Users rave about Renew Life's positive effect on bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection, and vaginal odor. Also works for urinary tract infections. Note that this probiotic requires refrigeration.
Expensive. Not for sensitive stomachs.
D-mannose is found in cranberries and helps treat urinary tract infections, so this is a great probiotic for frequent sufferers. Users say these work for yeast infections as well.
Can cause gasiness for some.
Users report constipation, bloating, and nausea relief. Works for those with frequent digestive pain and those with stomach ulcers.
A few people report breakouts from the capsules.
Multiple users say that they notice improvements in bacterial vaginosis. Also helps with mild digestive problems. No refrigeration required.
May still cause stomach discomfort for some.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Probiotics are bacteria that are good for your body, especially your digestive system. Ingesting probiotics through food or daily supplements can help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria and ward off infection and disease. For the average woman, getting an adequate level of healthy bacteria through foods can be difficult — that’s why probiotic supplements are so effective. Taking probiotic supplements specifically intended for women can help with weight loss, healthy hair and nails, and other related areas that women deal with in particular.
When shopping for women’s probiotics, you’ll want to consider a few things beforehand. Be mindful of a product’s CFU levels and how many active cultures it contains.
Check what form your supplement comes in: capsule, powder, or chewable. It’s important to have an idea of how large a dose you can safely take daily to get the results you’re looking for. Finally, ladies will want to consider any other active ingredients that specifically target women’s health.
Anyone, male or female, can take a probiotic to help support digestive health. In turn, the health of the gut is thought to support other systems in the body, including the immune system and reproductive system. When shopping for probiotics for women, look for products that specifically target your issues of concern. Some of the better products contain ingredients that provide support for vaginal health, brain and memory function, metabolism, and other health areas of interest to women.
When describing how many different types of “good bacteria” are in probiotics, the term “active cultures” is used. You’ll also come across the term or acronym CFUs, meaning colony-forming units. This term is used to describe bacteria levels and how many are capable of dividing and forming colonies. These numbers are important because they determine how potent your product will ultimately be. That said, a higher number doesn’t always mean better; it depends on what your body needs. Your personal goals and overall sense of well-being help determine what CFU level is right for you.
If you’re simply looking to increase overall health and give your digestive system a boost, a good range for a daily probiotic generally falls between 5 and 15 billion CFUs. However, higher levels (like 20 to 50 billion) can be effective when dealing with specific problems.
Fast and effective
Stress, aging, diet, and certain medications can upset the gut. Renew Life Probiotics help keep everything in balance. Formulated specifically for women, Ultimate Flora Probiotic offers 90 billion live cultures and 12 different probiotic strains. Its slow-release vegetarian capsules ensure effective and potent delivery, and they can be purchased as a one-month or two-month supply.
Capsules are the most common way that probiotic supplements are taken, mainly due to convenience and effectiveness. One of the biggest reasons they’re effective in this form is ease of storage; they can be stored in cabinets or in the refrigerator in capsule form. Many probiotics are not heat and moisture sensitive, so they may not always need refrigeration. However, because they are live bacteria, refrigeration will usually help extend shelf life.
For women who prefer not to swallow capsules or pills, chewables work well. They’re also ideal for children. Chewables provide all of the benefits of a capsule but are much easier to take on a daily basis. Chewables tend to contain fewer CFUs per dose and don’t last as long on the shelf. Considering these supplements come in tasty gummy or chewable form, they may also contain extra ingredients, some of which may not be desirable.
Probiotics also come in powder form. These work well for women with busy schedules, since they’re easy to store and can combine some level of convenience and tastiness. Users can mix the powder (flavored or unflavored) with water or their favorite drink. Some powders come in mini-packet form so users can easily stash them in a pocket or purse.
As many people know, probiotics can already be found in some familiar foods. Yogurt and sauerkraut naturally contain probiotics and are great to include in your diet. The main issue is that they won’t deliver nearly as many CFUs or specific bacteria the way some supplements can.
Some products require you to take one capsule daily; others may require four. Because everyone is different, it’s important to understand the recommended dosage amounts. If you want to see results, follow the recommended dosage made by manufacturers or your doctor.
Keep your probiotic supplements out of extreme temperatures to extend their shelf life.
It’s especially important not to take probiotics that have reached their expiration date. It’s important for all supplements, but especially for probiotics — you want your good bacteria to be alive and well.
Evidence suggests that certain probiotic strains can help people lose weight. If you’re looking to support weight loss, try an effective probiotic along with a healthy diet and exercise.
Low: $15 to $20
This is where you’ll find your one month’s supply of basic probiotics. Products in this price range contain everything you need to get started but probably not much more. Start here and work your way up if you’re serious about taking the first step toward improving digestive or gut health. Be mindful of storage and expiration, as these products may not have the longest shelf life.
Mid: $20 to $35
Mid-priced items typically contain additional properties to help with specific health areas such as vaginal health, weight loss, and brain health. This is where you can also find many probiotic products that do a great job supporting overall health.
High: $35 to $45
Pricier probiotics for women contain two or three months’ worth of probiotic supplements and likely contain a high number of active cultures, or CFUs. Ingredients geared toward specific feminine needs may also be included. Products like powder tubs and packets will be in this range, as they tend to have a longer shelf life.
A budget-minded choice
This is an inexpensive probiotic supplement that contains d-mannose, a powerful ingredient that can help prevent urinary tract infections, vaginal odor, and yeast infections. It contains non-GMO ingredients, it’s completely vegan, and it contains no binders, including soy, gluten, milk, egg, wheat, color additives, and preservatives.
Probiotics are best taken on an empty stomach when acid levels are low.
Avoid taking probiotics with chlorinated water. Chlorine kills bacteria and undoubtedly lessens the effect of the probiotic supplement.
There are plenty of probiotic products on the market made specifically for women. During our research, we also considered Probiotics for Women by Intimate Rose. It includes a blend of prebiotics and probiotics, along with cranberry and d-mannose to support nutrient absorption and increase digestive performance. It provides 10 billion CFUs and four different active strains. Its properties help regulate pH and control vaginal flora, and it’s safe for women who are pregnant.
A lower-cost alternative is Nature’s Way Probiotic Pearls Once Daily softgel capsules. It contains three active cultures directly formulated for women to maintain yeast balance, support the immune system, and protect against bloating and constipation. The softgels are easy to swallow, gluten-free, and don’t require refrigeration.
Q. Are there any side effects to taking probiotics?
A. Probiotic supplements are generally safe to take. However, there is a slight adjustment period that many new users may have to endure. During the first week of consumption, new users may experience mild stomach pain due to gas. These symptoms should go away as the body regulates.
Q. What is the main difference between probiotics for men and probiotics for women?
A. Probiotics designed for women focus on vaginal health, mood support, and a healthy immune system. Products vary.though, so be sure to review labeling if you’re looking for help in specific areas.
Q. How long before I notice results?
A. The digestive properties of probiotics should take effect within the first few days of use. Some may experience mild adverse effects for the first day or two, but within a few weeks, you should begin to feel the benefits.
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