Probiotics for Women's Health
Probiotics are preparations that contain micro-organisms in optimal concentration containing different species and strains to positively influence the human microflora to exhibit beneficial effects.
Urogenital infections are the most common type of infections women suffer from, such as urinary tract infections, yeast vaginitis, and bacterial vaginosis. Urinary tract infections are associated with disrupted vaginal microbial flora, which in turn increases the awareness in the medical field to replenish microbial depletion by Probiotics.
- Urinary tract infections are most common between ages of 18 to 24 years old.
- Species of microbial flora occupying the vaginal tract are responsible for prevention of infections.
- Species that are present in the vaginal tract vary between pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women.
- Not only microbial species affect vaginal colonization but also the vaginal PH, hormonal changes, menstrual cycle, and glycogen content.
The microbial flora of healthy pre-menopausal women mainly consists of Lactobacillus species such as:
● L. acidophilus
● L. vaginalis
● L. reuteri
● L. rhamnosus
Can Probiotics Prevent Urinary Tract Infections ?
Since Lactobacillus species are the most common vaginal microbial flora, clinical studies found that women suffering from urinary tract infections have low Lactobacillus count in urethra and vagina due to the absence of the defensive mechanism of Lactobacillus.
Microbial flora defense mechanism depends on the following factors:
- Capability of producing antibacterial factors (Hydrogen Peroxide) to inhibit pathogens growth, adherence and colonization.
- Ability of signaling Cytokines, Macrophages and Leukocytes immune cells to attack pathogens.
Urinary Tract Infections Treatment
Urinary tract infections recurrences and resistance to topical drugs are increasing as many women self-diagnose, misuse antifungal/antibacterial drugs, and self-treat themselves.
Vaginal microflora is dominated by Lactobacilli; in addition to the fact that urogenital microflora originates from the gut, clinical studies have shown that oral intake of L. fermentum and L. rhamnosus has the ability to balance and normalize the vaginal microflora which provides long term prophylaxis and therapy for women susceptible to urinary tract infections.
Should I take Probiotics with Antibiotics ?
Optimal antibiotics selection is essential to avoid bacterial resistance throughout urinary tract infections.
- Using probiotics only for the treatment of urinary tract infection has limited results.
- Treatment with antibiotics only has shown in clinical trials a significant negative influence on the microbial balance as it will kill the beneficial Lactobacilli bacteria along with the harmful pathogens.
- Therefore, treatment must include the optimal antibiotic combined with probiotics to substitute the lost beneficial microflora.
Best Probiotics for Women
The relationship between vaginal microflora and urogenital infections is clear and well known, the dominance of Lactobacillus species is observed in many scientific studies and it has shown to regulate the gastrointestinal and vaginal microflora to prevent urinary tract infections.
The most evaluated probiotics used for the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) are:
- L. rhamnosus
- L. fermentum
- L. reuteri
- L. crispatus
Clinical studies on probiotics usage in urinary tract infections have stated the following:
● Duration: Ranges from 5 days to 12 months.
(According to the medical necessity)
● Dose: 10,000 CFU to 10 Billion CFU.
(CFU = Colony Forming Unit in Microbiology)
● Route: Oral and Vaginal formulations.
Probiotics Side Effects and Overdose
Probiotics supplements feature micro-organisms already exist naturally in our bodies, so it’s generally considered safe without any reported serious side effects, but possible risks may include:
How To Get Probiotics for Women ?
12% to 50% of women worldwide experience vaginal challenges that negatively affect their quality of life and according to clinical trials, specific species of Lactobacilli are proven to promote the health and wellbeing of vaginal microflora.
Lactobacillus reuteri (RC-14®) and Lactobacillus rhamnosus (GR-1®) species are backed with clinical studies that have shown the capability to establish and maintain the stability of the vaginal ecosystem for overall urogenital health.
Wellbiotics Women’s unique formula is designed to feature the two species for healthy vaginal microflora and balanced PH.