Vitamins for Vaginal Health – Everything You Need To Know Before Buying and Consuming

Elizebeth O’Neill
Elizebeth O’Neill
October 23, 2023
min read
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris
Vitamins for Vaginal Health – Everything You Need To Know Before Buying and Consuming

The vagina is home to a complex ecosystem of microorganisms. This naturally occurring flora plays a pivotal role in fighting infection and regulating pH levels in the vagina. However, many daily activities can disrupt the delicate balance of your vaginal microbiota, such as hormonal changes, medical treatments, and sex. These changes can increase the likelihood of vaginal infections and cause unpleasant feminine odor [1].

Several health supplement companies have developed vitamins for vaginal health to support healthy microbiota. These over-the-counter supplements allegedly help support vaginal health, maintain normal pH levels and prevent vaginal odor. But are they really worth it? This article examines the science behind over-the-counter vaginal vitamins, their potential benefits, and alternative methods for protecting your vagina’s health.

What Are Vitamins for Vaginal Health?

Vaginal vitamins are oral supplements designed to promote the overall health and well-being of your vagina [2]. You can purchase these over-the-counter pills from various online retailers and pharmacies.

These vitamins may support vaginal health by increasing the number of beneficial microorganisms in your vagina and decreasing or eliminating harmful bacteria. By restoring healthy microbiota, the supplements could effectively treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis and other types of infections [3].  

The supplements may also stabilize the vaginal flora environment by regulating the pH balance [3]. pH levels measure the amount of acidity or alkalinity in your vagina. Individuals of reproductive age typically have pH levels ranging from 3.8 to 4.5. However, premenarchal and postmenopausal women may have slightly higher pH levels [4].

pH balance vitamins often contain a group of probiotics called Lactobacillus. These helpful bacteria produce lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide in the vagina. Together, these compounds restore vaginal pH to healthy levels and defend your body against harmful pathogens [2].  

Ingredients in Over-the-Counter Vaginal Vitamins

Vitamins for vaginal odor and health typically contain a combination of active and inactive ingredients. Here are several compounds frequently found in these supplements.

Probiotics in Vaginal Vitamins

Most vaginal vitamins and pH balance pills for women contain probiotics, which are commonly referred to as “good bacteria.” These beneficial microorganisms colonize several areas in the body, including your gut and reproductive tract. They may restore healthy pH levels and prevent health conditions like bacterial and yeast infections [3].

Lactobacillus is the most common genus of probiotics used to promote vaginal health. Some of the species used in vaginal vitamins include [2]:

  • Lactobacillus crispatus
  • Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Lactobacillus gasseri
  • Lactobacillus jensenii
  • Lactobacillus reuteri

Other Ingredients in Vaginal Vitamins

Vitamins for female pH balance can also contain other active ingredients associated with reproductive health. Common ingredients include:

  • Cranberry Extract. Cranberries are a rich source of antioxidants like polyphenols, which promote overall well-being. Additionally, preliminary research suggests that cranberry extract can prevent the bacteria E. coli from binding to the bladder’s walls. As a result, this ingredient could treat acute urinary tract infections (UTIs) and reduce the likelihood of recurring infections. However, more studies are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of cranberry extract in managing UTIs [5]. You can learn more about the science behind cranberry juice/extract for UTIs in this blog.
  • Vitamin C. One 2013 study suggests that taking 250 mg of vitamin C vaginally may lower vaginal pH and relieve symptoms of bacterial vaginosis. However, few researchers have examined the impact of oral vitamin C on vaginal health [6]. While taking vitamin C supplements orally does not hurt, inserting vitamin C suppositories inside your vagina is not a clinical practice and is not recommended.
  • Bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that naturally occurs in pineapples. A 2022 pre-print study suggests that this compound has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties that may reduce dysmenorrhea, or pain during menstruation [7]. Over-the-counter Bromelain supplements claim to help with muscle soreness, pain, burns, kidney stones, and many other conditions, but research seriously lacks to support these uses.
  • Garlic Extract. Some people believe that inserting garlic in your vagina can eliminate an overgrowth of yeast and fight yeast infections. According to a 2020 study, garlic extract can alter the genes of certain strains of Candida albicans, which can cause vaginal yeast infections. This gene alteration can alleviate the symptoms of these infections. However, there is no evidence that garlic has this effect on vaginal health [8].

Vaginal vitamins typically list their ingredients on the label or the product description page on the manufacturer’s website. Your doctor can help you understand these ingredients' purpose and potential benefits or drawbacks.

Supplement Facts label of popular vaginal vitamins. Common ingredients include probiotic Lactobacilli strains, cranberry extract to support urinary tract health, and other ingredients such as garlic extract and Vitamin C.
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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 [9].  Lactobacillus (good bacteria that lives in the vagina) metabolites are known to stimulate the production of antimicrobial peptides and anti-inflammatory cytokines [13], thus preventing harmful pathogens (such as those from BV) from adhering to vaginal tissues through competitive rejection [14]. 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 [3].
  • 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 [9].
  • 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 [10]. 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 [3].

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 [3].

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 [18]. Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic to treat this disorder [9].

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 [3].

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 [2]:

  • 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 [5].

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 [11].
  • 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 [11].
  • 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 [2].

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 [3]. 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 [12]:

  • 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.


[1] G. Leyva-Gómez, M. Del Prado-Audelo, et al., “Modifications in Vaginal Microbiota and Their Influence on Drug Release: Challenge and Opportunities,” Pharmaceutics, vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 217, May 2019.

[2] Cleveland Clinic Staff, “Are Probiotics Good for Vaginal Health?” Cleveland Clinic. [Accessed October 2, 2023].  

[3] Z. Mei and D. Li, “The role of probiotics in vaginal health,” Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, vol. 12, 2022.

[4] Y. Lin, W. Chen, et al., “Vaginal pH Value for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Vaginitis,” Diagnostics, vol. 11, no. 11, October 2021.

[5] O. Gbinigie, E. Spencer, et al., “Cranberry Extract for Symptoms of Acute, Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infection: A Systematic Review,” Antibiotics, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 12, 2020.

[6] V. Krasnopolsky, V. Prilepskaya, et al., “Efficacy of Vitamin C Vaginal Tablets as Prophylaxis for Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis: A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 309-315, June 2013.

[7] Z. Estrada and F. Carmona, “Study of the recommended dosage of the N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Bromelain and Zinc preparation as a treatment for dysmenorrhea,” medRxiv. [Accessed October 2, 2023]

[8] M. Said, C. Watson, and D. Grando, “Garlic alters the expression of putative virulence factor genes SIR2 and ECE1 in vulvovaginal C. albicans isolates,” Scientific Reports, vol. 10, 2020. [Accessed October 11, 2023]

[9] Cleveland Clinic Staff, “Bacterial Vaginosis,” Cleveland Clinic. [Accessed October 2, 2023].

[10] Cleveland Clinic Staff, “Vaginal Yeast Infection,” Cleveland Clinic. [Accessed October 2, 2023].

[11] NIH Staff, "Probiotics: What You Need To Know," National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Care[Accessed October 2, 2023].

[12] Cleveland Clinic Staff, “9 Tips To Keep Your Vagina and Vulva Healthy,” Cleveland Clinic. [Accessed October 2, 2023].

[13] Niu, X. X., Li, T., Zhang, X., Wang, S. X., Liu, Z. H. (2017). "Lactobacillus crispatus modulates vaginal epithelial cell innate response to candida albicans". Chin. Med. J. (Engl) 130 (3), 273–279. [Accessed Oct 6. 2023].

[14] Han, Y., Ren, Q. L. (2021). Does probiotics work for bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis. Curr. Opin. Pharmacol. 61, 83–90. [Accessed Oct 6. 2023].

[15] Mitra, A., MacIntyre, D. A., Lee, Y. S., Smith, A., Marchesi, J. R., Lehne, B., et al. (2015). Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia disease progression is associated with increased vaginal microbiome diversity. Sci. Rep. 5, 16865.

[16] Mitra, A., MacIntyre, D. A., Ntritsos, G., Smith, A., Tsilidis, K. K., Marchesi, J. R., et al. (2020). The vaginal microbiota associates with the regression of untreated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 lesions. Nat. Commun. 11 (1), 1999.

[17] Jang, S. E., Jeong, J. J., Choi, S. Y., Kim, H., Han, M. J., Kim, D. H. (2017). Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 and lactobacillus acidophilus la-14 attenuate gardnerella vaginalis-infected bacterial vaginosis in mice. Nutrients 9 (6), 531.

[18] L. Mohammed, M. Javed, et al. “Live Bacteria Supplementation as Probiotic for Managing Fishy, Odorous Vaginal Discharge Disease of Bacterial Vaginosis: An Alternative Treatment Option?” Cureus, vol. 12, no. 12, December 2020. [Accessed October 11, 2023].

About the Author
Elizebeth O’Neill

Elizabeth O’Neill is a highly experienced nursing professional with a passion for educating others about important health issues. With a degree in nursing and extensive experience in the medical field, she has dedicated her career to helping others live their best, healthiest lives.

In her current role as a medical content writer for Diagnox, Elizabeth is able to utilize her knowledge and experience to inform and educate consumers on the importance of proactive screening and overall health. She is particularly passionate about women's health issues, and loves working with Diagnox to spread awareness about these important topics.

Throughout her career, Elizabeth has consistently demonstrated her dedication to helping others and improving the health of her community. She is highly respected by her colleagues and is known for her professionalism, compassion, and expertise. Whether she is working directly with patients or writing articles to educate the public, Elizabeth is always focused on making a positive impact on the lives of others.

About the Reviewer
This blog was
Technically reviewed by: 
Adele Morris

Adele Morris served as the editor and proofreader of this blog, displaying her exceptional editorial skills and expertise in the field.

The blog was also reviewed by the Diagnox content team. Diagnox Staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, content writers, and healthcare professionals with an expertise to create and review high-quality, informative, accurate, and easy-to-understand content for both professionals and everyday readers. Our staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the credibility and authenticity of the information, reviewing them independently and verifying them by various scientific and technical sources to ensure accuracy. Our review team believes in delivering knowledge free from bias to improve public health and well-being.

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