Vaginal yeast infections are not that uncommon. Most people with vaginas will be infected at least once in their lifetime. Those who have the condition complain of pain, swelling, or itching. Sometimes, they also notice a thick white vaginal discharge that resembles cottage cheese. This article explains the treatment potentials of probiotics for yeast infection.
Unfortunately, it might lead to severe complications or become a chronic condition without proper treatment.
Recently, specialists started using probiotics for yeast infections. Some research materials — like a 2015 study on candida albicans — have proven the effectiveness of this remedy.
This article will discuss the essential information about this treatment option to help you decide if it’s the ideal solution.
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What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live microorganisms that contain good bacteria, or yeasts, that naturally live in the human body. You can find these microbes in food items such as yogurt, kefir, or even supplements.
There are many types of probiotics, each with distinct health benefits. Generally, they help people by restoring gut flora. This treatment works best if you find the ideal probiotic for your particular condition.
For yeast overgrowth infections, experts typically recommend those with lactobacillus strains. When you get an infection, these bacteria will eliminate the harmful organisms to reestablish the balance in your body. Consult your doctor if you want to use them for your overall vaginal health.
Do They Actually Work?
The prebiotic concept is a relatively young branch of study. Glenn Gibson and Marcel Roberfroid introduced it in 1995, defining a prebiotic as “a nondigestible food ingredient that beneficially affects the host by selectively stimulating the growth and activity of one or a limited number of bacteria in the colon, and thus improves host health.”
While experts have conducted several small studies, governing bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) still need to regulate the use of probiotics. For this reason, using them as medication still needs more research.
However, several studies have shown the advantages of combining effective probiotics with antibiotics. Many people now use them for gut health, but available information suggests that lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 may help treat and prevent vaginal yeast.
Lactobacillus is the primary organism in the vaginal microbiota, and fungal infections cause their levels to drop. According to some studies, taking probiotic supplements restores the balance in the body.
The downside is that some brands take advantage of the lack of FDA regulation and don’t include the stated probiotic levels or any. Finding an effective cure is working with trusted healthcare providers and supplement manufacturers.
How Long Do They Take to Work?
Restoring your gut microbiome involves multiplying the good bacteria count, lowering that of the harmful bacteria, and reducing inflammation. Although some people might notice improvements in as little as seven days, it usually takes two to three weeks to feel significant benefits.
Remember, increasing your good bacteria count through probiotic strains is not a one-time thing. If you want to win your war against vaginal infections, your healing requires consistency.
Consider this effort as a long-term war strategy. You can’t win it in a single day, but you can strengthen your cells to overthrow the harmful bacteria over time.
You can take a probiotic supplement daily with guidance from a trusted healthcare specialist. Once you give your gut the supplies and time it needs to heal, you can start feeling your best again.
Risks of Using Probiotics
Do you wonder how safe probiotics are for a yeast overgrowth infection? People naturally have probiotics in their bodies, so they are generally safe to use. However, there are some risks associated with such treatments. Below are some of the most common ones.
Infections: Individuals with compromised immune systems, like those who recently had surgery or acquired a critical illness, should take caution with probiotic use. These organisms might trigger infections.
Antibiotic resistance: Without a specialist’s help, patients can inadvertently reach probiotic levels that encourage defiance against various antibiotics. For this reason, it’s always best to consult with a doctor before starting a treatment plan.
Headaches: Excessive consumption of probiotic-rich foods, like kefir, sauerkraut, or kimchi, may cause headaches because of biogenic amines. Remember that they contain bacteria and can cause bodily reactions.
Digestive symptoms: Sometimes, probiotic use can lead to diarrhea, flatulence, or bloating. These indicators usually occur when patients first start taking such substances.
Rashes: In extreme cases, probiotics can trigger skin conditions like rashes. Individuals who experience severe itching should stop probiotic use immediately.
Can Probiotics Cause Yeast Infection?
In most cases, it’s safe to consume probiotics. However, they’re not for everyone. The bacteria in probiotics can get into the bloodstream and cause infections in people with compromised immune systems, individuals who have recently undergone surgery, and those undergoing prolonged hospitalization.
However, this risk is minimal. Experts estimate that only one in a million people who take probiotics with Lactobacilli bacteria will experience such outcomes. This figure drops dramatically to one in 5.6 million for yeast-based medications.
People who get infections from these bacteria typically respond well to over-the-counter treatments.
How to Use Probiotics For Yeast Infection
Before trying any treatment, consult with a doctor first. Yeast infection symptoms often resemble other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as bacterial vaginosis and urinary tract infections. These symptoms include burning sensations and fish-like odor, especially after sex.
Once diagnosed with a yeast infection, people can use these probiotic sources as effective home remedies for yeast infections:
Supplements: In most cases, patients can take these pills or powders orally. However, there are also available vaginal suppositories in the market. When taking the latter, insert it into the vagina with an applicator. Both methods should have directions on their packaging.
Yogurt: This food contains lactobacillus acidophilus — bacteria necessary for a healthy vaginal environment. Eating yogurt promotes a healthy gut and reduces yeast in the body.
Boric acid: Also called hydrogen borate, is a powerful antiseptic that some specialists claim can address yeast infection symptoms. Usually, they are available in suppository form. However, they are not ideal for pregnant people with damaged kidneys or sensitive skin.
How Do I Store Probiotics?
Like other supplements and medications, there are different ways to store products laden with probiotics. However, one fail-safe way to achieve desired results is to check the label. Some brands need refrigeration, and some don’t.
Another way to ensure ideal storage conditions is to store the package as you bought it. Keep it cold if it’s in the local pharmacy’s refrigerated section. However, room temperature should be okay if you find it on a shelf or countertop.
In most cases, labels will explain additional information that will help extend probiotics’ shelf life. Below are some practical tips.
Original packaging: It may be tempting to repack your probiotics, but keeping them in their bottle can minimize humidity levels and other factors that affect bacteria. Moving such products can lessen their effectiveness.
Temperature: Unless otherwise stipulated in the packaging, store your probiotics in a cool, dry place. Doing so minimizes exposure to light, heat, and moisture.
Sealing: Ensure that you seal your probiotics tightly. If you do, you prevent product degradation.
What Are the Side Effects of Probiotics on Vaginal Health?
Vaginas contain over 50 different microbes, which are organisms of microscopic size. Most of them are lactobacilli that keep the body healthy and infection-free. Any of these factors can cause an imbalance in the vagina:
- Unprotected penetrative intercourse
- Hormonal changes
- Monthly menstrual cycle
- Poor hygiene
- Scented products
For patients to prevent yeast formation, they can use vaginal probiotics. However, doing so comes with risks.
The most pressing concern with probiotic use is the lack of FDA regulation on dietary supplements sold in the market. For this reason, manufacturers can make claims that are not true.
Additionally, low-quality probiotic products may contain unlisted ingredients and unsafe substances. As a result, they may cause infections and other complications. Therefore, people with comorbidities should be extra careful when dealing with these organisms.
The Best Probiotics for Yeast Infections
Not all probiotics are the same; some are much better than others. Below are some products we recommend for yeast infections, including vulvovaginal candidiasis.
Garden of Life RAW Probiotics Vaginal Care
This probiotic blend promotes overall vaginal and urinary system health through yeast balance. Users get 50 billion CFUs and 38 probiotic strains with every serving, including the top lactobacillus ones. It’s a vegetarian, gluten-free, non-GMO food item with a 4.6-star rating on Amazon.
RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Supplement for Women
If you prefer capsule-type supplements, this brand is ideal for you. The RepHresh Pro-B Probiotic Supplement contains lactobacillus reuteri and lactobacillus rhamnosus in a gluten-free solution. Patients can get all of these benefits with just one tab daily.
Revly One Daily Women’s Probiotic
Revly One Daily Women’s Probiotic is an Amazon brand with a satisfaction guarantee. If users are unhappy with its 7 probiotic genera and 25 billion CFUs, they can request refunds within a year of purchase. One package contains 30 U.S.-manufactured vegetarian capsules.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best probiotics for candida overgrowth are lactobacillus rhamnosus, acidophilus, and s. boulardii. These organisms can restore the body’s balance of good and bad bacteria.
If yeast infections cause vaginitis, patients can use probiotics to treat it. A fungus called candida fuels these infections, and probiotics can help stop their growth.
Yes, patients can use vaginal probiotics. While more people prefer taking oral supplements, there are available probiotic suppositories on the market. People who choose the latter need an applicator to achieve desired results.
Probiotics contain substantial amounts of healthy bacteria that promote vaginal health. These products are effective in addressing existing symptoms as well as preventing potential infections. Patients who battle chronic candidiasis can work with their doctors to create custom treatment plans using probiotics and improve their vaginal flora.
Bodies naturally contain probiotics, so taking too much of them is unlikely to cause death or dangerous side effects. However, high doses can cause uncomfortable symptoms like diarrhea, flatulence, or bloating.
Try Probiotics for Yeast Infection Symptoms Today
Probiotics can do wonders for patients. While experts agree that these organisms need more research and regulation, several studies have shown that they can restore the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in the body.
Patients who experience a burning sensation, irritation, and itching in their vagina should work with a doctor for a diagnosis and a custom probiotic treatment plan. At DrAlexa, our goal for yeast infection patients is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.
However, we perform check-ups differently. We offer lower telemedicine prices that include consultation and same-day treatment, as opposed to other online health services. We guarantee a convenient, fast, and confidential service for all our patients.
Contact our specialists through email@example.com or (469) 498-6868 for more information about yeast infection treatment.