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The best probiotic for women may aid gut, vaginal, and overall health by supporting bacteria found naturally in the body. However, research on the effectiveness of probiotics in treating various illnesses is ongoing.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

A probiotic is a live microorganism that may benefit a person when consumed in the right amounts.

Probiotics live throughout the body and are especially prevalent in the digestive tract, where they may inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. Gut bacteria also have many other functions, including supplying essential nutrients.

Imbalances in bacteria happen for several reasons, including:

  • chronic illness
  • a side effect of taking antibiotics and other medications
  • diet

Probiotics may reduce digestive symptoms such as inflammatory bowel diseases and may be helpful in the treatment and prevention of vaginal infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Further research suggests that probiotics may prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea and improve ulcerative colitis and gum disease symptoms.

Probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but some yeasts could also be probiotics.

A range of foods, particularly fermented foods like yogurt and miso, may contain probiotics.

Learn about dietary sources of probiotics here.

MNT chooses the best probiotics for women by considering the following factors:

CFUs

Most probiotic manufacturers measure bacteria count according to colony-forming units, or CFU. A higher CFU number means the product contains more bacteria.

We include products with a high CFU stated clearly on the product.

Bacteria strains

Different probiotic bacteria do different things. For example, Bifidobacterium may help with gut health, while Lactobacillus may support vaginal health.

Research shows that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria, for example, may help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults.

We have included probiotics with different strains, including multiple options with a blend of bacteria strains.

Use and dosage

We choose products that clearly state ideal use, including recommended dosage, when to take them, storage suggestions, and any contraindications.

We also choose brands that outline possible timelines for seeing health benefits.

Safety

Companies may advertise that they have designed the probiotics for a specific purpose, such as digestive or vaginal health. However, probiotics have not been determined as universally safe or effective.

We have vetted brands and choose products that do not make unsubstantiated health claims or promises.

Learn more about the best probiotics here.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for vaginal health: Wisp Daily Probiotics

  • Price: $30
  • Product size: 180 tablets (90 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: Lactobillus acidophilus
  • CFU: 200 billion
  • Dose: 2 capsules
  • Price: $30

Wisp claims these probiotics may help to support vaginal health and prevent chronic bacterial vaginosis (BV) or chronic UTIs.

Wisp recommends these probiotics if people are using antibiotics or antifungal drugs for vaginal infections.

One bottle contains 180 tablets, equivalent to a 90-day supply. Each capsule contains 200 billion CFU of Lactobillus acidophilus.

Wisp suggests taking one tablet twice daily and states that health improvements should be noticeable within six weeks.

The product contains gelatin and is unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Wisp offers free delivery, subscription options, and the ability to speak with an in-house pharmacist or medical professional.

Read our review of Wisp here.

Best for gut health: Ritual Synbiotic+

  • Price: $54
  • Product size: 30 capsules (30 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium animalis
  • CFU: 11 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule

Ritual claims that its Synbiotic+ product helps balance the gut microbiome. It contains a blend of prebiotic, probiotic, and postbiotic bacteria.

The bottle contains 30 capsules. Each capsule has 11 billion CFU and different bacterial strains, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus.

It is vegan and free from major allergens, including gluten.

Ritual claims this probiotic blend may ease bloating, gas, and diarrhea, alongside supporting immune system health.

A person can take one capsule daily in either the morning or evening without food. This probiotic does not require refrigeration.

Ritual offers free shipping and a money-back guarantee.

Read our review of Ritual vitamins here.

Best for urinary tract health: HUM Private Party Supplements

  • Price: $26
  • Product size: 30 capsules (30 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus reuteri
  • CFU: 10 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule

HUM claims its Private Party supplements support the urinary tract and balance the vaginal microbiome.

Individuals receive 30 capsules when ordering a bottle of these supplements.

This probiotic contains 10 billion CFU and strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus reuteri, alongside cranberry extract.

The capsules are vegan and do not contain artificial colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and GMOs. They are also free from:

People can take one Private Party supplement daily and may experience noticeable effects within 8 weeks.

Best personalized: Persona Daily Probiotic

  • Price: $0.50 daily
  • Product size: Varies
  • Bacteria strains: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Lactobacillus salivarius, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Amount of bacteria: 3 billion CFU
  • Dose: 1 capsule, 3 time daily

Persona is a personalized vitamin subscription service, offering supplement recommendations specific to a person’s health and wellness goals.

Persona claims this probiotic can support healthy digestion, immune health, and emotional wellbeing.

Each capsule contains 10 billion CFU of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG.

The company recommends people take the probiotic differently depending on the time of day:

  • in the morning, take with or after breakfast
  • in the evening, take with a snack or dinner
  • at night, take an hour before going to bed

Persona states that this product is non-GMO and free from:

However, the company also says that it manufactures the probiotics in a facility that handles these allergens, so cross-contamination may occur. These capsules contain gelatin, making them unsuitable for vegetarians or vegans.

Read our review of Persona vitamins here.

Best for travel: Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules

  • Price: $19.99-23.99
  • Product size: 30-50 (30-50 day supply)
  • Bacteria strain: Lactobacillus rhamnosus
  • CFU 10 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule

These capsules include L. rhamnosus GG, which may help support digestive health and ease bloating and diarrhea. Additionally, it contains the prebiotic inulin to support the gut’s microbiome.

Culturelle states that this supplement may reduce digestive symptoms from traveling.

These probiotics are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. They are free from GMOs and the following allergens:

  • gluten
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • gelatin
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts

Culturelle recommends that individuals should take 1 capsule daily. People can also take an additional capsule when experiencing digestive symptoms or travelling, taking one capsule in the morning and one in the evening.

This product does not require refrigeration.

Enjoy 20% off with code “guthealth”.

Best for women over 50: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women 50 & Wiser

  • Price: $40
  • Product size: 90 capsules (30 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: 32 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
  • CFU: 85 billion
  • Dose: 3 capsules

Garden of Life’s Raw probiotics capsules contains a high bacteria CFU of 85 billion and 33 different types of bacteria, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium.

These supplements also contain multiple vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, D, E, calcium, and folate, alongside an enzyme blend.

Garden of Life claims these probiotics may suit women over 50 by supporting digestive health, immune function, nutrient absorption, thyroid function, and healthy cholesterol levels.

These capsules are vegetarian and free from GMOs, gluten, binders, fillers, and carriers.

Garden of Life recommends taking 3 capsules daily. This product requires refrigeration.

Best when taking antibiotics: Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement

  • Price: $25-60
  • Product size:54-100 (30-50 day supply)
  • Yeast strain: S. boulardii
  • Amount of yeast: 250 mg per capsule
  • Dose: 2 capsules, 1-2 times daily

This Florastor supplement contains the probiotic yeast S. boulardii, which may help prevent antibiotic-related and infectious diarrhea.

The yeast probiotics in these supplements are not measured in CFU. Instead, Florastor states that each capsule contains 250 mg of S. boulardii per capsule.

These probiotics are suitable for vegetarians. They are free from gluten and GMOs.

According to Florastor, this probiotic supplement will not interact with antibiotics, and may help the body break down undigested sugar and carbohydrates. It does not require refrigeration.

Best for purity: Pure Encapsulations Probiotic G.I.

  • Price: $41.30
  • Product size:60 capsules (60 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: 6 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
  • CFU: 10 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule

This probiotic contains 10 billion CFU per capsule and has six strains, including L. acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus thermophilus.

Pure Encapsulations claims that this product may help benefit gastrointestinal health by maintaining cellular activity, supporting the intestinal barrier, and improving immune function.

These probiotics are suitable for vegetarians. They are hypoallergenic, meaning they do not contain allergens, including:

  • gluten
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • wheat
  • soy
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts

These probiotics are also free from GMOs, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, binders, fillers, preservatives, trans fats, shellacs, and coating.

People should take 1 capsule daily. The company recommends refrigerating the probiotic.

Best for vaginal pH: Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics

  • Price: $29.99
  • Product size:60 capsules (30 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: 8 different strains, including L. acidophilus and L. Gasseri
  • CFU: 1 billion
  • Dose: 2 capsules

This probiotic has 1 billion CFUs and 8 different strains of probiotics, including L. acidophilusandL. Gasseri. It comes in the form of a capsule.

Love Wellness claims the product may help maintain vaginal pH balance and can support the vaginal microbiome. It is free from gluten, dairy, and preservatives.

The company recommends emptying the capsules into a drink or smoothie for those who find it hard to swallow pills. The product does not require refrigeration, and people can take it without food.

Best for constipation: Thorne Bacillus Coagulans

  • Price: $30
  • Product size:60 capsules (60 day supply)
  • Bacteria strain: Bacillus Coagulans
  • CFU: 2 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule, 2-3 times a day

This probiotic contains a minimum of 2 billion CFU of Bacillus Coagulans per capsule.

Thorne claims this probiotic is suitable for those who wish to support their bowel function. This product may help ease occasional gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

These probiotics are suitable for vegans and free from artificial flavors, gluten, dairy, and soy.

Thorne says people should take 1 capsule two or three times daily.

Best natural probiotic: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care

  • Price: $38
  • Product size:60 capsules (60 day supply)
  • Bacteria strains: 38 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
  • CFU: 50 billion
  • Dose: 1 capsule

This probiotic has 50 billion CFUs and 38 different strains of probiotics, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium. It comes in the form of a capsule.

Ingredients include kefir yogurt, an enzyme blend, and raw vegetable and fruit extracts.

These vegetarian probiotics are free from GMOs, gluten, soy, binders, fillers, or carriers. However, it contains egg and dairy.

Garden of Life recommends taking one capsule daily. This product does not need refrigeration.

The following table compares the probiotics for women in this article on key features:

PriceProduct sizeBacteria strainsCFUDaily dose
Wisp
Daily
$30180 tablets
(90 day supply)
L. acidophilus200 billion2 tablets
Ritual
Synbiotic+
$5430 capsules
(30 day supply)
L. rhamnosus,
B. animalis
11 billion1 capsule
HUM
Private Party
$2630 capsules
(30 day supply)
L. acidophilus,
L. rhamnosus,
L. reuteri
10 billion1 capsule
Persona Daily$0.50 dailyVariesL. acidophilus,
B. bifidum,
L. salivarius,
L. bulgaricus
10 billion3 capsules
Culturelle
Digestive Daily
$19.99-23.9930-50 capsules
(30-50 day supply)
L. rhamnosus GG10 billion1 capsule
Garden of Life
Women 50 & Wiser
$4090 capsules
(30 day supply)
32 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
Bifidobacterium
85 billion3 capsules
Florastor Daily$25-6054-100 capsules
(27-50 day supply)
S. boulardiiNot stated2 capsules
Pure Encapsulations
Probiotic G.I.
$41.3060 capsules
(60 day supply)
6 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
Bifidobacterium
10 billion1 capsule
Love Wellness
Good Girl
$29.9960 capsules
(30 day supply)
8 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
L. Gasseri
1 billion2 capsules
Thorne Bacillus Coagulans$3060 capsules
(60 day supply)
Bacillus Coagulans2 billion2-3 capsules
Garden of Life
Vaginal Care
$3830 capsules
(30 day supply)
38 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
Bifidobacterium
50 billion1 capsule

Taking probiotic supplements may offer a range of potential health benefits for women:

Probiotics for vaginal health

A 2019 meta-analysis observed probiotics might inhibit the growth of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis and help maintain a bacterial balance. However, more research is necessary to support these findings.

2018 research suggests observed participants taking probiotics containing L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus GR-1, and L. fermentum RC-14 strains at a dose of 10 CFU/day over 2 months. The researchers found this inhibits bacterial growth associated with vaginosis, reducing the risk of vaginal infections.

A 2016 review found that L. acidophilus had equivalent benefits to metronidazole in the short-term treatment of BV. The same review notes that L. casei Shirota may aid HPV viral clearance.

Learn more about probiotics for vaginal health here.

Probiotics for digestive health

A 2018 meta-analysis states that some specific Lactobacillus strains may ease adult antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

A 2019 review found that the L. rhamnosus GG strain has protective factors that may benefit gut health, such as inhibiting some salmonella bacteria’s growth.

Learn more about the benefits of probiotics here.

It is important to understand that not all probiotics are effective or safe for everyone.

The health benefits of probiotics are strain-specific, and probiotics for overall health often contain a lot of live microorganisms rather than single strains. This makes it difficult for a person to determine whether research supports the health benefits that the manufacturers claim.

It is much more important for an individual to support their overall health by focusing on diet and lifestyle as a whole rather than on taking one specific supplement.

People should ensure they are:

  • eating a healthy diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • aiming to reduce stress
  • avoiding smoking
  • avoiding excessive alcohol consumption

Healthy gut bacteria feed on fiber and some other prebiotic foods, so experts recommend that people eat a diet rich in high fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.

These measures are more important for a person’s overall digestive health and maintaining a healthy microbiome than taking a probiotic.

A person taking probiotic supplements may experience the following side effects:

  • gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and gas
  • dermatological symptoms such as rashes or acne

If these side effects are severe or last longer than 2 weeks, a person should see a doctor. While taking probiotics is mostly safe. In rare cases, it can lead to a serious fungal or bacterial infection.

The following are common questions and answers about probiotics for women:

What are probiotics good for?

Some studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement may help with conditions such as:

However, research on the benefits of probiotics is ongoing.

What are the signs you need probiotics?

Before purchasing a probiotic, it is important to know that probiotic supplements are not necessary for everyone. An individual should not use probiotics as an alternative to seeking advice from a healthcare professional.

Before purchasing any products, people should contact a healthcare professional to discuss taking a probiotic. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that this may be particularly important for those with a health condition, as doctors may wish to monitor their health closely if they take any probiotics.

The best probiotic for women contains the correct bacteria for a person’s specific needs.

As with any supplement, a person should talk with a doctor before taking a probiotic, especially if they are on medication or have underlying health issues.

While probiotics may help some people, they are not a cure for any illness. If symptoms persist, an individual should consult a doctor.

People interested in taking a probiotic supplement should discuss it with a healthcare professional. They can help decide if probiotics would be beneficial and which strains may be most effective for specific health needs.