Probiotics are naturally found bacteria and yeasts in your body. They are often called “helpful” or “good bacteria” because they help in keeping your gut healthy. The vagina is an environmental battleground for good and bad bacteria. Good bacteria have a number of benefits constitutional to health. But when they are superseded by other bacteria after taking antibiotics, having diabetes, being pregnant or using birth control pills – undesirable things can occur. When certain types of bad bacteria colonize the vagina they produce enzymes and release amine byproducts. This can lead to increase pH, fishy odor and sometimes discharge. In some cases, bad bacteria can change the vaginal environment making it more prone to yeast species Candida is a cause of yeast infections.
- Probiotics may help balance the bacteria present in vagina and prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria.
- Since pregnant women are more susceptible to vaginal infections, probiotics also have special role in fetal health. Probiotics are a potential boon for maternal health, because bacterial vaginosis has been indicated as a contributing factor to pre-term labor.
- Having probiotic-rich diet, a person can maintain a healthy immune system.
Foods that can be used as probiotics are:
- Yogurt is the most well-known source of probiotics, but frozen yogurt is not.
- Dairy foods like cheeses, buttermilk, Kefir and fermented and unfermented milk
- Soy drinks and other products like tempeh and miso
- Sauerkraut, pickles and kimchee
If you think that you are not getting enough probiotics from your diet, then daily probiotics supplements can help.