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The best probiotic for females depends on the person’s health goals because different bacteria do different things. For example, Bifidobacterium may help with gut health, while Lactobacillus may support vaginal health.

Best for easing bloating: Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules
Best for those on antibiotics: Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement
Best for gastrointestinal health: Pure Encapsulations Probiotic G.I.
Best for vaginal care: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care
Best for urinary tract health: Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics
Best for a raw probiotic: Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women
Best for bowel regularity: Thorne Bacillus Coagulens
Best for promoting overall health: Persona Daily Probiotic

Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

According to the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics, probiotics are “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”

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

Probiotics may reduce symptoms of 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 symptoms of ulcerative colitis and gum disease.

ProductBacteria strainAmount of bacteriaDose
Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic CapsulesL. rhamnosus GG10 billion CFU1 capsule
Florastor Daily Probiotic SupplementS. boulardii250 mg per capsule2 capsules
Pure Encapsulations Probiotic G.I.6 strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium10 billion CFU1 capsule
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care38 strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium50 billion CFU1 capsule
Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics8 strains, including L. acidophilus and L. Gasseri1 billion CFU2 capsules
Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women 32 strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium85 billion CFU3 capsules
Thorne Bacillus CoagulansBacillus Coagulansminimum of 2 billion CFU per 2–3 capsules1 capsule
Persona Daily ProbioticLactobacillus rhamnosus GG10 billion CFU1 capsule

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

According to an article in Advanced Nutrition, probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but some yeasts could also be probiotics.

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

Taking probiotic supplements may benefit the beneficial bacteria naturally found in a person’s body. But research on the effectiveness of probiotics in treating various illnesses is not conclusive.

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.

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

Learn more about the best probiotics here.

How we choose products

Medical News Today chose products that fit the following criteria where possible:

  • Price. Products are suitable for a range of budgets.
  • The number of CFUs. The more CFUs, the more bacteria a probiotic has.
  • The bacteria strain. Different strains serve best different functions, and some may be particularly beneficial to women.

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. A person should discuss with their doctor whether the product they are considering is suitable for them.

This article highlights both probiotic supplements that may help prevent female reproductive health problems, as well as others that may help support a variety of other health concerns.

Learn more about product vetting.

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.

To improve digestion, choose probiotics known to support gut health, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria species. The L. rhamnosus GG strain, in particular, has many protective factors that may benefit gut health, for example, inhibiting the growth of some salmonella bacteria.

Taking a probiotic supplement will not always benefit a person’s digestive health and should not replace a healthy lifestyle. People should ensure they are:

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

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

Culturelle Digestive Daily Probiotic Capsules

Best for easing bloating

Bacteria strainL. rhamnosus GG
Amount of bacteria10 billion CFU
Dose1 capsule
Pricelist price of $18.49

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.

The company states that this supplement is vegetarian and free from gluten, milk, gelatin, and soy. Culturelle recommends that individuals should take 1 capsule per day for best results.

The company also claims that it contains 10 billion CFUs. This product does not require refrigeration.

Enjoy 20% off with code “guthealth”.

Florastor Daily Probiotic Supplement

Best for those on antibiotics

Yeast strainS. boulardii
Amount of yeast250mg per capsule
Dose2 capsules
Pricelist price of $64.99

Florastor is vegetarian and contains no genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It includes the yeast S. boulardii, which may help prevent antibiotic-related and infectious diarrhea.

The description of the product on Amazon claims it is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant. However, this company website does not make this claim and the product does contain lactose.

This product comes in capsule form. Each capsule contains 250 mg of its probiotic strain.

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

Pure Encapsulations Probiotic G.I.

Best for gastrointestinal health

Bacteria strains6 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
Amount of bacteria10 billion CFU
Dose1 capsule

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

The company claims that this product helps support gastrointestinal health by maintaining cellular activity and supporting the intestinal barrier and immune function.

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

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

Research suggests that taking probiotics containing L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus GR-1, and L. fermentum RC-14 strains at a dose of 10 CFU/day for 2 months inhibits bacterial growth associated with vaginosis, reducing the risk of vaginal infections.

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care

Best for vaginal care

Bacteria strains38 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
Amount of bacteria50 billion CFU
Dose1 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.

It also includes a blend of raw fruits and vegetables as prebiotics that Garden of Life says is to support the natural growth of healthy vaginal flora.

According to the company, it is free from gluten and soy, non-GMO, and vegetarian with no binders, fillers, or carriers. This product does not need refrigeration.

Love Wellness Good Girl Probiotics

Best for urinary tract health

Bacteria strains8 different strains, including L. acidophilus and L. Gasseri
Amount of bacteria1 billion CFU
Dose2 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.

The company claims the product may help maintain a balanced vaginal pH and can support the vaginal microbiome. It is free from gluten, dairy, and inflammatory preservatives.

For those who find it hard to swallow pills, the company recommends emptying the capsules into a drink or smoothie. The product does not require refrigeration.

When purchasing any probiotic for overall health, a person should be aware that there is little research into the health benefits of probiotics and may find it difficult to determine their effectiveness.

While it is common for some people to take probiotic supplements to promote their overall health, and suggested by many healthcare providers for various conditions, it is important to understand that not all probiotics are effective or safe for everyone. 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.

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.

Three probiotic options for overall health include:

Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women

Best for a raw probiotic

Bacteria strains32 different strains, including L. acidophilus and Bifidobacterium
Amount of bacteria85 billion CFU
Dose3 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. It also contains vitamins C, D, E, and more.

According to Garden of Life, every product in its Raw collection is “uncooked, untreated, and unadulterated and contains no binders, fillers, or carriers.”

These capsules are vegetarian, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

This product requires refrigeration.

Thorne Bacillus Coagulans

Best for bowel regularity

Bacteria strainBacillus Coagulans
Amount of bacteriaminimum of 2 billion CFU per capsule
Dose2–3 capsules

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

The company claims that this probiotic is suitable for those who wish to support their bowel function. This product may help ease symptoms such as occasional gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

Thorne says people should take 1 capsule two or three times daily. The company states that this product is free from gluten, dairy, and soy and is suitable for vegans.

Persona Daily Probiotic

Best for promoting overall health

Bacteria strainsLactobacillus rhamnosus GG
Amount of bacteria10 billion CFU
Dose1 capsule

Persona claims that this vegetarian probiotic can support healthy digestion, immune health, and emotional well-being.

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 gluten, dairy, lactose, corn, egg, fish, shellfish, nuts, wheat, and soy. However, the company also says that it manufactures the probiotics in a facility that handles these allergens, so cross-contamination may occur.

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 for 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.

What are probiotics good for?

The research on the benefit of probiotics is not conclusive. However, some studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement may help with conditions, such as:

Experts also note that Lactobacillus species may help alleviate symptoms of antibiotic-related diarrhea.

What is the best probiotic for a woman to take?

For females, in particular, research shows that certain strains of probiotics may be better for helping maintain the health of the female reproductive system and urinary tract. For example, researchers have found that many women whose vaginal canals are colonized by lactobacilli have never had a UTI, compared to women who do not have this strain.

In another 2016 study, treatment with probiotics helped improve and prevent a number of urogenital infections both on its own and together with other treatments.

What are the signs you need probiotics?

Cases when probiotics can help include when a person is having digestive problems, issues with sleep, frequent colds, recurring UTIs or vaginal infections, or recurring rashes on the skin.

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

People should contact a healthcare professional to discuss taking a probiotic before purchasing any products. 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 most effective probiotic is one that 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.