Probiotics for women help maintain a healthy gut microbiome, leading to better digestion, less inflammation, and improved bowel movements. Studies also show that a healthy gut microbiome helps to influence hormones and mental health, making it that much more important.
Women can especially benefit from probiotics, as their anatomy leaves them susceptible to certain types of bacterial infections more frequently than men.
With probiotics for women, it’s important to know:
- Probiotics for women should contain a wide range of different strains, as this helps repopulate the gut microbiome diversity.
- Probiotics for women should include at least 20 Billion CFU’s per serving, but ideally more for the best effects.
- Probiotics for women should include protective capsules to ensure the probiotics survive your stomach acid, and make it to where they need to – your gut.
Below, you’ll find the best probiotics for women ranked and reviewed by our expert health panel.
Best Overall Probiotics for Women: 1MD BiomeMD Probiotics for Women
Best Natural Probiotics for Women: Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotics
Best Probiotics for Women Over 50: 1MD BiomeMD Probiotics for Women
Best Probiotics for Pregnant Women: Garden of Life Once Daily Prenatal Probiotics
Best Gummy Probiotics for Women: Align DualBiotic for Men and Women
1. 1MD BiomeMD Probiotics for Women
BiomeMD by 1MD provides a special blend specifically designed for the female immune system and digestive needs – including 62 billion CFUs and 16 clinically studied probiotic strains.
It also includes 4 powerful prebiotics per serving to help probiotics grow and flourish. Besthealth.org’s #1 choice.
2. Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotics
These 100% organic probiotics are made with top-tier ingredients and contain digestive enzymes and prebiotic fibers for better gut health.
3. Physician’s Choice Probiotics for Women
These probiotics feature 60 billion strains of helpful bacteria, offering professional-grade assistance to your gut and overall bodily health.
4. Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic Supplements
This probiotic is great for any woman, but they’re especially good for those who need digestive assistance.
It also includes several excellent enzymes to help magnify the results.
5. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Once Daily Prenatal Probiotics
These probiotics are a perfect choice for pregnant women.
They have everything that both a mother and a developing fetus could need for ideal gut and immune system health.
6. Align DualBiotic for Men and Women
These probiotics are super easy to take and taste great, all while giving your body both prebiotics and probiotics for even better gut biome health.
7. Vitamin Bounty Pro 50 Probiotic
This is another good choice if you’re over 50, as the probiotics contained with each capsule are quick to absorb and the capsules themselves are made of vegetarian-friendly cellulose for easy digestion.
8. Zenwise Health Digestive Enzymes Plus Prebiotics and Probiotics
Zenwise probiotics are organic, healthy, and effective at improving gut health and overall immune system constitution.
They also include powerful prebiotics and digestive enzymes for maximum gut support.
9. Naturello Probiotic Supplement
These are also organic probiotics with 50 million active cultures of bacteria; the capsules work well with a standard multivitamin or even certain prenatal vitamins if you’re pregnant.
10. Culturelle Probiotic
These probiotics are a perfect pick for women since they also come with multivitamins, meaning you take one less supplement per day.
Best Natural Probiotics for Women
Wholesome Wellness Organic Probiotics
These probiotics are made with natural ingredients and also include prebiotics and digestive enzymes for even greater health benefits.
Wholesome takes the top spot as the best natural probiotics for women for providing a 100% organic formula.
Best Probiotics for Women Over 50
1. 1MD BiomeMD Probiotics For Women
Women over 50 will love this holistic probiotics, which include 62 billion CFUs, 16 active strains of bacteria and 4 different prebiotic fibres to magnify the overall effectiveness.
1MD BiomeMD takes the top spot as the best probiotics for women over 50 for providing a robust formula designed to maximize nutrient absorption and reduce digestive disorders.
Best Probiotics for Pregnant Women
1. Garden of Life Once Daily Prenatal Probiotics
Women who are pregnant, or are looking to become pregnant, can benefit from these doctor-recommended probiotics.
Garden of Life takes the top spot as the best probiotics for pregnant women for including several strains that are clinically proven to support lactation, pregnancy, and immune system support for both you and your baby.
Best Gummy Probiotics for Women
1. Align DualBiotic for Men and Women
If you don’t like regular capsules, these gummy probiotics are great alternative – featuring prebiotics and probiotics to assist your digestive health and immune system.
Align DualBiotic takes the top spot as the best gummy probiotics for women for using only natural flavors to make their formula both healthy and delicious.
Who Should Use Probiotics for Women?
Probiotics for women are safe to take by all genders; however, they are manufactured to work specifically with a women’s anatomy. This is because these probiotics do have certain bacterial strains that are proven to be helpful when it comes to controlling issues like urinary tract infections or vaginosis.
Pregnant women should not take general probiotics for women; rather, they should take ones specifically for pregnancy as there are additional immune system boosters and several vitamins added for the benefit of a fetus.
Generally, probiotics are not harmful and don’t have serious side effects. It’s still recommended that pregnant women and those on any medication consult with their doctor before taking any form of supplement. Healthy women who aren’t currently pregnant should feel confident trying out a probiotic product without worrying.
Strain Diversity: One of the most important factors in a high-quality probiotic, is the diversity of strains. This is because by including a variety of strains, probiotics help to support a plethora of health benefits – since different strains help support different bodily functions.
Not to mention, strain diversity has been shown to be just as important in a healthy gut microbiome as the number of bacteria. This is especially important for women since they are music more susceptible to UTI infections, which often require antibiotics – which are a major assault on strain diversity.
CFU Count: Good probiotics for women don’t necessarily have the most bacterial strains. But generally speaking, probiotics with more bacteria contained in every serving provide a greater chance of more being absorbed in the intestine. As such, we required at least 20 billion CFU’s per serving, without top picks like 1MD BiomeMD having more than triple that amount.
Prebiotic Presence: Prebiotics are not directly helpful to the human body. They’re indigestible fibers that instead serve as nutrition for probiotics to thrive. Probiotic products that contain prebiotics, in addition to bacterial strains are often thought to be more effective because they provide fuel for the probiotic bacteria to immediately begin growing upon settling in your digestive tract.
Filler-free: We also wanted to find good probiotics with organic or otherwise healthy ingredients. Probiotics that contain synthetic elements may cause digestive problems later down the road, or worse, they might not be compatible with women who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant. Many of our top choices are completely organic and use mostly natural ingredients to support total body health.
Probiotics for women help support total body health. Because probiotics are essentially helpful bacteria, they spread throughout the body and either assist with several bodily functions or provide helpful bacterial environments to facilitate healthful development.
A 2016 review regarding the benefits of probiotics demonstrated that all of the following have been scientifically observed at one point or another: preventing and improving certain bowel diseases, improving the immune system, improving certain lipid profiles, preventing and treating oral diseases, and reducing certain stress-related psychiatric disorders (1).
Probiotics for women can be especially helpful when it comes to reducing urogenital infections like vaginosis. Women face sex-specific problems that males do not. The vagina is normally self-cleaning through certain types of helpful bacteria, but a bacterial infection can still affect the genital area and throw things out of balance. Probiotics can restore the bacterial environment to a healthful state, even when taken orally.
A 2018 study involving 40 patients diagnosed with urogenital infections split the group into both control and test groups. The group that received probiotics treatment had much higher vaginal health and better urinary and vaginal bacterial environments upon the conclusion of the study (2).
Probiotics for women can help treat and prevent recurring urinary tract infections. Urinary tract infections are much more common in women than they are in men and are primarily caused by bacterial infection through the urethra.
Probiotics can combat the bacteria responsible for inflammation and general infective symptoms. They can also prevent bacterial infections from taking hold in the future if the urinary tract bacterial environment is maintained with good probiotic consumption.
One 2006 review of several clinical studies and several collections of microbiological evidence found that probiotics are beneficial for preventing recurring UTIs in women. Furthermore, the same review found that probiotics have a good safety profile – which indicates that they are not harmful to women’s health and don’t normally contain side effects worth noting (3).
Another 2011 study found that intra-vaginal (rather than oral) application of certain probiotic products may have beneficial health effects for those suffering from urinary tract infections. This suggests that probiotics can be clinically relevant treatments for UTIs that have progressed past an oral solution (4).
Probiotics for women can help with weight loss. Certain types of probiotics (such as lactobacillus rhamnosus) have been positively correlated with weight loss and better overall bodyweight composition in both men and women.
A 2014 study involving a double-blind and placebo-controlled group of men and women found that the group given probiotic treatment had much greater mean weight loss for women. Furthermore, women who received probiotic treatments continued to lose body weight and fat even during a weight maintenance period, suggesting that probiotics help the body to assume better weight loss habits over the long term (5).
Another probiotic variant called Lactobacillus gasseri is positively correlated with a reduction in abdominal adiposity, or belly fat concentration. This can be seen by taking BMI measurements, waist and hip circumference measurements, and overall body fat mass measurements.
One 2013 double-blind study involving 210 healthy Japanese adults with large visceral fat areas found that those adults who received a probiotic treatment had significantly decreased body fat mass at the end of the trial period. Total changes were about 8.5% less belly fat in the treated adults. They did not have to take very high doses of the probiotic, either (6).
Probiotics for women can help with insulin resistance. Certain types of probiotics can promote the release of a particular type of hormone named GLP-1. GLP-1 reduces food intake motivation and increases glucose tolerance in healthy adults. This makes it easier for adults to stick with weight loss plans and consume less food overall.
A 2013 cell culture experiment demonstrated that certain probiotics, when applied to the cell culture in question, stimulated the release of GLP-1 from intestinal cells. This suggests that the hormone release is automatic and passive, so adults don’t have to take lots of doses for long-term benefits. It’ll make women feel fuller and more satisfied with smaller meals (7).
Probiotics for women can help can to lower cholesterol. Certain types of probiotics have been positively correlated with lower levels of a certain “bad” type of cholesterol called LDL, or low-density lipoprotein. Probiotic milk products can lower the concentration of this type of cholesterol, helping healthy or “good” HDL cholesterol take its place throughout the body.
A 2000 meta-analysis of several intervention studies evaluating the effects of certain yogurt milk products on LDL-cholesterol found that all the studies showed significant health benefits when it came to good or bad cholesterol concentrations. In the six studies included in the analysis, the researchers concluded that fermented yogurt products produce about a 4% decrease in total cholesterol and a 5% decrease in LDL cholesterol (8).
Probiotics for women can help lower blood pressure in adult women. Because of the aforementioned impact that probiotics can have on cholesterol, this can have extensive effects on overall blood pressure throughout the body.
A 2014 review of nine separate trials found that probiotic consumption inspired significant changes in blood pressure in the effected trial patients. Additionally, more species of probiotics had even greater blood pressure effects, suggesting that a varied diet of multiple probiotic foods was a good idea for those with high blood pressure. The studies found that most effects happened within 8 weeks but eventually tapered off, leading to a short-term but beneficial effect overall (9).
Probiotics for women can reduce the risk of eczema in infant children born. A preventative regimen of certain probiotics that are administered to a pregnant or breast-feeding mother is both safe and effective. It can reduce the incidence of eczema in certain infants whose mothers have a history of eczema sensitivity or allergies.
A 2012 study involving a double-blind trial of 241 mother-infant pairs found that the risk of developing eczema was significantly reduced over the first 24 months of life for those infants whose mothers were receiving probiotic treatments. This shows that both mothers who are still pregnant and those who can pass on probiotic nutrients through breast milk can help their little ones develop a resistance to eczema even at an early age (10).
Probiotics for women can be helpful for those who experience inflammatory effects from milk consumption. Probiotic bacteria can significantly alter the immune response throughout your body toward certain types of biological or physical compounds like milk. Probiotics can also stimulate antibody production and enhance the cytokine production of one’s body. This alleviates hypersensitivity to lactose products in some healthy individuals.
A 1998 study found that milk hypersensitive subjects who took probiotics before drinking milk beverages experienced significantly reduced inflammatory responses overall. It did not cure them of their milk sensitivity overall, but rather made it much more comfortable to pass through their digestive system. However, the researchers noted that this was only with very specific types of probiotics and may not be tenable for daily consumption (11).
Probiotics for women can help ease digestive issues such as inflammatory bowel disease. There is significant evidence to suggest that flushing the digestive tract with helpful, probiotic bacteria can provide sweeping health benefits and help to eliminate the causes of several digestive disorders, likely by providing a better digestive environment and pushing out unhelpful bacteria.
A 2004 review of studies from 1950-2004 found that there is a clear relationship between probiotic use and lower incidences of various digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and issues like Crohn’s disease. The researchers pointed out that probiotics were not the single affecting factor in recovery from some of these conditions but noted that their presence was almost always helpful to some extent (12).
Probiotics for women can be consumed to directly prevent certain types of diarrhea, like pediatric antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Some individuals, and especially infants, can experience bouts of diarrhea as a result of their body interacting poorly with certain types of antibiotics. Antibiotics are relatively indiscriminate and can harm the digestive tract over time by killing both good and bad bacteria. Taking probiotics can restore a helpful bacterial environment in the digestive tract and reduce symptoms and incidences of diarrhea.
A 2015 review of 23 studies found that there is a protective effect that probiotics provide when it comes to preventing many types of diarrhea, especially those related to antibiotic consumption. The researchers also suggested that it was a good treatment because there are no serious adverse effects when probiotics were consumed by healthy children or adult individuals (13).
Probiotics for women can help support mental health. Probiotics for women may be able to improve psychiatric health by reducing disorder-related behaviors, including but not limited to depression, anxiety, and more severe disorders like OCD or autism spectrum disorder. The exact way in which probiotics can help individuals deal with psychiatric conditions is unknown, but it is clear that these effects may extend to brain function alterations.
A 2016 systematic review of human and animal studies and other available literature found that probiotics were effective at improving several psychiatric disorder related behaviors. Depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, memory abilities, and more were all positively affected by probiotic consumption (14).
Probiotics for women can provide measurable benefits to the immune system. Probiotics can help your immune system by limiting certain types of damage that are induced by different invasive pathogens. They can also help cells recover faster after being attacked by certain pathogens. They don’t hunt viruses directly but make your body more resilient, in effect.
A 2003 study in which certain human intestinal cell lines were exposed to invasive viruses and probiotics found that those cells which received probiotic assistance had better resistance against the virus and better recovery time. All of the improvements took place without directly affecting immune cell response, meaning probiotics did not get in the way of normal immune system function (15).
Probiotics for women can help prevent respiratory infections. Probiotics may reduce the sensitivity of certain cells in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems to certain types of infection or by taking up space where harmful bacteria might otherwise take root.
A 2001 study involving hundreds of healthy children found that those who consumed milk products with a certain type of probiotic had fewer sick days resulting from gastrointestinal or respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, the group given the probiotic treatment had fewer respiratory tract infections diagnosed by a doctor. The researchers noted that these effects may not be perfectly transferrable to adults, but men and women alike could still benefit from healthy gut biomes (16).
Probiotics for women help support whole-body health by helping your gut microbiome flourish in both bacteria count and bacteria diversity. This helps to support optimal brain functioning, hormone output, and can even support weight loss efforts.
The best probiotics for you will depend on whether you’re pregnant, your age, and whether you’re currently suffering from a digestive disorder.
For BestHealth.org’s #1 recommended probiotics for women, click here.