Are Probiotics Good For BV

Are Probiotics Good For BV? Is It Effective In Treating BV?

Bacterial Vaginosis is the most common vaginal inflammation that affects women between ages 15-44 years old. The real cause is not completely understood but it usually occurs after certain activities like unprotected sexual intercourse, vaginal douching, and having multiple sex partners.

Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. The vaginal ecosystem normally contains both bad and good bacteria. When the good bacterial population suddenly decreases because of certain factors, it allows the bad bacteria to multiply and proliferate.

Probiotics which contain good bacteria are also known as Lactobacilli which are in charge of keeping the vaginal pH slightly acidic and when the vaginal pH is acidic it keeps bad bacteria at bay. It keeps the woman protected from vaginal infections and inflammation and the lactic acid produced by the good bacteria keeps the vagina clean and keeps it disinfected.

When there is a healthy balance of bacteria, it keeps other bacteria and pathogens from multiplying. When there is a significant decrease in the number of good bacteria, the vaginal pH becomes alkaline, which is higher than 4.5 pH.

Bacterial Vaginosis is an infection in the vagina that can be treated by antibiotics and other home remedies, one of them being probiotics.

Are probiotics good for BV?

Will they be effective in treating bacterial vaginosis?

Keep reading and you will find out…

What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Vaginosis?

  • Fishy odour/ unpleasant smell of vaginal discharge
  • Itching and burning when urinating
  • Pain during sexual intercourse

What Are The Complications That May Arise From BV?

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Premature labour or birth for pregnant women
  • Low birth weight of the baby
  • Complications in the pregnancy
  • Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhoea

    Are Probiotics Good For BV

What Are The Factors That Affect The Balance Of The Bacteria In The Vaginal Ecosystem?

  • Imbalances in the hormone levels (one example is when a woman becomes pregnant)
  • Using antibiotics for other types of infection
  • Changes in the diet
  • Smoking
  • Unprotected Sexual intercourse
  • Multiple sex partners
  • Increased stress levels

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that are commonly found in different parts of the body such as urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract. They help by keeping us healthy and warding off infections. Studies carried out prove that using probiotics will help restore the normal flora in a person’s body and it helps protect them from recurring infections.

Using antibiotics often remove both good and bad bacteria in the body and without the presence of good bacteria in the body, different types of infection can happen, therefore it is critical that the normal flora must be corrected so the pathogens will not be able to return and cause recurring infection. Good bacteria in significant amounts which produce lactic acid are often harmless and offer many health benefits.

Lactic acid produced by Lactobacilli helps prevent the proliferation of anaerobes and other foreign pathogens in the body. When there is a significant amount of probiotics in the body, a woman will be able to fight off the symptoms and bacteria caused by BV.

Probiotics are measured by colony forming units or CFUs. This helps measure the number of bacterial cells included in a supplement per milliliter. According to studies, a probiotic must contain a minimum of 10 billion CFUs to reduce the duration of diarrhoea. The number of probiotics that can be consumed daily must be according to the doctor’s advice.

How To Use Probiotics In Preventing And Treating BV?

Are Probiotics Good For BV

  1. Eating plain yogurt daily – Women who consumed yogurt daily containing L. acidophillus for two months were able to see a reduction of BV symptoms and episodes.
  2. Taking probiotics supplements – Not all probiotics are the same. You must consult your medical care provider if a specific probiotic is safe for you to use. When choosing probiotics, it must contain 1 billion CFU’s. It must also contain L. acidophillus to help prevent BV. The probiotics must also have the ingredients pectin, cellulose, or inulin. These types of ingredients serve as a food for the bacteria.
  3. Use oral and vaginal probiotics – It is better to use both oral and vaginal probiotics simultaneously so it will be more effective in preventing BV. Vaginal probiotics usually contain lactobacillus and acidophilus which comes in a gelatin or cellulose capsule.
  4. When taking antibiotic medication for BV, you must also use vaginal probiotics that contain both L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri every night before sleeping. The treatment is more effective in preventing BV than just taking antibiotics alone. Using probiotics while taking antibiotics help in curing and preventing the return of the infection. When you are taking probiotics, always check if it contains both L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri.
  5. Using yogurt in the vagina – You can use a tampon and apply plain yogurt that contains probiotics. You can do this method twice a day for 2 hours. This can help relieve symptoms of BV as well as prevent a yeast infection from occurring. If you are prone to getting BV and other vaginal infections, this can be done before or after your period and after having sexual intercourse.

How Do Probiotics Treat BV?Are Probiotics Good For BV

Probiotics contain live bacteria; L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri which are the most common in helping to treat BV. By being able to restore the normal flora in the vaginal ecosystem, it will help relieve the BV symptoms.

Lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus helps control the proliferation of bad bacteria or anaerobes in the vagina. It does this by creating a slightly acidic vagina that discourages the growth of anaerobes and other foreign pathogens.

Are Probiotics Safe To Use?

Using probiotics is safe but there are important considerations that need to be taken into account. There are side effects when using probiotics and it is important for a woman to consult her medical care provider to see if using probiotics is OK for her health. Those who are immunosuppressed are advised against using probiotics as there are rare cases and occurrences where it can cause infection and other conditions instead of giving health benefits to the individual.

What Are The Side Effects Of Using Probiotics?

  • Intestinal Gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Mild abdominal pain or discomfort

How To Reduce And Lessen The Side Effects Of Taking Probiotics?

Are Probiotics Good For BV

  1. Take the probiotics on a empty stomach during night time or before sleeping – Taking probiotics can increase gas especially if taken with certain foods like beans, lentils, fructose, and lactulose.
  2. Take digestive enzymes supplement – When taking probiotics, you should also take digestive enzyme supplements so it can help reduce gas and bloating. This type of supplement will help the body digest and absorb the food in the gastrointestinal tract.
  3. Reduce the dosage – If you are experiencing side effects, you can consult your medical care provider to reduce the dosage in half and as the side effects lessen you can slowly increase the dosage accordingly as per your medical care provider’s advice.
  4. Take the probiotics 30 minutes before eating your meals. It will help maximise the survivability of the live bacteria and the effectiveness of the probiotics as a treatment for your BV.
  5. Increase fluid intake – By staying hydrated, you can reduce the side effects of probiotics. Drink plenty of water while taking probiotics so you can prevent yourself from becoming dehydrated.
  6. Your body will be able to adjust while taking probiotics. It will take at least a week or two before you can enjoy the health benefits it will give you and help you fight the symptoms of BV.

What Foods Are Rich In Probiotics?

Are Probiotics Good For BV

  1. Kimchi – If you love eating Korean dishes, you can buy this dish in Korean stores or Asian supermarkets. It contains cabbage that has been pickle mixed with different spices. Make sure it is stored in the refrigerated area of the store as some have been heat treated which means the bacteria have died.
  2. Traditional buttermilk – It is a fermented dairy drink.
  3. Pickles – Cucumbers that have been fermented by using salt and water.
  4. Natto – A soybean product that is fermented. It contains a high amount of Vitamin K2 and Bacillus subtilis.
  5. Sauerkraut – It is a fermented and finely shredded cabbage using lactic acid.


Using different home remedies such as Probiotics are effective in treating BV. Bacterial Vaginosis occurs when there is an imbalance in the number of bacterial population in the vagina. By taking probiotics you will be able to fight off different infection and inflammation in the vagina as well as a yeast infection. Taking probiotics daily such as yogurt with live bacteria will help you control BV symptoms and when you take it alongside antibiotic medications; you will be able to enjoy a BV-free life.

Always remember that when you take probiotics and antibiotics together, you must take the probiotics 2-3 hours before or after taking the antibiotics so there will be no interaction between the two. Antibiotics can prevent the effects of the probiotics because it can kill off the good bacteria inside it.

There is no reason for taking more probiotics daily than the prescribed or recommended amount. Taking too much can cause overdose as well. Probiotic supplements can contain a single bacterium or a mixture of different types of bacteria. The diversity of bacteria will also have an effect on the effectiveness of the treatment.

When choosing probiotics, you must go with a supplement that has a diverse mixture of beneficial bacteria. It will offer more potential health benefits. Taking too much of a single strain of bacteria can cause monoculture that can cause imbalances in the flora and results in digestive issues and problems.