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The best probiotic for women may aid gut, vaginal, and overall health by supporting bacteria found naturally in the body. Here, we review 12 vetted options.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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A probiotic is a live microorganism that may benefit a person when they consume it in the right amounts.

Probiotics live throughout the body and are especially prevalent in the digestive tract, where they may inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms. Gut bacteria also have many other functions, including supplying essential nutrients.

Imbalances in bacteria happen for several reasons, including:

  • chronic illness
  • a side effect of taking antibiotics and other medications
  • diet

Probiotics may reduce digestive symptoms such as inflammatory bowel diseases and may be helpful in the treatment and prevention of vaginal infections and urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Further research suggests probiotics may prevent antibiotic-associated diarrhea and improve ulcerative colitis and gum disease symptoms.

Probiotics mainly consist of bacteria, but some yeasts could also be probiotics.

A range of foods, particularly fermented foods such as yogurt and miso, may contain probiotics.

Learn about dietary sources of probiotics.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

When choosing the best probiotics, we considered the following factors:


Most probiotic manufacturers measure bacteria count according to colony-forming units, or CFU. A higher CFU number means the product contains more bacteria.

We include products with a high CFU stated clearly on the product.

Bacteria strains

Different probiotic bacteria do different things. For example, Bifidobacterium may help with gut health, while Lactobacillus may support vaginal health.

Research shows that Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium bacteria, for example, may help ease symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults.

We have included probiotics with different strains, including multiple options with a blend of bacteria strains.

Use and dosage

We choose products that clearly state ideal use, including recommended dosage, when to take them, storage suggestions, and any contraindications.

We also choose brands that outline possible timelines for seeing health benefits.


Companies may advertise that they have designed the probiotics for a specific purpose, such as digestive or vaginal health. However, probiotics have not been determined as universally safe or effective.

We have vetted brands and chosen products that do not make unsubstantiated health claims or promises.

Learn more about the best probiotics.

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Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

The following table compares the probiotics for women in this article on key features:

PriceProduct sizeBacteria strainsCFUDaily dose
Wisp$30180 tablets
(90-day supply)
L. acidophilus200 billion2 tablets
Ritual$5430 capsules
(30-day supply)
L. rhamnosus,
B. animalis
11 billion1 capsule
HUM$2630 capsules
(30-day supply)
L. acidophilus,
L. rhamnosus,
L. reuteri
10 billion1 capsule
Persona$1428-day supplyL. acidophilus,
B. bifidum,
L. salivarius,
L. bulgaricus
3 billion3 capsules
Culturelle$17.99–$26.9930-50 capsules
(30-50 day supply)
L. rhamnosus GG10 billion1 capsule
Garden of Life$52.4590 capsules
(30-day supply)
32 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
85 billion3 capsules
Florastor$45100 capsules
(50 day supply)
S. boulardiiNot stated2 capsules
Pure Encapsulations$44.2060 capsules
(60-day supply)
6 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
10 billion1 capsule
Love Wellness$28.98– $56.9860 or 120 capsules
(30-60 day supply)
8 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
L. Gasseri
1 billion2 capsules
Thorne$3060 capsules
(60-day supply)
Bacillus Coagulans2 billion2–3 capsules
Garden of Life
Vaginal Care
$39.5430 capsules
(30-day supply)
38 strains, including
L. acidophilus,
50 billion1 capsule
Care/of$1230 capsules
(30-day supply)
L. acidophilus,
L. rhamnosus
8 billion1 capsule

Taking probiotic supplements may offer a range of potential health benefits for women:

Probiotics for vaginal health

A 2019 meta-analysis observed that probiotics might inhibit the growth of bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV) and help maintain a bacterial balance. However, more research is necessary to support these findings.

BV is a very common vaginal infection, affecting roughly 70% of women in the United States. Doctors commonly treat it with antibiotics, but up to half of people who complete treatment may have a recurrence within the year. A survey of the literature shows that lactobacillus supplements, delivered orally or vaginally, may help prevent recurrence.

A 2022 controlled trial found that oral L. rhamnose was more effective than metronidazole at treating BV in the short- and long-term.

Learn more about probiotics for vaginal health.

Probiotics for digestive health

Multiple studies have shown that some specific Lactobacillus strains may ease adult antibiotic-associated diarrhea, which may affect up to 30% of people who take the medication.

A 2019 review found that the L. rhamnosus GG strain has protective factors that may benefit gut health, such as inhibiting some salmonella bacteria’s growth.

Learn more about the benefits of probiotics.

It is important to understand that not all probiotics are effective or safe for everyone.

Additionally, probiotics are sensitive to changes in temperature. The effect temperature has on the viability of a specific probiotic product depends on the strains it contains, the manufacturing process, and the packaging.

Frequent flyers and travelers of all kinds should note that some probiotics require refrigeration to deliver the number of viable microorganisms their packaging promises. For example, Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Women 50 & Wiser requires refrigeration to stay viable, so it may not be a suitable choice for people who do not have consistent access to refrigeration, such as those who travel a lot.

The health benefits of probiotics are strain-specific, and probiotics for overall health often contain a lot of live microorganisms rather than single strains. This makes it difficult for a person to determine whether research supports the health benefits that the manufacturers claim.

It is much more important for an individual to support their overall health by focusing on diet and lifestyle as a whole rather than on taking one specific supplement.

People should ensure they are:

  • eating a healthy, balanced diet
  • getting enough sleep
  • aiming to reduce stress
  • avoiding smoking
  • avoiding excessive alcohol consumption

Healthy gut bacteria feed on fiber and some other prebiotic foods, so experts recommend that people eat a diet rich in high fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables.

These measures are more important for a person’s overall digestive health and maintaining a healthy microbiome than taking a probiotic.

A person taking probiotic supplements may experience the following side effects:

  • gastrointestinal symptoms, such as:
    • bloating
    • stomach cramps
    • diarrhea
    • gas
  • dermatological symptoms such as rashes or acne

If these side effects are severe or last longer than 2 weeks, a person should contact a doctor. While taking probiotics is mostly safe, in rare cases, it can lead to a serious fungal or bacterial infection.

Probiotics are generally considered safe, but they are not safe for everyone. In general, a person should consult with a healthcare professional before taking probiotics.

The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health states that people with compromised immune systems, premature infants, and those who are already very sick are more at risk for harmful side effects from probiotics.

Anyone pregnant or nursing may also have a higher risk when using probiotics. People within these categories should talk with a healthcare professional before taking probiotics.

Additionally, people with allergies, especially food allergies, such as dairy, nuts, or soy, should make sure their probiotic product does not contain anything to which they are allergic.

Persons should also use caution before taking probiotics for general health conditions. For example, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) only recommends using probiotics to prevent C. difficile infection and manage pouchitis.

The following are common questions and answers about probiotics for women:

Some studies suggest that taking a probiotic supplement may help with conditions such as:

However, research on the benefits of probiotics is ongoing.

Before purchasing a probiotic, it is important to know that probiotic supplements are not necessary for everyone. An individual should not use probiotics as an alternative to seeking advice from a healthcare professional.

Before purchasing any products, people should contact a healthcare professional to discuss taking a probiotic. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that this may be particularly important for those with a health condition, as doctors may wish to monitor their health closely if they take any probiotics.

The National Institutes of Health states there is no official recommendation for probiotic use. People should speak with a healthcare professional to choose the correct probiotic and dosage, and how long to use the product.

Fermented foods have additional microbial cultures. Yogurt has probiotics in it as part of the manufacturing process. People can purchase yogurts high in probiotics in almost every grocery store.

Other foods that contain probiotics may include cereals, juices, milk, and nutrition bars. However, probiotic content will differ between brands.

The #1 women’s probiotic will vary, depending on the health concerns of the women who will be taking it. The following factors indicate quality in probiotic products:

  • the product is manufactured under healthy conditions by a reliable company

  • product is not promoted with unrealistic benefit claims

  • the bacteria strains the product contains are clearly identified

  • product packaging clearly states a high CFU count, plus storage and dosage recommendations

Complete and accurate statistics on which probiotics doctors recommend most often are not available. While some doctors may recommend using probiotics to address diarrhea, for example, some may not. In general, physicians recommend that if a person uses probiotics, they use products with clear information and instructions, made by reputable manufacturers.

Some of the more widely used probiotics include:

  • lactobacillus

  • bifidobacterium

  • saccharomyces boulardii

General recommendations concerning probiotics for women do not currently exist. However, probiotics may help address important aspects of women’s health, such as yeast infections, UTIs, BV, cervical cancer, digestive health, and immune system support. The following strains of probiotics may support these aspects of women’s health:

  • lactobacillus

  • L. acidophilus

  • L. rhamnosus

The best probiotic for women contains the correct bacteria for a person’s specific needs.

As with any supplement, a person should talk with a doctor before taking a probiotic, especially if they are on medication or have underlying health issues.

While probiotics may help some people, they are not a cure for any illness. If symptoms persist, an individual should consult a doctor.

People interested in taking a probiotic supplement should discuss it with a healthcare professional. They can help decide if probiotics would be beneficial and which strains may be most effective for specific health needs.