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The benefit of probiotics for women: this is how they can take care of your vagina

There is increasing awareness of the importance of probiotics. But what is considered a probiotic? According to the Spanish Society of Probiotics and Prebiotics (Sepyp), to consider an organism as a probiotic it must have the following characteristics:

They have to produce antimicrobial substancessuch as lactic acid, bacteriocins or hydrogen peroxide.

They must be cavity resistant where they are going to be planted or those that they cross until they reach it; for example, they must be immune to gastric acid or bile secreted in the duodenum.

– They must not be able to transmit their resistance to antibiotics.

– To be easily cultivated and cannot be lost during storage.

– Who has undergone a test performed outside of a body (in vitro) successfully and that it also worked once introduced.

probiotics are foods or dietary supplements that contain live microorganisms intended to maintain or improve “good” bacteria (normal microbiota) of the body. Prebiotics are foods (usually high in fiber) that act as nutrients for the human microbiota and are used with the intention of improving the balance of these microorganisms.

Probiotics can find them in foods like yogurt and sauerkraut. Prebiotics are also found in foods such as whole grains, bananas, leafy greens, onions, garlic, soy, and artichokes. Additionally, probiotics and prebiotics are added to some foods and are available as dietary supplements.

In the case of women, these foods are of great importance since they can help maintain a vaginal microbiota. healthy, which is important as a preventative of vaginal infections – such as candidiasis or Gardnerella – and also urinary infections.


The protagonists in this case are the lactobacilliwhich must predominate if we want to have a balanced and healthy vaginal flora, in such a way that they must occupy at least 70% of the entire microbiota.

Lactobacilli defend us from infections by several mechanisms: They adhere to the cells of the vaginal walls, preventing pathogens from occupying these places.. They also produce lactic acid, consuming glycogen, which would also be food for pathogens. In turn, they are capable of generating bacteriocins and substances such as hydrogen peroxide, which contribute to the annihilation of said germs.

The oral route is the main choice to take them, since in this way a intestinal reservoir that by proximity will colonize the vaginathus contributing, by ascending route, from the rectum to the migration of lactobacilli to the vagina.

In turn, they will protect against urinary infections. A large percentage of these infections are caused by germs that come from the digestive system, such as e.colli, proteus and klebsiella.. For these germs to reach the bladder, they have to pass through the vagina. Therefore, if the vaginal microbiota is adequate and there are enough lactobacilli, these will ensure that they do not progress to the bladder.

For all this, it is important that treatments for both vaginal infections – such as candidiasis or vaginosis – and urinary infections are complemented with a contribution of probiotics from at least between 1 and 3 months to facilitate healing and prevent recurrences of these infections.

*Dr. Carmen Pingarrón Santofimia is head of the Gynecology and Obstetrics team at the Quirónsalud San José Hospital

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