Probiotics for Women: Health Benefits You Should Consider
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Probiotics contain a wide variety of health benefits, especially for women. Scientific research is constantly discovering the new uses and functionalities of probiotics and how they are related to pregnancy (1).
Your intestine is a complex ecosystem, responsible for the absorption of nutrients and is in permanent contact with external agents (antigens) and foreign substances on a daily basis, so you must take precaution and take proper care of it.
The intestine is the largest organ in the human body. The microbiota, formerly called intestinal flora, is an organ of the digestive system and consists of some 400-500 species of yeast and bacteria.
The balance of the intestinal microbiota can be altered by stress, drugs (such as abuse of antibiotics, antacids, corticosteroids, birth control pills ...), a poor diet, or chronic diseases.
Benefits of Probiotics for Women
The probiotics used for constipation or general digestive well-being are the same for all genders. However, probiotics for women fulfill several important functions, such as protecting the urogenital tract to prevent possible infections by other pathogenic microorganisms, especially during pregnancy.
Probiotics for women can help with pre-menopausal symptoms, breast and bone health, they also act as powerful detoxifiers and participate in the elimination of medications and harmful compounds in the body (2).
Consumed in sufficient quantities and permanently, probiotics make the following contributions to health:
- They increase resistance to infections by potentially pathogenic organisms in the intestine.
- They decrease the risk and appearance of diarrhea (especially associated with antibiotic abuse and traveler's diarrhea).
- Reduce lactose intolerance (promote digestion at the intestinal level).
- Increases the absorption of nutrients (better digestion, increased absorption of vitamins and minerals).
- Regulate intestinal motility (relieve constipation and irritable bowel syndrome).
- Maintenance of the integrity of the intestinal mucosa.
Probiotics during Pregnancy & Lactation
The extensive research that has been carried out in recent years on the microbiota has shown that a good microbiota can influence fertility and also the development of a good pregnancy.
Furthermore, beneficial bacteria are transferred from the mother to the child, and a good or bad microbiota from the mother can have implications for the health of the child from pregnancy, during lactation and in the early stages of life.
Importance of Probiotics during Pregnancy
One of the most frequent vaginal infections in women of childbearing age is bacterial vaginosis (BV). This infection occurs when the lactobacillus (bacteria that inhabits the vagina and defends it against infections), decrease their number for any reason and are replaced by other bacteria, mainly Gardnerella vaginalis (3).
This infection is not always symptomatic, which is why many women can be infected without even knowing it. The microorganisms responsible for bacterial vaginosis are the cause of many infertilities because they act negatively on the sperm and on the implantation of the embryo.
The authors of the study suggest that before undergoing in vitro fertility treatment, women undergo a review to rule out bacterial vaginosis and, if the result is positive, medical treatment should be applied, and supplements should be consumed.
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