Probiotics are gaining popularity due to their ability to cultivate healthy bacteria. Products like kombucha that contain probiotics are sold more widely than ever before. Instead of being relegated to health food stores, you can now pick up a flavored bottle at your local supermarket or convenience store. When people hear about bacteria cultivation, though, some may understandably hesitant. What keeps them probiotics from also containing bad bacteria? Can they cause yeast infections by introducing bacteria into the body? Read on to learn more about how probiotics affect your body, and why you shouldn’t hold back on consuming them.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria that provide benefits for the body. They’re sometimes just called “good” bacteria. Unlike the bacteria that causes infections, probiotics help the body stay balanced and healthy. Probiotics for the stomach and intestines can be found in yogurt and kombucha, along with supplements. They are often suggested after taking antibiotics, since antibiotics flush out all bacteria, good and bad. If you’ve gotten a UTI after sex, you were probably prescribed antibiotics to treat it. Probiotics are often recommended to balance out the harsh effects of antibiotics. They are also the best UTI prevention, since they help positive bacteria flourish. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium are two probiotics that are both found in dairy products.
What Causes Yeast Infections?
Yeast infections are caused by an excessive growth of Candida albicans, often just called Candida. Sometimes, taking antibiotics can cause women to get yeast infections because they upset the bacteria naturally found in the vagina, and cause helpful strains to die out. The symptoms are painful, and include the following:
- Burning, especially during sex and urination
- Swelling around the vagina
- Redness or rash
- Excessive discharge
Other causes include diabetes, hormonal imbalances, bad eating habits that include lots of sugary food, sleep deprivation and stress.
How Do Probiotics Affect Yeast Infections?
Just like probiotics are used to introduce positive bacteria to the stomach and digestive system, they can be used to introduce helpful bacteria to the vaginal area. Lactobacillus is the specific probiotic that is typically recommended to prevent yeast infections before they occur. By introducing healthy bacteria into the vagina, they restore balance to the microflora found there. Lactobacillus is thought to slow the growth of yeast, making sure it does not become excessive and develop into an infection.
When the vagina has a healthy store of bacteria, it’s harder for infections like Candida to take effect. Keeping the vagina health with probiotics also helps treat recurring, antibiotic-resistant UTIs. What causes recurrent UTIs? Often, it is bacteria from the original infection hiding in the bladder and spreading back into the urinary tract after the antibiotics seem to have cleared out the infection. Probiotics are known most widely for their positive effect on digestive health, but the same good bacteria can also improve the overall health of the vagina and prevent infections.
Probiotics are an excellent tool for restoring a healthy balance to the vaginal microflora, or bacterial system, to prevent a yeast infection and promote overall health. Try probiotics today for all-natural protection against infections.