Ladies, do not be surprised but the vagina is an ecosystem of trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Some of the bacteria lie down there are Gardnerella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. But the most typical bacteria in the south part of our body is called probiotics. It does not live in our stomach alone but also down in the vagina. In fact, an article reported that more than 70% of bacteria living down there are probiotics.
Let us explore more about probiotics and its vaginal health benefits. Does it boost vaginal health? How about its risk and dangers as well as its types and its effect? And what evidences do some studies provide regarding it?
Introduction to Probiotics
Probiotics are the collection of microorganism including friendly bacteria that usually assist with the bowel movement as well as boost the brain. But aside from the bowel and brain, the part down south among females is also in need of probiotics.
According to Mrs. Pradnya Pisal, a consultant gynecologist at London Gynaecology, vaginal flora, or the good bacteria in the vagina is vital in sustaining the pH of the vagina. Why? It is because pH changes can improve a bad bacteria that can lead in some infections or symptoms. Furthermore, these infections and/or symptoms can result in negative disorders such as thrush and bacterial vaginosis (BV).
Treating these disorders may consider antibiotics and creams in the first stages. But if the disorder comes back, the need for vaginal probiotics come into view.
Types of Probiotics
Most probiotics are part of the Lactobacillus family which is considered the leading bacteria in the vagina. It helps inhibit Candida (an overgrowth of fungus that causes vaginal yeast infection) and other bacteria from uncontrollably developing.
Capsules and Suppositories
Probiotics can be found in various forms and use, but let’s take capsules or suppositories as the first examples. These form of probiotics are used by inserting into the vagina. To choose a capsule or suppository, look for its label which normally includes the bacteria-contains of the product. Choose the one with “Lactobacillus” near its top list.
Yogurt is perhaps the cheapest medication you can use against yeast infection. But in choosing yogurt, note that you need the one labeled with “live cultures and Lactobacillus”. Additionally, get away from yogurt with high sugar and flavor content. Plain yogurt is your best bet for yeast infection treatment.You need a tampon to apply the yogurt. First, remove a cotton tampon from its applicator then fill the vacant spot of the applicator with yogurt. As you insert the applicator into your vagina, make sure that you are lying down so that the yogurt can all release inside. Let the yogurt settle in before you stand up.
Some discomfort that you may experience with the yogurt includes leaking out from your vagina. So may want to use a pad or panty liner to add comfort or to protect your clothes. Or else consider the time or schedule of applying the yogurt. For instance, you may want to apply it before sleeping. By this period, you don’t need to move a lot.
You may also apply yogurt in the outside layer of your genital called Vulva. This can eliminate burning and itching.
Honey and Yogurt
Recent studies suggest that yogurt can be more useful in treating yeast infection than what experts initially thought. In fact, the use of yogurt had been famous for women for about centuries.In a 2012 study, yogurt plus honey had been found to be effective, like the traditional antifungal medications, in reducing the symptoms of yeast infection. This mixture was used in the 129 participants of the study who are pregnant and with a yeast infection. By the way, antifungal medications are more operative for abolishing fungi.
These same results had been found in a 2015 study, however, the participants of the study are non-pregnant women.
In another 2015 study, the mixture of antifungal medication and probiotic vaginal suppositories have an empowering effect. It even reduces the risks for the yeast infections to come back. So the study may conclude that probiotics are very helpful among women who got a yeast infection a few times a year.
But any conclusions made by the mentioned studies are not firm, because most of the probiotics studies are small.
How is the Lasting Effects of the Treatments?
The yogurt and honey mixture will take a week to work, meanwhile, oral probiotics can take from a week or four. Even if you choose oral probiotics, you can still use the mixture of yogurt and honey, or the yogurt alone, to control the symptoms of yeast infections. Just apply the yogurt or the mixture on your vulva while you wait for the effect of oral probiotics.
Probiotics Use Dangers
Probiotics are bacteria, and it already exists inside the body; so, side effects are very rare to occur. Furthermore, adding extra probiotics will not bring bad reactions. But some conditions, weak immune system, and/or treatments can be risky. So make an appointment with your doctor before you try any of the yeast infection treatment we’ve mentioned above.
Additionally, mild side effects may be experienced as you try suggested treatments. This include bloating and gas.
Yeast Infection and Doctor’s Appointment
Yeast infection might be sound new to your ear. So if you think you might have one, immediately contact and speak with your doctor to confirm your suspicions.
Yeast infection symptoms are similar to other diseases such as bacterial vaginosis (BV) and sexually transmitted diseases which both can sooner or later lead to fertility problems and difficulty in pregnancy. So it is better that you take actions immediately. Recognizing yeast infection symptoms is much easier once you had experienced the symptoms.
After a week or two, you should call your doctor if there is no improvement with the symptoms you are experiencing. You might need another prescription such as an antifungal medication (e.g. fluconazole) or perhaps you are infected with different infection.