Bacterial Vaginosis
Health Benefits

Probiotic Supplements for Bacterial Vaginosis

| Modified on Jul 17, 2024

Probiotics are a positive way to treat bacterial vaginosis. This natural remedy makes use of healthy bacteria to balance out the bad bacteria that is causing the vaginal infection. Because so many woman with bacterial vaginosis have tried antibiotics for their condition, their body is already compromised in the area of good bacteria. Using a good source of probiotics helps to restore the proper balance of good/bad bacteria in the body, thus eliminating the unpleasant symptoms of the overload of bad bacteria in the body.

What is the Best Type of Probiotic for Bacterial Vaginosis?

Probiotics come in many different forms.

  • Probiotic supplements can be found in your health food store, larger grocery stores, or online.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics. Consuming yogurt a couple of times day will increase the amount of probiotics in your body. It is best to take your yogurt on an empty stomach. Look for a plain yogurt, not one that is pre-sweetened. You can add some honey, fruit or all fruit preserves to sweeten it if you like, then you can control the amount of sugar you eat. A lot of sugar only feeds the bad bacteria.
  • Kefir is an increasingly popular way to get your probiotics. You can buy this as many larger grocery stores, at health food stores, or you can even make your own!

Internal Use of Probiotics for Bacterial Vaginosis

Some of our contributors have found that using a probiotic pill as a suppository works well to cure bacterial vaginosis. Some use both the suppository method and the oral method. Use the suppository method at bedtime. If you find that this method irritates your skin, try some coconut oil to sooth irritated tissue and stick with the oral method only.

Have you tried probiotics for bacterial vaginosis? Please share you experience with us!

26 User Reviews

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Posted by Mary (Texas) on 01/07/2017

I have bv and have tried multiple prescriptions. I started flooding my body with probiotics both orally and vaginally along with taking vitamins orally. Now my skin smells like vinegar and I noticed today my bowel movements smell like vinegar. What is causing this?

Posted by Editor401 (Mo) on 03/11/2016

I have dealt with bacterial vaginosis for 2 years with very distressing odor issues. I would hate it when someone followed me into a restroom stall in our office building, and I would spritz the toilet with cleaner after I used it at my boyfriend's. I initially feared probiotics would not work until I saw a suggestion that BV responds to certain strains, notably lactobacillus rhamnosus and I think salivarius. I started with a pricey name brand, and the odor and other symptoms were gone in four days. I had normal odor after sex and exercise, but that was it. I dropped down to every other day and was still fine. Unfortunately, a week after I stopped altogether it came back. So I bought a generic with rhamnosus, and it is back under control. I think the other one was slightly more effective -- either quality or quantity or had more strains such as salivarius. It also contains the usual strains like acidophilus. If you look for a "women's brand" you will probably find the right combos unlike the mainstream ones for digestion. I would definitely explore different brands and strains as long as they at least contain the rhamnosus. It is taken by mouth once day. Good luck as I know this was very distressing for me and now under control.

Posted by Sarahb831 (Lincoln, Ne) on 11/21/2015

I first went to the doc for BV about 2 months ago, but I believe I had the infection for about a month or two before I went to the doctor. Horrible smelly discharge and sooo itchy. I knew nothing about BV and when I was given Flagyl, I was like "perfect, there's a medicine for this, it'll be cured in no time." HA. My symptoms barely even subsided, and came back full force once the pills were gone. So I went back to the doctor, and was prescribed the same thing. I was so frustrated. I felt like an alien and I wanted to just hide. I was so uncomfortable all the time and BV was all I could think about, honestly it made me so depressed. I started researching and came across home remedies and natural cures. I believe it's extremely important to not only kill the bad bacteria present, but it's essential to restore the vagina to its normal pH and begin the regrowth of the good bacteria, or else the bad will simply take over again. This is why antibiotics don't work. I started using tea tree oil suppositories and noticed a major improvement right away, but I knew I needed to add probiotics if I was going to get my vagina back on track for good. I purchased Probiotics with Prebiotics and Cranberry capsules, Folic acid, and Acidophilus. I started taking two of each every morning, inserting one each day into my vagina, and taking more orally at night. noticed a chance immediately! I continued to use the tea tree oil as well. No discharge, and no smell. I'm going to continue the vaginal insertions for about a week, and the oral routine for life. I'm so happy I finally found relief.

Replied by Tania

How do you make tea tree oil suppositories? Or where do you buy them? Thank you Tania. Your story was very helpful..

Posted by Simone (Bath, Uk) on 09/03/2014

Having done a lot of reading about probiotics and BV (my friend is a nutritional therapist and has fowarded me a TON! ) it seems to be that the article should rather recommend rhamnosus and reuteri, over acidophilus? These strains appear to have been pretty well researched when it comes to female health. Some of the studies here look promising. What do you think?

Posted by Liza (New Zealand) on 03/17/2014

After my period in Feb, I noticed that my labia and vulva was incredibly itchy and swollen. Of course, this was the beginning of a yeast infection. I managed to get rid of that with avc, however bv (yellow discharge, fishy/unpleasant smell and swelling of the labia) showed up shortly after and the pills the doctor gave me did not work at all.

I tried h202 but I did not douche. Instead I placed two cotton buds(swabs) in a solution of 3% h202 and then placed them up my vagina. I did that twice a day for a week and I saw an improvement with both smell and colour BUT it wasn't working as well as I liked mainly because I was not thoroughly cleansing the entire vagina but instead as far as the cotton buds would go. Shortly after this I got my period so I could no longer use the h202 method.

I then tried a probiotic blend (Bifidobacterium longum; Lactobacillus rhamnosus; Bifidobacterium infantis; Lactobacillus acidophilus; Lactobacillus reuteri HA-188) (the other one DOES NOT WORK in my experience, you need this one because it has the right bacteria in it which travels to the vagina) and I saw an improvement almost immediately. I was worried that my discharge would be weird again but it is absolutely normal (for me). There is no smell, no heavy yellow discharge, no itchy, no swelling, no nothing. It has now been two weeks since I started taking the probiotics and I feel 100% again.

I took only take one per day at noon. I also eat around 100grams of greek natural yoghurt per day and I truly believe that these two helped my flora return to normal. I am so thankful for that because I was suffering for over a month with both yeast and bv (more bv than yeast! Thankfully the yeast cleared up along with the bv).

Posted by Faithfulb Friend (La) on 12/03/2013

Natural cure for bacterial vaginosis (BV), yeast infections and urinary tract infections: In a study of 40 women with BV, took two capsules daily containing the 2 following probiotics worked better than the prescribed treatment Solution is to take by mouth: Once or twice a day, take capsules of L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14, which reach the vagina via the intestinal tract

Posted by Lt (Raleigh, Nc) on 11/04/2013

Someone mentioned getting candida after a bout with bv. I had the very same issue. In fact, I had them both at once, imagine that horror. I took one pack of 2 billion probiotic s for 7 days, plus L-glutamine, digestive enzymes, aloe Vera juice, and my yeast infection is GONE. My Dr.Confirmed it today. I also significantly curbed my sugar intake. Yeast loves sugar, so starve it... Anything anti-yeast.

Posted by Simple (Manchester, England) on 06/02/2013

This is a remedy you'll probably have to use every night/most nights, but it works. Alternatively you may need to do a bit of experimentation to get the right balance for you. There's a probiotic which comes in tablet form Called Lactobacillus Sporogenes made by a well known vitamin company (initials HN) and is available from a well known auction site. These tablets are for oral consumption, and I take them orally, but they can also be used as vaginal suppositories. I have used 1/2 to 1 tablet per night but you may need less. I would advise using no more than one per night though to avoid any mild irritation. The tablets contain a hardy lactic acid producing bacteria and also fructooligisaccharides which act as nourishment for the lactobacillus bacteria themselves. When the tablets come into contact with warmth and moisture they begin to produce lactic acid thus acidifying the vagina and preventing the bad bacteria from overgrowing. The odor disappears and discharge produced is healthier. Remember some discharge which is clear to cloudy is normal.

The tablets are easy to insert and do leak a little as they dissolve over night, but are more discreet, far more straight forward to use and far less messy than any other home remedy I've tried, and I've tried lots. The tablets are also less expensive than many other over the counter treatments and have kept my symptoms at bay for over a year. I highly recommend you try this home treatment. I was getting desperate before I found these, and I totally sympathise with those of you suffering with this condition, it can be a real living nightmare. I truly believe more research needs to be done in to the use of probiotics as treatment for Bacterial Vaginosis and it's a shame there isn't more of a spotlight on this humiliating problem.

With regards to other home remedies my advice would be as follows - Each woman is different and not everything will work for everyone, you must find what works for you, undoubtably something will. However I would say this- never put anything in your vagina which you wouldn't put in your mouth. Natural is probably best, and chemicals may make things worse in the long run. I hope my suggested treatment works for you and helps you to find some peace.

Posted by Anonymous (Paramus, New Jersey) on 01/29/2013

BV has been something that has haunted me for years. It has caused many trips to the gyno, stunk up my sex life and even helped turn conception to a chemical pregnancy. It is really just an awful infection that can really embarrass and inconvenience a girl.

With that being said, I wanted to share with everyone how I have beat this thing! The last 2 weeks have been completely BV free. Woohoo!

I started with a trip to the gyno. She prescribed me metrogel (again) and I knew that if I really wanted this thing gone I would have to partner up with some other natural cures. I did some research and stocked up on probiotics. These little guys saved my lady parts. I started taking them right after I started the metrogel. My logic was that the meds would be killing ALL of the bacteria in my bod, so I needed to build up the good ones before the bad took over again.

I also decided to switch up my diet while on the meds just to help push my good bacteria over the edge. To do the same you would need to cut out processed sugars, booze and grains completely. Also, limit dairy, fruits, and caffeine. So basically I just ate veggies, lean proteins, yogurt and pure cranberry juice all week. It was a rough week, but it seemed to do the job. (:

A couple of other notes--

  • I went out and bought Summers Eve PH wipes and shower gel from Walgreens. It seemed to help!
  • When I have alot of sex or just got off of my period I take two probotics. One in the morning and one with dinner.
  • The metrogel causes a yeast infection in most women. Just head to Walgreens and get the 3 or 7 day pack and keep doing what your doing.
  • I still attempt to make healthy food choices, processed foods are out and green veggies in!
  • I drink a small glass of Kefir in the morning, or eat a bunch of greek yogurt. Both are plain and unsweetened, but you could add a couple of berries to spice things up if you have a bad sweet tooth. I also drink pure cran juice whenever I can. Its pretty sour but if you cut it with sparkling water its not too bad. (:
  • I now make my man clean up before we get intimate and I always shower with the PH wash after. Or if anything I'd use the PH wipes when in a bind. (Oh! And TMI-- I won't let him cum inside me anymore, sperm has a PH of 7 and our lady parts need to be at 4.5)
  • I'm still taking the probotic every morning and hope one day to stop completely. But I figure that if I have to take this one small pill for the rest of my life to not have BV, I'm ok with that.

I hope this helps and works for you ladies!

Best Wishes! -A

Posted by Natural Cures (Orange County, California) on 01/29/2013

For the past three years I have been battling Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) that came out of nowhere. I have been given various antibiotics' in different dosages and for different times with the infection coming back a week or so after treatment. I have even taken a probiotic along with the antibiotic only to have the infection come back. I have used the Hydrogen Peroxide remedy only to find that it's a temporary fix and the symptoms return the next day. I finally was introduced by a new PA I went to visit to Luvena a new natural over the counter product that is available in most retail stores. I did some research here on your website and decided after three years of no cure to take several natural remedies together to see if they function and I have finally found something that works. All the products I purchased at a local Walmart and they are these: VH Essentials BV Treatment, Luvena Probiotic Vaginal Moisturizer Inserts, B-12 2, 500 mcg, Zinc 50 mg, Garlic 1000 mg, Folic Acid 800 mg, and UltimateFlora 15 Billion Probiotic in the yellow box.

I started my treatment after my period which is when symptoms flare up a bit more. And I started in the morning by taking my B-12 capsule and 1 garlic capsule. At night before I went to bed I inserted my VH Essentials BV Treatment vaginal suppository and placed a panty liner on my underwear because there is some discharge and took 2 Folic Acid capsules, 1 Zinc, 1 UltimateFlora Probiotic. During this time avoid any sexual activity which is roughly 6 days. After the VH Essentials BV treatment is finished continue taking the vitamin supplements and begin to use Luvena every 3 days during the night. Make sure you wear a pantyliner at night because the only bad thing about Luvena is that it drips. As I have stated continue to take all vitamin supplements and do Luvena once every three days.

I have been BV free for 3 weeks which is a record in itself because I have at the longest been only 1 week BV free. I'm very excited and I will continue this regimen until I feel that my vagina has reached it's normal level of flora. I hope everyone else that tries this has the same success because this infection has been nothing but negative to me.

Posted by M (Dayton, Oh) on 01/04/2013

Hello ladies! I am finally BV free!!!! I found this site a few months ago and wanted to let everyone know how I got rid of the horrid thing. I had been fighting BV for about a year and half and could never get rid of it or it would just come back during the next menstrual cycle.... Which was sooo frustrating!! And now I haven't had BV in almost 3 months!! The key is to take Clindamycin 300 mg twice a day for 7 days. I would also recommend right when you start taking the antibiotics to also take 1 pill/day of Yeast Homeopathic Medicine (for possible yeast infection caused by antibiotic), 1 pill/day of Rephresh probiotic, and 1 pill/day of acidophilus (to help build the good bacteria back and to keep the pH level normal). I stopped taking the yeast medicine a couple of weeks after I had finished the Clindamycin and I just stopped taking the probiotics and next month I'll quit taking the acidophilus. I had tried just about everything for this and I believe that the Clindamycin was what finally killed it all off. I am so excited about this and I hope that it works for you all too!!! I will have an update in a couple of months after I stop taking the acidophilus to let you know how it goes! Good luck!!! :-)

P.S. If you still can't get rid of the BV and are still experiencing foul smelling discharge... Which, I know can be very embarrassing... Then take a probiotic pill everyday and it will help tremendously!

Replied by Shea

Warning! Clindamycin is the antibiotic most associated with subdequent C.difficile infections. Please research before using.

Posted by Kymn (Tulsa, Ok) on 10/16/2012

I just wanted to let everyone know that my 15 year old had been taking an antibiotic for acne for about 7 months and wound up with BV. She was miserable with odor, discharge, all that. I searched and searched for her an answer and found out that it is a particular type of probiotic that you need (multi-strain). I wish I had the link but I found what she needed on vitamin website.

[Probiotics w/ Reuteri] capsuls

It cleared her up within 10-14 days. She was very happy and continued taking them for a couple of more weeks. No side effects. It has not returned. (She is no longer on that anti-biotic either)

Hope this helps! It did her!

Posted by Health Nut (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) on 09/24/2012

I'd like to begin by thanking everybody for posting your experiences. This site has been extremely helpful.

I first got BV at the end of November 2011. I had no idea what was wrong with me but I knew it wasn't a yeast infection and I knew it wasn't normal. I went to my family doctor as I recommend everyone should. She did not examine me but diagnosed me with BV and prescribed Flagyl. I took it as a vaginal suppository. It seemed to clear it up. I went to my gyno in January 2012 and had a test to be sure and unfortunately it was still there. Results came in just as symptoms came back. I now tried Flagyl in pill form. It made me quite ill but again seemed to clear it up. Again, that only seemed to last for a couple of months before symptoms were back. I did not want to be on antibiotics constantly or even every few months so I started looking at alternatives.

Thanks to this site, I found some. I started taking probiotics every day. I had taken them while on antibiotics but not after. So taking them daily was working but only as a control. As long as I remembered to take them, I was symptom free, but if I skipped a day, symptoms came back. I tried high doses for several days to see if I could regain balance, but again when I stopped taking them, the symptoms still came back. So I finally went back to my gyno, and she prescribed clindamycin as a cream to be used intravaginally. That was in late July 2012. I continued taking probiotics which you should do whenever taking any type of antibiotic. Symptoms disappeared. I went back about a month later and there was no BV!! But despite taking probiotics, I still ended up with a yeast infection. Hopefully the clindamycin will have taken care of it completely and it doesn't come back in a couple of months.

I will say, like most here, probiotics are a must. Your doctor may not have much to say about it, even mine said "It's not what we're taught", but BV and yeast are both about an imbalance of bacteria, and probiotics help maintain or restore that balance. I've continued taking them regularly and hope this is the end of BV for me. Best of luck to you all!

Posted by Sarah (San Jose, Ca) on 06/03/2012

After trying EVERYTHING for BV that lingered for more than a year and a half I tried using Femdophilus from the refrigerated section of Whole Foods. I took it by mouth twice a day, and then switched to vaginally, nothing happened. I inserted 7 or 10 tablets at once one day. Bam! Cured. No pain during sex, no dryness or itching. Completely better and such a relief! If you've tried everything I suggest you try a large dose of probiotics at once. It might be just what your vagina needs to combat gardnerella.

Posted by Hopeful (San Jose, California, Usa) on 05/20/2012

I am so thankful for the tips/ experience that you all have shared! Although I feel frustrated and scared I also feel empowered to beat this thing! My bv symptoms aren't as bad as some of you have mentioned, mainly its just a weird nasty odor but I'm also concerned because I read that it can increase your chance of getting pelvic immflamatory disease which could lead to infertility. I am on implanon and have been in a relationship for four years, I am lucky because I told my bf about this and he's being great about it. Anyways, I mentioned being on implanon bc since I dont need to worry about pregnancy I let him ejaculate inside all the time. Now that I've researched BV I know that that is probably why I have it.

I'm trying to figure out a plan of action to get rid of this. I've already bought pro-biotics (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and rheuteri and acidophilus) along with that I plan on buying a 6 day treatment (vh) of vaginal inserts. My main question is whether or not I should use the prescription that my doctor gave me, it is a gel/lotion form of antibiotics (haven't actually gotten it yet from the pharmacy). I've read that for the most part the prescriptions have only helped temporarily for people followed by reccurence and/or yeast infections. This makes me not want to try the prescription if it will just kill all the bad and good bacteria in there and possibly lead me to a yeast infection. On the other hand, I am worried that there is too much bad bacteria in my vagina that's causing this and not taking the antibiotics would mean that the bad bacteria will remain in there. I haven't yet contacted my doctor about all this bc I forgot my online password and am waiting to get on in the mail, but as soon as I can I will, when I do though I'm a bit hesitant to follow my doctors advice since most doctors do not seem educated about causes or effective treatments for this. Any suggestions/ advice from you lovely ladies would be greatly appreciated!

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