Probiotics are so hot right now. From fitness influencers on Instagram to text convos with your best friend, everyone is talking about the microorganisms that promise to transform your gut. But there’s another benefit to probiotics you really need to know about: They can improve your vaginal health.
Think about it: You can probably remember a stretch of days (or maybe this is your situation all. the. time.) when you felt itchy and noticed an embarrassingly strong odor emanating from down there. There’s also a really good chance you’ve had, or often have, a case of bacterial vaginosis—the most common vaginal condition in women of childbearing age—or a yeast infection, since three out of four of us will at some point. Typically, you’d give your ob-gyn a call and she’d prescribe something. But what if these symptoms could be prevented with an over-the-counter supplement? According to Lauren Streicher, M.D., professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause, it’s true. Here’s her advice on the best probiotic for vaginal health and who should take it.