being equal, you might be unable to get much from the use of vaginal probiotics. Nonetheless, if you must try one out, you might want to make use of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 as it is associated with a bit of benefit.