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Do you need probiotics to keep vaginal infections at bay? Let’s find out

Published on:20 July 2021, 09:30am IST
There are vaginal probiotics available today to avoid vaginal infections, but are they really effective? Read on to know more.
Geetika Sachdev
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Be cautious if you think of going for vaginal probiotics. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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When we speak about health, there are multiple supplements available today. There’s something for every part of the body — and while that’s great, it does leave us confused at times. It may sound surprising but there are an array of products for your vagina, and probiotics — the darling of the health industry — joins this list too! But what’s more important to understand is that do we even require them? Or are they just another fad?

Well, a lot of experts say probiotics are not just for your gut, but also your vagina. These could be pills or even capsules that can be inserted into your vagina with the help of an applicator. There’s not much evidence to show that these are helpful, but let’s break it down for you.  

Also read: Feeling wet down there? Here’s everything you need to know about experiencing vaginal wetness

Here’s why vaginal probiotics are used

We completely understand that it all sounds so bizarre, but how about giving them a shot? There are several reasons why they are used, most common being for bacterial yeast infections. In this scenario, a fungus called candida grows to an extent that it disturbs the balance of healthy bacteria in your vagina. This infection is generally accompanied by itchiness and cottage cheese-like discharge. 

Probiotics are packed full of healthy bacteria. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The other reason why women use these probiotics is to deal with bacterial vaginosis. In these cases, harmful bacteria grow to an extent that they outnumber healthy bacteria like lactobacillus. Many women experience a fishy smell, especially after their period or sex. There’s also gray-greenish discharge that can be seen. 

Some women also use it to keep their vaginal health in good shape. But while all that sounds great, some experts believe that introducing any other bacteria in the vagina could also be potentially harmful. 

Also read: Guard yourself against vaginal infections during monsoon with these 7 tips

So, does it work?

There really is no clear cut answer, because there are two sides to the story. Some scientists believe that vaginal probiotics can restore the healthy balance of bacteria in the vagina. Others do not have much to say, since there’s barely any conclusive evidence. This could change once there’s more information around this. As of now, antibiotic and antifungal medications are largely used to treat yeast infections. 

Probiotics create a healthy environment in your vagina. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
How about the risks?

Since there’s not much proof to show the effectiveness of probiotics, it is essential to handle them with caution. Some scientists have revealed the harmful effects of probiotics, including infections, unlisted ingredients that could pose health risks as well as unsafe substances made by probiotic microorganisms. 

Of course, your chances of falling prey to side-effects is higher, when you have a serious illness or any issues with your immune system. 

Geetika Sachdev Geetika Sachdev

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town.