Should you use probiotics for your vagina?
According to many studies, when probiotics are consumed, they can go a long way in improving digestive health. While probiotics are commonly associated with the digestive system, research also has it that they have a major influence on vaginal health. While there are no conclusions on the benefits of probiotics to the vagina, studies have revealed that L.acidophilus, a probioticstrain can go a long way in preventing, as well as treating issues of vaginal imbalance.
Microbes in the Vagina
Contained in the vagina are up to 50 various species of microbes. Although not all these microbes are lactobacilli, a lot of them are. The presence of lactobacilli in the vagina ensures that the vagina is free from infections.
In a situation in which there is no lactobacillus in the vagina or whenother microbes are more than lactobacillus present in the vagina, there is usually an imbalance. There are various situations that can lead to vaginal imbalance. Some of them are bad hygiene, unprotected sex, a lady’s monthly cycle, and hormonal changes.
Vaginal imbalance can lead to itching, discomfort, fishy odor, vaginal discharge, trichomoniasis, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis. These ailments can be treated with the use of probiotic supplements and antibiotics.
While vaginal imbalance is a lot different from urinary tract infection, when there is an imbalance in the vagina, it could cause urinary tract infection.
Bacterial Vaginosis: There are lots of issues that arise from vaginal imbalance. One of these many issues is bacterial vaginosis. Bacterial vaginosis usually occurs when a woman’s vagina houses many bacteria species. The healthier a woman’s vagina is, the lower the number of different bacteria species it contains.
When the vagina contains more bacteria than it should contain, its pH increase to 4.5. This occurrence brings about a reduction in the number of lactobacilli in the vagina. In addition to having an elevated pH, women with bacteria acidosis also experience itching, burning while urinating, and have a milky vaginal discharge.
Although it is quite uncertain what the exact reason for bacterial vaginosis is, there are certain factors that are believed to be responsible for this ailment. Some of these factors include;
- Douching and using soap and water in washing the vagina.
- Becoming sexually active with a new person or having more than one sexual partner.
How can Bacteria Vaginosis be treated?
The easiest way to treat bacterial vaginosis is through the use of antibiotics. These antibiotics are either taken orally or inserted into the vagina in the form of a gel. In addition to making use of antibiotics, probiotics can be used in bacterial vaginosis.
Yeast Infection: Yeast infection is a popular kind of vaginal imbalance. It is usually caused by a fungus known as candida albicans. In addition to candida albicans, there are lots of other fungi that can cause yeast.
The presence of probiotics in the vagina keeps the growth of fungus in check. However, when there are very little good bacteria in the vagina, the growth of fungi responsible for causing yeast becomes unchallenged.
Yeast infections are associated with lots of symptoms. Some of these symptoms are;
- Vaginal rash
- Soreness and pain
- A burning sensation when urinating and during sex
- Itching in vulva and vagina
- Thick white discharge
Some of the many causes of yeast infection in the vagina include;
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Weak immune system
- Oral contraceptives
Yeast Infection Treatment
If you notice any symptoms of yeast infections, you can treat them by using oral tablets, topical ointments, topical creams, vaginal suppositories.
Trichomoniasis: There are lots of sexually transmitted infections and trichomoniasis is one of them. Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have revealed that trichomoniasis affects up to 3.7 million Americans at a time.
Symptoms of Trichononiasis
Some symptoms of Trichononiasis Include soreness, burning, itching, redness, different vaginal discharge.
Treatment of trichononiasis can be done with the use of antibiotics. The recommended antibiotics for treating trichomoniasis are tinidazole (Tindamax), or metronidazole. Unlike other vaginal imbalances, trichonomiasis cannot be treated with the use of probiotics.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infection is one of the many infections that occur as a result of vaginal imbalance. The vagina is not far from the urethra. Nonetheless, the pathogens that cause vaginal infections are not the same pathogens that cause urinary tract infection. If your vaginal flora is healthy, yourchances of being affected with urinary tract infection reduce greatly.
All things being equal, urinary tract infection sets in when bacteria finds its way into the urinary tract. When this happens, there is a massive growth of bacteria in the bladder. Although the urinary system ideally should be able to keep bacteria out, there are times bacteria find their way in and cause infections.
Usually, urinary tract infections only have their effect on the bladder. However, when urinary tract infections become serious, they affect the kidneys and cause an infection that is life-threatening.
There are times urinary tract infections occur without a symptom. Other times they occur with minor symptoms. Some of the symptoms associated with urinary tract infections are;
- A burning sensation associated with urinating
- Releasing urine in small amounts
- Bad smelling urine
- The urge to always urinate
- Pelvic pain
- Cloudy urine
Although urinary tract infections occur in women and men, they are more pronounced in women. The reason for this is men have longer urethras than women. The short length of the female urethra makes it easy for bacteria to get into the urethra.
At the moment, there is no conclusion in the effect of probiotics on vaginal health. While probiotics are suggested for treating the vagina and restoring its balance, antibiotics are the most trusted way to treat vaginal imbalance.
Furthermore, if you want to make use of pro-biotic supplements in treating vaginal infections, you should not just go ahead and make use of one. You should get the opinion of a health professional. This should come after you have gone through a couple of assessments