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  • Kelin M

Best Probiotics for Vaginal Health in 2021 - Our Top 5

If you've experienced yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or urinary tract infections you likely had an overgrowth in Candida or E. Coli (although there are a number of pathogens behind UTIs).

The main bacteria family in the vaginas of healthy women are Lactobacilli, and there are specific strains that have been shown in studies to be especially helpful in preventing UTIs, BV, and yeast infections: Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14.

It's important to choose a probiotic that contains at least 1 Billion CFU (colony forming units) of these specific strains if vaginal health is your primary concern.

If you want to know exactly what to eat for healthy gut bacteria and anything else you could possibly want to know about probiotics, read our guide here.

Our Top Picks for Vaginal Health

Best Well-Rounded Formula

Wholesome Wellness: This has 100 billion CFU of 34 different strains, including those that are best for fighting urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections. It also has D-Mannose and cranberry concentrate to fight against urinary tract infections plus prebiotics!

Best Targeted Formula

Integrative Therapies Pro-Flora: The 2 strains you need to support vaginal health, and nothing else! This is a very targeted formula.

Best Whole Food Formula

Garden of Life Vaginal Care: Contains the strains you need plus a blend of whole food probiotics associated with good vaginal health.

Best Concentrated Formula

Doctor’s Pick Women’s Probiotic: We love that this shows exactly how much of each strain is in the formula (and it’s a lot!). Contains the most important strains plus 15 others and a prebiotic blend, too.

Highest Number of Bacteria

Surebounty 4-in-1 Feminine: Each capsule of this formula has 120 Billion CFU (colony-forming units)! There are 34 strains including the 2 specific to vaginal health.

How to Choose a Supplement

1. Studied strains

It’s important that the bacteria strains used have been thoroughly studied, as strains can work against each other or even have a harmful effect. The best-studied species for vaginal health are Lactobacillus rhamnosus and L. reuteri, and specifically the strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14. Ideally, we want to see these strains.

2. Beneficial additives

There are certain ingredients known to help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the vaginal wall (like D-Mannose), reduce the incidence of infection, eliminate discomfort, etc. If a supplement has these additives, we consider it more highly to attack from multiple angles!

3. Probiotic strength

We look for probiotics with more than 1 billion CFU (colony forming units) total.

4. Stability

The probiotics should be in a form that helps the bacteria survive stomach acid. Ideally they’ll be in a capsule with delayed-release or other protection, and not require refrigeration (so they don’t die during transport).

5. Price

The price of the supplement should be fair. We want thoroughly-researched, not thoroughly-marketed.

Here are our top 5:

Best Overall

Wholesome Wellness 100 Billion CFU

Why we love it: This formula includes a whopping 34 different strains of probiotics (including the two specific strains shown in the studies mentioned above to specifically improve vaginal bacterial health). As we mentioned earlier in this article, diversity in types of bacteria is at least as important as the concentration.

On top of that, this formula contains D-Mannose and cranberry fruit extract (proven to prevent UTI-causing bacteria from sticking to the vaginal wall) along with a prebiotic blend and many other herbs associated with positive vaginal health. This is a slam dunk.

What we don't love: It's hard to find a "con" with this product, but it's very concentrated so if you have irritable bowel syndrome or any other digestive issues you'll want to ease into a supplement like this one with a lot of prebiotics (a pure probiotic may be better for you). It could cause discomfort or even exacerbate your digestion problems.

Best Targeted Formula

Integrative Therapies Pro-Flora Women's

Why we love it: This bare-bones formula has the two specific strains that are proven to fight back against the microorganisms that cause urinary tract infections, bacterial vaginosis, and yeast infections. Probiotics typically have an overall colony forming unit (CFU) count but don't break it down by strain, which means they can include more of the cheapest strains without anyone being the wiser.

Since this formula only has the two strains with 1 Billion CFU, you know you're getting exactly what you need and this should be very easy on the digestive system.

What we don't love: When we say this doesn't have anything else in it, we mean it. If you have other microflora concerns besides vaginal health, you're going to have to combine this with another type of probiotic.

Best Whole Food Formula

Garden of Life Vaginal Care

What we love: The Vaginal Care formula contains a massive 50 Billion CFU total and while there's no breakdown per strain, it does include the two most important strains for prevention of UTIs, BV, and yeast infection: L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri.

Another thing we really like about this one is that it also contains a blend of whole food probiotics, so you get the benefit of probiotic foods (like kefir and yogurt) known to maintain vaginal health. Garden of Life also guarantees the potency by overfilling each capsule with probiotics.

What we don't love: Take this how you wish: Garden of Life is owned by Nestlé.

There's no breakdown by strain, so it's possible the formula contains a small amount of the most important strains. Contains dairy. The added fruits and veggies are nice, but it would be better to have added prebiotics.

Best Concentrated Formula

Doctor’s Pick FemPro Probiotic

Why we love it: It shows exactly how much of each strain is in the formula, with a generous amount of L. rhamnosus and L. reuteri as well as 15 other strains (59.5 Billion CFU total!). It also contains an organic prebiotic blend and organic saffron.

What we don’t love: If you have a sensitive stomach the prebiotic blend could be irritating.

Highest Number of Bacteria

Surebounty 4-in-1 Feminine

Why we love it: Every serving has an insane 120 Billion CFU (colony-forming units)! With 34 strains including the 2 we are looking for in a vaginal health probiotic, this is great value for the money and can help with digestion and immunity as well.

What we don’t love: The pills are flimsy so it may not make it past your stomach acid, which is what keeps us from recommending this as the best overall. However, customers seem to have had good results from them (although it could be the prebiotics that are having an impact).

How to Take Probiotics

We recommend taking a probiotic on an empty stomach to give it the best chance possible of making it past the stomach acid, to the gut. If you can’t take it first thing in the morning, before bed is the next best.

You should take them consistently until you see improvement. Take them every day unless you experience digestive discomfort. It’s a good idea to continue taking them afterward and you should combine them with a healthy, probiotic-rich diet.

Check out our full guide to probiotics here.

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