Probiotics for Vaginal Infections

Please note that each trial is not described in detail. In some trials, drugs, prebiotics and/or additional nutrients were provided that may help the beneficial bacteria be more effective. Also the setting, procedure, and dose for each trial are rarely similar. For more details, search for the reference in Google to find the original publication. The simplest way is to copy and paste the title.

Harmful yeasts and bacteria can infect the vagina leading vaginitis. Vaginitis is an inflammation characterized by itching, redness and swelling. Probiotics for vaginal infections are useful, keeping the populations of harmful microbes under control. Researchers have looked at both oral and intra-vaginal administration of probiotics to treat and prevent vaginitis. During prevention studies, probiotics are usually given daily for several months. During treatment studies, they are administered as soon as symptoms are noticed. Most trials use placebo controls.

Probiotic SupplementsImprovements Seen in TrialReferences
Probaclac VaginalBacterial infections prevented1
Lactobacilli (intravaginal)Bacterial infections prevented2
L. fermentum LN99
L. gasseri
LN40
L. rhamnosus LN113
P. acidilactici LN23 (intravaginal)
Prevented recurrence of infection3
L. fermentum
L. gasseri
L. rhamnosus
No improved cure rate when used
after standard treatment (intravaginal)
4
L. brevis CD2
L. plantarum
L. salivarius salicinius
Bacterial infections prevented5
L. acidophilus (intravaginal)
L. paracasei paracasei F19 (oral)
Bacterial infections cured
and prevented
6
L. reuteri RC-14
L. rhamnosus GR-1
Yeast and bacterial infection cured (intravaginal)
Helped standard treatment (oral)
Prevented infection in immune compromised patients (intravaginal)
7-11
L. rhamnosusPrevented recurrence of infection12
L. acidophilusNo prevention of recurrence13

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

References

1.         Ya, W. R., C.; Miller, L. E. 2010. Efficacy of vaginal probiotic capsules for recurrent bacterial vaginosis: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 203:120 e121-126.

2.         Larsson, P. G. S.-P., B.; Ryttig, K. R.; Larsen, S. 2008. Human lactobacilli as supplementation of clindamycin to patients with bacterial vaginosis reduce the recurrence rate; a 6-month, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BMC Womens Health 8:3.

3.         Ehrstrom, S. D., K.; Rylander, E.; Samuelsson, C.; Johannesson, U.; Anzen, B.; Pahlson, C. 2010. Lactic acid bacteria colonization and clinical outcome after probiotic supplementation in conventionally treated bacterial vaginosis and vulvovaginal candidiasis. Microbes Infect 12:691-699.

4.         Eriksson, K. C., B.; Forsum, U.; Larsson, P. G. 2005. A double-blind treatment study of bacterial vaginosis with normal vaginal lactobacilli after an open treatment with vaginal clindamycin ovules. Acta Derm Venereol 85:42-46.

5.         Hemalatha, R. M., P.; Ramalaxmi, B. A.; Balakrishna, N. V.; Sesikeran, B. 2012. Effectiveness of vaginal tablets containing lactobacilli versus pH tablets on vaginal health and inflammatory cytokines: a randomized, double-blind study. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis 31:3097-3105.

6.         Delia, A. M., G.; Rago, G.; Musacchio, M. C.; Petraglia, F.; De Leo, V. 2006. [Effectiveness of oral administration of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei F19 in association with vaginal suppositories of Lactobacillus acidofilus in the treatment of vaginosis and in the prevention of recurrent vaginitis]. Minerva Ginecol 58:227-231.

7.         Anukam, K. C. O., E.; Osemene, G. I.; Ehigiagbe, F.; Bruce, A. W.; Reid, G. 2006. Clinical study comparing probiotic Lactobacillus GR-1 and RC-14 with metronidazole vaginal gel to treat symptomatic bacterial vaginosis. Microbes Infect 8:2772-2776.

8.         Martinez, R. C. F., S. A.; Patta, M. C.; Quintana, S. M.; Gomes, B. C.; De Martinis, E. C.; Reid, G. 2009. Improved cure of bacterial vaginosis with single dose of tinidazole (2 g), Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Can J Microbiol 55:133-138.

9.         Anukam, K. O., E.; Ahonkhai, I.; Ngwu, M.; Osemene, G.; Bruce, A. W.; Reid, G. 2006. Augmentation of antimicrobial metronidazole therapy of bacterial vaginosis with oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trial. Microbes Infect 8:1450-1454.

10.       Martinez, R. C. F., S. A.; Patta, M. C.; Quintana, S. M.; Candido, R. C.; Ferreira, J. C.; De Martinis, E. C.; Reid, G. 2009. Improved treatment of vulvovaginal candidiasis with fluconazole plus probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14. Lett Appl Microbiol 48:269-274.

11.       Hummelen, R. C., J.; Butamanya, N. L.; Cook, A.; Habbema, J. D.; Reid, G. 2010. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 to prevent or cure bacterial vaginosis among women with HIV. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 111:245-248.

12.       Marcone, V. R., G.; Lichtner, M.; Calzolari, E. 2010. Long-term vaginal administration of Lactobacillus rhamnosus as a complementary approach to management of bacterial vaginosis. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 110:223-226.

13.       Bradshaw, C. S. P., M.; De Guingand, D.; Hocking, J. S.; Morton, A. N.; Garland, S. M.; Fehler, G.; Morrow, A.; Walker, S.; Vodstrcil, L. A.; Fairley, C. K. 2012. Efficacy of oral metronidazole with vaginal clindamycin or vaginal probiotic for bacterial vaginosis: randomised placebo-controlled double-blind trial. PLoS One 7:e34540.

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