Probiotics appear everywhere – in your moisturizer, in fizzy drinks and in daily supplements to keep your vagina healthy. In terms of vaginal health, some experts believe that probiotics can be beneficial for those who have had a lot of yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. So how about using probiotics to prevent UTIs?
The short answer: pause before filling up on all the yogurt and supplements.
Ricardo Soares, MD, a urologist at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, said there is a lack of evidence confirming that probiotics are useful in UTI prevention.
“There have been some studies of the use of probiotics in recurrent UTIs in men, children, but especially in women,” he explained. “The results are overwhelming, as most studies show no significant difference between probiotics and placebo in reducing the incidence of symptomatic bacterial UTIs.”
To understand the theory of using probiotics to prevent UTIs, it helps to know how UTIs are formed. According to Dr. Soares are Escherichia coli (E.coli), which originates from the gut, the most common UTI that causes bacteria. “These bacteria travel from the anal area into the vagina and then into the urethra and bladder to cause urinary tract infection.”
But as you know, not all bacteria are considered bad. A good bacterium called lactobacillus is the key component in normal vaginal flora. As Dr. Soares explained, lactobacillus is thought to act as a barrier that prevents the spread of pathogenic bacteria from the gut into the urethra. “The concept behind the use of probiotics to prevent UTIs is to replenish the lactobacillus in the vagina so that it maintains the biological barrier.”
Due to the lack of documentation in scientific research, Dr. recommends Do not use probiotics for UTI prevention. However, he also mentioned that the benefits of probiotics have not been completely ruled out due to the small patient sample and poor method.
So is there any harm in taking probiotics?
Dr. Soarse noted that unlike cranberry juice (which, believe it or not, also lacks evidence to help UTIs), probiotics have the potential to cause problems such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation and vaginal symptoms. So always talk to your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine to make sure it suits you and your body well.
However, if you suspect that you may have a UTI (they are actually incredibly common!) Or are dealing with recurrent UTIs, be sure to seek medical attention. According to the Mayo Clinic, UTI does not always come with symptoms.
Some of the most common signs of a UTI include:
- A persistent urge to urinate
- A burning sensation when urinating
- Blood in the urine
- Strong smelly or cloudy urine
- Pelvic pain
In terms of preventative measures, some of the most common recommended steps include drinking plenty of water and maintaining good hygiene.