Happy Mother’s Day. Women, whether mothers or not, have different bodily functions and needs based on their anatomy and physiology. Though the gut microbiome and its needs for all human beings is not gender specific, the benefits derived from a healthy and balanced gut vary as whole body anatomy and physiology varies.
Probiotics Beyond the Gut
Women, like all individuals, stand to benefit from the use of probiotics as they balance the gut microbiome, support the immune system, and benefit overall health and wellness (read about the benefits of probiotics and why they should be taken daily). Yet, women can get more productivity out of a probiotic as it relates to vaginal wellness and reproductive health. Vaginal wellness and reproductive health is not to be overlooked when it comes to overall health and wellness for women.
The vaginal microbiome is its own entity subject to dysbiosis, disease, and infection. Probiotics can help to balance and support the vaginal microbiome and they do not need to be suppository probiotics. As early as 2001, a study provided evidence that certain probiotics could colonize the vagina via oral intake. Meaning the effect of an oral probiotic can be directly from the colonization of the vagina as opposed to indirect effects that result from modification in the gut microbiome.
“Clinical trials have shown that probiotics can play a positive role in restoring vaginal microecology and treating [bacterial vaginosis].”
Furthermore a 2018 study reported that, “Probiotic[s] administered orally may regulate the vaginal flora and may be effective on recurrent UTIs.” Oral probiotics offer a convenient, safer, and effective way to moderate vaginal flora, UTIs, and other vaginal issues compared to other methods (e.g., antibiotics). Vaginal wellness is more than just preventing short-term pain and problems, it can help ensure reproductive health in the long run.
Takeaway: Oral probiotics offer a potentially convenient and effective way to support vaginal health and wellness..
Female athletes also stand to benefit from the use of probiotics.
All stages of reproductive health can be benefited through use of probiotics. Simply put, “probiotics work on multiple levels to establish a healthy microbiome, which in turn is associated with a fertile microbiome.” The use of probiotics stands to be an effective and safer means of preventing infections commonly related to infertility, and pregnancy risk factors.
“There is unequivocal evidence of a direct beneficial effect on reproductive health clinical outcomes.”
Continuing on, probiotics ability to balance the gut microbiome conveys benefits that align with reproductive health and wellness for the mother. A 2017 study researched the effect 6-8 week probiotic supplementation had in pregnant women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM). Findings from this study reported a significant reduction in insulin resistance for pregnant women with GDM and characterized probiotic supplementation as a promising assistive potential therapy for metabolic management of GDM.
Takeaway: Reproductive health in women can be benefited by probiotics.
Due to anatomical and physiological difference, women benefit greatly from the use of a quality probiotic. In addition, to the typical benefits offered by probiotics women can experience support for their vaginal and reproductive health and wellness. Quality oral probiotics offer a safe and effective way to support the parts of overall health and wellness unique to women.