No one likes dealing with strong vaginal odor, but sometimes it’s just a fact of life. Eating certain foods, working out, sexual activity – it can all contribute to a less-than-pleasant odor down there. The smell itself is the result of a buildup of “bad” bacteria in and around the vagina, much like bad breath is caused by bacteria accumulating on teeth and gums. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to fight against this unwanted bacterial growth and restore balance: washes, creams and over-the-counter supplements. Probiotics for bacterial vaginosis offer a quick, easy way to combat the issue from the inside out, and have been growing in popularity over the course of the past few years. They’re generally inexpensive, easy to take and portable, but do they really work?

How Probiotics Work

Bad odor is caused by an excess of new or “bad” bacterial growth in and around the vagina and urethra. The best way to combat the issue, then, is to flush out the new bacteria causing the problem and to restore the balance between “good” and “bad” elements causing the odor. Probiotics do this by promoting the growth of good bacteria inside the vagina. In turn, this bacteria keeps the bad elements at bay, suppressing the chances of developing a case of bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

Do They Work?

When dealing with vaginal odor, it’s all about repairing the imbalance between good and bad bacteria, which probiotics are explicitly designed to do. Probiotics for UTIs and those designed specifically for the promotion of vaginal health can, in fact, help with this process in a number of ways:

  • They promote the growth of “good” bacteria
  • “Good” bacteria keeps the “bad” bacteria at bay
  • Prevents BV, an excess of bad bacteria that often causes odor
  • Reduces the likelihood of yeast infections and UTIs

In short, yes, probiotics do work for reducing vaginal odor by battling the underlying cause. However, you need to be sure you’re using the right kind of probiotic to get the job done.

Choosing Your Probiotic

Making use of probiotics in general is always a good practice. It helps keep your gut in check and ensures digestive health is in order. However, if you’re taking probiotics specifically to treat vaginal odor, you’ll want a product that’s designed specifically for that purpose, and that targets bacteria growing in the vaginal area rather than the stomach or intestines. Asking your doctor for some recommendations for the best probiotics for vaginal health is always a good way to begin the search for a product that works for you. One-a-day capsules are always a good, practical method of taking probiotics, and fits in with practically any schedule.

Bad odor is never fun, and usually indicates other, more serious underlying issues such as BV or yeast infections, which carry their own complications and risks. Taking a daily probiotic designed for vaginal health can help you fight these issues and keep your vagina fresh, your bacteria balanced and you confident no matter where your busy schedule takes you.