Uses for Vaginal Health Vitamins
People use vaginal vitamins with probiotics to treat several conditions, including:
- Bacterial Vaginosis. This common infection is caused by an overgrowth of abnormal bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include a burning sensation while urinating; vaginal itching; off-white or gray vaginal discharge; and a fishy odor. However, many people are asymptomatic . Lactobacillus (good bacteria that lives in the vagina) metabolites are known to stimulate the production of antimicrobial peptides and anti-inflammatory cytokines , thus preventing harmful pathogens (such as those from BV) from adhering to vaginal tissues through competitive rejection . Individuals with vaginal flora imbalances are more susceptible to infections, such as BV. Vaginal vitamins containing strains of Lactobacillus can support a balanced vaginal flora to prevent and possibly treat bacterial vaginosis.
- Cervical Cancer. This cancer occurs in the cervix (lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina). Many studies have proved that the composition of vaginal microorganisms is related to the development of high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) infection and cervical lesions [15-17]. Approximately 300,000 people die from cervical cancer annually, so prevention is a top concern for many women, especially those with a family history of cervical disorders .
- Vaginal Odor. Vaginal odor is a common condition faced by many women. In the majority of cases, an imbalance in vaginal flora is the main culprit behind the odor. This imbalance results in pH imbalance and health conditions like bacterial vaginosis, which can cause an undesirable vaginal odor. Vitamins for feminine odor may resolve this issue by restoring a healthy vaginal microbiota and treating the underlying condition .
- Yeast Infection. This vaginal infection occurs when excessive fungus candida grows in the vagina. Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching and redness in the vagina and vulva; thick, white vaginal discharge; and burning during urination . Hormonal imbalances, uses of antibiotics, weekend immune system, and lifestyle choices can contribute to vaginal yeast infections. Use of vaginal vitamins and probiotics can support a healthy environment within vagina, decreasing the risk of vaginal thrush.
Abnormal microflora in the vagina could increase risk of cervical cancer in some women [15 -17].
Do Over-the-Counter Vaginal Vitamins Work?
Research suggests that vaginal vitamins and other pH-balance products containing probiotics may positively impact the reproductive tract. Here are three potential benefits.
Probiotics for Bacterial and Yeast Vaginal Infections
Imbalances in the vaginal microflora can lead to bacterial and yeast infections, including bacterial vaginosis, aerobic vaginitis, and vulvovaginal candidiasis. Several studies show that taking supplements containing Lactobacillus strains can encourage the growth of healthy microflora in the vagina .
These probiotics also encourage the turnover of cervical epithelial cells and inhibit the growth of harmful pathogens that cause bacterial vaginal infections. As a result, they can improve vaginal health and may prevent conditions like bacterial vaginosis .
Probiotics for Vaginal Odor
Bacterial vaginosis and other health conditions can cause a strong, fishy odor. Vaginal vitamins containing Lactobacilli probiotics help restore the vaginal pH to a healthy acidic range. As a result, they can help treat bacterial vaginosis and ward off odor caused by this condition . Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to treat this disorder .
Probiotics for Cervical Cancer
Several studies have discovered that certain strains of Lactobacillus can kill cervical cancer cells. These types of probiotics also release antitumor metabolites, such as phosphorylated polysaccharides. Research suggests that these compounds may inhibit the growth of malignant tumors in the reproductive tract. In addition, Lactobacilli can boost the immune system and reduce the rate of high-risk HPV infection, which has been linked to cervical cancer .
More research is needed to understand the impact of probiotics on cervical cancer fully. However, these preliminary studies suggest that taking vitamins for vaginal odor and other issues may help fight cancer.
Are Vitamins for pH Balance Worth It?
Vaginal vitamins are a relatively new trend, and researchers have only begun investigating their effects on vaginal health. Here’s an overview of these supplements' potential benefits and drawbacks so you can decide if they’re worth the investment.
Possible Benefits of Vaginal Vitamins
Research suggests that the best vitamins for vaginal health contain Lactobacillus probiotics. These helpful bacteria may :
- Maintain the proper level of acidity in the vagina
- Prevent yeast and bacterial infections
- Restore healthy microflora
Additionally, vitamins containing cranberry extract could help prevent UTIs .
Drawbacks of Vaginal Vitamins
Vitamins for vaginal health have several downsides, including:
- Expense. Most vaginal vitamins cost between $15 to $35 for a 30-day supply. This expense can add up over time, especially if you make these supplements part of your daily regimen.
- Lack of Research. Few scientists have studied vaginal vitamins, so the long-term side effects of taking the pills are still unknown. However, some probiotics have been found to contain dangerous contaminants .
- Little Oversight. The Food and Drug Administration currently classifies probiotics as a dietary supplement, not a medication. As a result, manufacturers don’t need to prove that their products prevent or treat vaginal diseases .
- Alternative Sources. You may be able to get the benefits of vaginal vitamins naturally from food instead of paying for an extra supplement. For example, manufacturers add the probiotic L. rhamnosus to cheese, milk, and yogurt .
It’s always a good idea to consult a healthcare provider for guidance about supplements. They can help you decide if a vaginal vitamin is right for you.
If you do decide to try a vaginal vitamin, look for a product that contains broad strains of Lactobacillus. These probiotics have been proven to improve vaginal health and promote healthy flora . Additionally, choose a vitamin from an authentic brand highly regarded by healthcare providers to minimize the risk of contamination.
Other Tips To Promote Vaginal Health
Taking vitamins to prevent yeast infections and other disorders isn’t the only way to improve vaginal health. These strategies can also help you maintain a normal pH level and fight harmful pathogens :
- Only clean the outside of your vagina with a gentle soap and water.
- Avoid using dryer sheets and laundry detergent with harsh chemicals, which can cause irritation.
- Schedule routine Pap smears.
- Visit your gynecologist if you notice symptoms like changes in your vaginal discharge, itching, and abnormal bleeding.
- Use condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise frequently to enhance all areas of your well-being.
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations to treat health conditions like diabetes, which can contribute to yeast infections and UTIs.
Monitor Your Health With Vaginox pH Test Strips
Many women take a daily vitamin or probiotic for vaginal odor, yeast infections, and other health issues. However, these supplements can be expensive and may not improve vaginal health for everyone.
Monitoring your vaginal health can help you decide whether to try a vitamin for pH balance. Vaginox is an affordable and convenient vaginal pH test that you can perform in the comfort of your home. The test can help check signs of common issues like bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis.
This simple test takes less than a minute to complete. Swab your vagina, place the sample on the test strip, and use the included color chart to assess your results after 30 seconds. If the results indicate a pH imbalance, you can follow up with your doctor to determine if you need a vaginal vitamin or other treatments.
Order a Vaginox kit today to start tracking your vaginal health.