Probiotics And Women's Health: All You Need To Know
Probiotics in general are known to improve gut health by maintaining a balance between good and bad bacteria. They also help in boosting the immune system to avoid falling sick often. Probiotics for women have distinct importance. Statistics have indicated that women are 2 to 6 times more likely to have digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. So, probiotics for women become more essential to keep their internal microbiome in optimum condition and function well.
In addition to the gut microbiome, women have a vaginal microbiome which also needs to be balanced to remain healthy and function well. Probiotics for women are specially curated to help gut health, fertility, and vaginal health, as well as to boost the immune system.
Probiotics can be derived from fermented food sources as well as supplements. They help in increasing the good bacteria that already exist in the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and vaginal lining.
. In addition to an increased vaginal pH, BV sufferers frequently encounter:
- A fishy odour
- White discharge
- Burning sensation during urination
The treatment prescribed for this condition normally is antibiotics which could be either oral medication or suppositories. Sometimes probiotics are prescribed along with antibiotics. But probiotics do not replace antibiotics.
Benefits of Probiotics for Women
Probiotics for women help in maintaining vaginal health and fertility in addition to maintaining gut health. The diverse benefits of probiotics for women are given below.
Supports Gut Health
Studies have shown that women are more susceptible to digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and so supporting gut health becomes more important in women. Consuming probiotics will help reduce gut-related issues.
Fermented foods like yoghurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut can enhance the microbiome by boosting its functionality and reducing the quantity of disease-causing bacteria in the intestines, as well as promoting the growth of good bacteria Lactobacilli. It is important to keep in mind that fermented foods and probiotics have temporary effects, so if you stop taking them, you will lose the benefit.
Improves Vaginal Health
This is one of the most important benefits of probiotics for women. Your vagina is home to more than 50 distinct species of small organisms or bacteria. A large portion of these microbes are lactobacilli, a form of bacteria. These microorganisms aid in maintaining the vagina's health and cleanliness.
An unbalanced environment in the vagina can result from both a deficiency of lactobacilli and an overgrowth of some other bacteria. A woman may experience this imbalance for a variety of reasons, such as
- She goes through hormonal changes
- Has her menstrual cycle
- She has unprotected sex with her partner
- She lacks good hygiene habits
An imbalance in vaginal microbes can cause
- An undesirable odour
Vaginal imbalance can result in
- Bacterial Vaginosis
- Yeast Infection
- Urinary Tract Infections
Bacterial vaginosis is the most prevalent vaginal imbalance problem (BV). Numerous distinct bacterial species are prevalent in high concentrations in the vaginas of women with BV. In the vagina of healthy women, there are fewer different bacterial species.
The pH of the vagina rises above 4.5 due to these extra bacteria. As a result, there are less lactobacilli in the vagina. Bacterial vaginosis can be particularly troublesome because it can result in pelvic inflammatory illnesses and pregnancy difficulties, Studies suggest a baby's first gastrointestinal microorganisms are "seeded" to them as they are pushed through the birth canal and so a healthy vaginal biome is a crucial component of a healthy pregnancy and infant.
Studies have demonstrated that some strains of Lactobacilli, a specific type of probiotic present in the majority of probiotic foods, can be helpful in the treatment and prevention of vaginal infections.
Women have mood swings during the menstrual cycle, menopause and pregnancy due to the change in hormonal activity observed at these times. According to studies, an unbalanced microbiome can lead to mood disorders whereas a healthy gut microbiome can support excellent mental health. This is typically due to the fact that our gut bacteria are essential in the monitoring of mood since they have the ability to mimic the hormones made by our bodies and interact with our brains via the vagus nerve. A connection between the gut and brain is known as the gut-brain axis.
Improves Sleep Quality
Numerous factors, including menopause, might have an impact on the quantity and quality of sleep. According to research, our circadian rhythms can be disturbed by microbes that thrive when the body is sleep-deprived. By generating strong competition, a diverse gut microbiome might inhibit the expansion of certain microbes that affect sleep.
Promotes Skin Health
According to research, poor gut health has the potential to result in skin irritation because of the effect that the body's microbiome has on the immune system. As the body's first line of defence, the skin collaborates with our mucous membranes and gut wall to keep harmful bacteria from entering our bodies. Probiotics can sustain a generally healthy flora of microorganisms in the body, and a healthy diversity in these populations can guard against the overpopulation of germs that might irritate the skin or cause other diseases.
Probiotics for women are important as women are more prone to digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome. Women have vaginal microbiomes in addition to gut microbiomes and it becomes essential to maintain the balance of both these microbiomes for gut health, and vaginal health as well as in helping other issues like mood swings, skin health, and sleep quality. Probiotics help in maintaining the balance of both gut microbiomes and vaginal microbiomes for the upkeep of gut and vaginal health.
Vaginal imbalance can cause various infections like Bacterial Vaginosis, Yeast Infection, Trichomoniasis, and Urinary Tract Infections. Of these bacterial vaginosis can be more dangerous as it causes pelvic inflammatory illnesses and pregnancy difficulties. Probiotics are effective in keeping these infections at bay by improving vaginal health.
Ingesting probiotics through food sources like yoghurt, pickles, and kimchi or probiotic supplements specially curated for women is crucial for women to maintain overall gut and vaginal health.
How do probiotics help women?
A high-quality probiotic is beneficial for numerous reasons, particularly for women. They can increase energy levels, enhance digestive health, and vaginal health, reduce cortisol levels to assist fight fatigue and stress, and lessen the signs and symptoms of conditions including autoimmune diseases (which disproportionately affect women).
How do we realise that there is a need to take probiotics?
The three most typical signs that indicate you need probiotics are:
- You have recently taken antibiotics and need to restore the balance of microorganisms in your body.
- You discover that you frequently fall ill.
- You feel sluggish and ill, or your skin is acting up.
Is it safe for women to take probiotics daily?
People are normally sceptical about taking probiotics daily. However, it is safe for everyone including women to take probiotics daily. It should be noted that probiotics are natural supplements and not medication.
Can food sources of probiotics like yoghurt be taken along with probiotic supplements?
Since yoghurt is a part of your diet, it can be taken even when you are on probiotic supplements.
How much yoghurt needs to be taken in a day?
The recommended quantity is one serving of yoghurt in a day to get the required level of good bacteria.