probiotics for vaginal health – Statistics show that 80% of women worldwide struggle with vaginal health and at least one yeast infection during their lifetime.
A yeast infection, also known as candidiasis, occurs when the balance of bacteria and yeast in the body changes. This tends to cause swelling, itching, and irritation.
NB: A yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Sexual contact only spreads it – women who aren’t sexually active can also get them.
Symptoms of Yeast Infections
Some common symptoms include:
- Vaginal itching
- Pain during sex
- Swelling around the vagina
- Burning sensation during urination
- Clumpy and yellowish vaginal discharge
How to Balance Vaginal Bacteria Using Probiotics
With the aid of Lactobacilli, your body can produce hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, and other substances that aid in the growth and balance of “good” bacteria. These organisms help the body produce pH levels of around 4, which is believed to help protect against infections.
If you experience recurring yeast infections or other issues related to the imbalance of vaginal flora, then probiotics are just what your body needs.
You might benefit from the use of probiotics designed to re-balance your vaginal flora if:
- You are taking antibiotics
- Experiencing recurring urinary tract infections or BV
- In menopause or perimenopause
- Having frequent sexual intercourse (which tends to disrupt normal pH levels)
Probiotics For Vaginal Health
Probiotics For Vaginal Health – The vaginal flora composition is very important when it comes to maintaining healthy pH levels in the vagina. When the pH levels are imbalanced, the “bad” bacterium overgrows and can lead to infections and other troublesome symptomssuch as thrust and BV.
There is a direct correlation between using probiotics for vaginal health and a lowered recurrent rate of urinary tract infections (BV).
A recent study showed that only 15% of women taking a probiotic were again diagnosed with BV versus a whopping 45% of women who didn’t use probiotics.
Vaginal-focused supplements can be found in either vaginal or oral tablet forms. The treatments support the right balance of bacteria and are especially recommended for women who are on antibiotics, especially if taking for long-term periods.
How Probiotics Work
The most common types of probiotics are the Lactobacillus family. These probiotics have proven to reach the intimate flora and aid in neutralizing the overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the body.
Simply put; probiotics help to restore the acidic environment by producing hydrogen peroxide and other components that reduce the population of pathogenic microorganisms.
Probiotics take effect after a week of treatment, so it’s recommended that you take them for at least seven days or until symptoms subside.
NB: It’s best to take one or two capsules per day during an active infection. Additionally, you can opt to take one pill a day on a long-term basis even when symptom-free. The tablets can also be taken during a course of antibiotics.
One study showed that women who took probiotics alongside a course of antibiotics had 90% of their vaginal flora intact and no diarrhea side-effects (a common trait of antibiotics).
When to Take Probiotics
Some probiotics are to be taken orally while others are to be inserted vaginally. The best way to use vaginal suppositories is at night while lying in bed. Insert the capsules as you would a tampon and insert it as deeply as you can. NB: If you experience any issues inserting it, moisten it slightly with saliva or water.
Common Foods that Help Preserve Vaginal Health
It’s important also to note that what we eat affects the vaginal health. Below are some common foods that will help you strengthen your vaginal health:
Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as natural yogurt, kefir, miso, and sauerkrauts. Natural yogurt can help maintain vaginal pH levels and ward off yeast infections
Fresh fruits and veggies
As usual, you can’t go wrong with fruits. Vegetables and fruits contain certain minerals and vitamins that are essential for your well-being. Avocados, for instance, contain vitamin B6 and potassium which stimulate vaginal health by aiding in the health of your vaginal walls.
On the other hand, fruits & veggies with vitamin C such as kiwi, lemons, grapefruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, oranges, etc. will boost your immune system.
Additionally, leafy, green vegetables help with blood circulation and prevent vaginal dryness.
When eaten raw, garlic contains antimicrobial and antifungal properties. These properties effectively kill yeast and also help soothe the symptoms of yeast infections including itchiness, burning, and soreness. Garlic can also be used as a vaginal suppository – insert peeled clove garlic and leave it overnight.
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Nuts and Seeds
Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds all contain oils and vitamin E which help prevent vaginal dryness. Flax seeds are rich in phytoestrogens and omega three fatty acids which aid in boosting estrogen levels and stop vaginal dryness.
Cranberries contain powerful acidic compounds that aid in preventing and relieving vaginal infection symptoms. Cranberries are able to acidify the urine and balance the pH levels in the vagina. For best results, consider eating fresh cranberries or mixing them in with your natural yogurt.
Other Things That Can Promote Vaginal Health
Your lifestyle and diet play a significant role in preventing the recurrence or occurrence of vaginal infections.
Additionally, you should avoid scented soaps and cleansers, tight clothing, and synthetic clothing as well.
You should also avoid processed foods and added sugars and try consuming a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables. Finally, upping your water intake can help everything well hydrated down there.
Include probiotic foods such as oat, leeks, garlic, and onions into your daily diet. In addition, Probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kombucha, and kimchi are highly beneficial for vaginal health.
A lot of things can cause vaginal infection. Some women might experience vaginal discomfort every time they take antibiotics while others might experience painful sexual intercourse. Regardless of the risk factors, including probiotics to your daily dietary changes can aid with vaginal health.
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