Probiotics for BV: Do They Really Work?

Updated on March 4th, 2020
probiotics for bv

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) needs no introduction as it is an extremely common vaginal infection among women of age 14 to 45 years.  However, most of the women silently suffer from it. But what you need to understand is that untreated Bacterial vaginosis can lead to some pretty serious complications.

Of course, there are several creams, ointments, and vaginal tablets available on the market, but many of them do not cure BV completely. However, a double-blind RCT unearthed that probiotics vaginal suppositories can greatly decrease the rate of recurrent BV. Since many studies that support its efficacy have evolved,  an increasing number of women are now considering probiotics for BV as effective in curing BV.

What are Probiotics?

Probiotics Benefits

Actually, probiotics are living microorganisms that, when consumed, provide copious health benefits. They are, in fact, live bacteria and yeast which are good for our digestive health.

Does Probiotics Help With BV?

BV is nothing but an imbalance in the ratio of good and bad bacteria in the vagina. Probiotics are usually the good or helpful bacteria that will help you maintain the right balance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina.

Now, when the bad bacteria outnumber the good ones, probiotics will help you replace the good bacteria. As a result, you can maintain a healthy, BV free vagina.

[Also Read: Get Rid Of BV Without Antibiotics]

How to Use Probiotics for BV Prevention?

Probiotics either can be taken orally or inserted in the vagina using an applicator. There are numerous probiotics supplements available on the market in both cases. However, make sure to consult your doctor if you are considering taking probiotics vaginally for BV prevention.

What Are the Foods That Contain Probiotics?

when it comes to probiotics, whole foods that contain probiotics are recommended by many experts than taking them either orally supplement form or through vaginal administration i.

There are numerous probiotic foods that are highly healthy.

  1. Yogurt: Made from milk which is fermented by good bacteria mainly lactic and acid bacteria.
  2. Sauerkraut: Finely cut cabbage that is fermented by lactic acid bacteria.
  3. Miso: It is a Japanese seasoning.
  4. Pickled cucumbers: Cucumbers are left to ferment in a solution of salt and water.
  5. Cheese (Gouda, mozzarella(1), cheddar, and cottage cheese)

[Also Read: Apple Cider Vinegar for BV]

Is There Any Evidence to Prove That Probiotics Treat BV?

Bacterial Vaginosis
Image: ShutteStock

Well, there is some scientific evidence which supports that probiotics in yogurt, capsules, and vaginal suppositories could cure BV and treat the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the vagina.

In 1996, a study was conducted on a small group of women for BV prevention. During the study, half of the women who consumed probiotic yogurt that contained lactobacillus acidophilus had a better number of lactobacillus bacteria in their vaginas when compared to the women who didn’t consume.

As a result, the women who had the probiotics yogurt were also actually less prone to have bacterial vaginosis when compared to the women who didn’t. Clearly, the end results of the study imply that the probiotics had some sort of positive effect on women who had vaginal imbalances.

In a similar study(2), half of the women in the group who had BV had taken antibiotics for a week, while the other half of the women had taken antibiotics with probiotics for a month. The cure rate in the women who had taken antibiotics along with probiotics was significantly higher than the women who had not.

Also, there are other studies which have proven that taking daily one probiotic suppository for BV is effective not only in treating but also in preventing BV in the future.

There’s more research required to say whether probiotics are the best cure to treat and prevent BV.  However, diet and lifestyle are the two important factors that play a vital role in preventing yeast infections and BV.

Make sure you don’t use either regular soaps or perfumed soaps in and around the vaginal area. There are other products that can be used to clean and maintain a good pH balance in your vaginal area. So consult your doctor first to make an informed decision.


1. Can Probiotics Be Taken Every Day?

Yes, you can take probiotics on a daily basis. However, consult your doctor to get more clarity on how often you can take it because every woman with BV reacts probiotics in a different way.

2. Are There Any Side Effects of Probiotics?

There are no major side effects of probiotics. However, it may cause little unpleasant digestive symptoms and/or slight headache.

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