Probiotics for Women
It’s well known that probiotics can help support digestive health. But did you know that there are specific reasons women should consider supplementing with a probiotic supplement daily? Here are 5 ways probiotics can benefit a woman’s health.
Relieve Constipation. One in four adults in North America experience constipation, with women and seniors most likely to suffer from this digestive problem. What makes women more susceptible? First, women experience stress more than men. Also, women tend to hold their bowels. They may be out running errands, or at the office, and need to go. But don’t want to use the public rest room. All this stress and bowel holding can lead to constipation. Probiotics can help ease occasional constipation and promote regularity, for more comfortable digestive health.
Support Vaginal and Urinary Health. The female urethra is much shorter than a man’s. That means unwanted bacteria can more easily reach the vagina and result in vaginal itching, discomfort, and odor. When you take a long bath, or use certain soaps, irritation can occur, and that can lead to an environment that encourages the growth of bad bacteria. Bacteria can also be introduced to the vagina due to improper wiping (back-to-front instead of front-to-back).
Probiotics for women can help crowd out that bad bacteria for a healthy flora balance in the vagina, and better urinary health and comfort. One particular strain, Lactobacillus acidophilus, has been shown to be particularly beneficial for urinary and vaginal health.
Maintain Proper Yeast Levels in the Body. Candida albicans is a fungus that normally inhabits parts of the body, like the mouth and vagina, in small amounts. This form of yeast is typically harmless. However, when there’s an imbalance in the body and Candida begins to grow out of control, it can cause problems, like yeast infections in women.
Three out of every four women will experience a yeast infection as some point in their lives, and half of all women will get more than one. Common symptoms include vaginal itching, burning in the vaginal area, particularly during urination, and white discharge from the vaginal area.
You can help counter the effects of the yeast and restore a healthy flora balance by repopulating your gut with good bacteria, also known as probiotics. Studies have found that probiotics can help fortify natural resistance to Candida yeast overgrowth.
Digest and Metabolize Dairy. Lactose intolerance is the inherited inability to digest and absorb milk, which often results in abdominal cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. While there’s no gender bias with lactose intolerance, more women consume dairy than men, making them more susceptible to discomfort from dairy digestion. Some probiotics have been shown to increase the digestibility of the lactose present in dairy products.
 MacPhee RA, et al. Probiotic strategies for the treatment and prevention of bacterial vaginosis. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Dec;11(18):2985-95.
 Martinez RC, et al. Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2009 Mar;48(3):269-74.
 He T, et al. Effects of yogurt and bifidobacteria supplementation on the colonic microbiota in lactose-intolerant subjects. J Appl Microbiol. 2008 Feb;104(2):595-604.