You might have heard that your body needs “good bacteria” to function at an optimal level. Good bacteria are important for your digestive tract. Because your gut health is linked to everything from your immune system to your skin and beyond, maintaining gut health is essential for your overall wellbeing. 

Unfortunately, antibiotics, stress, and illness can compromise good bacteria, leading to poor digestion, fungal infections, urinary tract issues, and a weaker immune system. That’s where probiotics come in. 

Probiotics are particularly important for women, who can get vaginal thrush and bacterial vaginosis (BV) if the vaginal bacteria are out-of-balance. Both thrush and BV are common: around 75% of women get thrush and one in three women get BV at some point. For these conditions, doctors often recommend taking probiotics alongside their prescribed treatment.

Probiotic supplements aim to replenish the good bacteria your body loses. Although they can be found in some foods, like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut, many people prefer to take a daily supplement because it’s more convenient. Supplements also contain more strains of bacteria than most food sources of probiotics.

According to research, probiotics might be able to help with:

  • Digestive issues
  • Yeast infections
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • Immune function
  • Eczema

If you’re interested in using a probiotic supplement, be wise! Don’t just grab the first product you see - take your time to pick out a quality product that meets your needs. As always, it’s best to talk with your doctor before using a new supplement of any kind.

What to Look For in Probiotics for Women

There are hundreds of probiotic supplements out there - and shopping for the best probiotic supplement can be overwhelming. So, what do you need to look out for?

Number of colony-forming units (CFUs) and strains

Probiotic supplements are labeled with the number of CFUs it contains. While this is important, it’s also important to pay attention to the number of probiotic strains. Usually, more is better - but it depends on your particular needs. Some strains, for example, are effective with very few CFUs; others need far more CFUs to work.

Type of strains

Not all probiotic strains are the same. Your health concerns will determine which type of bacteria is best for you. 

The probiotic strains that typically benefit your gut, for example, are different from the kind that benefits vaginal health. Lactobacillus crispatus and Lactobacillus jensenii are used for the prevention and treatment of bacterial vaginosis but are less effective in helping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms. For IBS, you’d rather want to opt for gut-promoting Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium animalis.

For this reason, probiotics are often labeled with a description that tells you if it’s best for gut health, vaginal health, or overall health.

Added ingredients

Some probiotic supplements have added ingredients, such as prebiotics. Prebiotics promote the health of bacteria - in other words, they help the probiotic supplements work more efficiently. 

You might also find supplements with added dietary fiber, cranberry extract, and vitamins. Although this isn’t a must, the added ingredients could be beneficial! Many women’s probiotics include cranberry as it can benefit urinary tract health and vaginal health. D-mannose can be great for your urinary tract as well as your gut health. 

10 best probiotic supplements for women

Not sure which probiotic to purchase? Here are ten of our favorite probiotic supplements for women and we’ve pointed out the most outstanding benefits of each product.

This list only includes high-quality supplements from reputable, well-loved companies. No matter which probiotic you choose from our list, you can rest assured that you’re getting a fantastic product.

Our top picks

  1. Vitalitown Women’s Probiotics 120 Billion CFUs 
  2. Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics
  3. Doctor's Recipes Women’s Probiotics
  4. Nature's Way Women's Probiotic Pearls
  5. Surebounty 4-in-1 Feminine Probiotic
  6. Renew Life Women's Care Probiotics
  7. Culturelle Women’s Healthy Balance Probiotic
  8. Physician’s Choice Women’s Probiotic
  9. INNATE Vitality Women's Once-Daily Probiotics
  10. Nature’s Way Fortify Women’s Probiotic
Best Probiotic Overall: Vitalitown Women’s Probiotics 120 Billion CFUs
(photo from amazon.com)

Vitalitown Women’s Probiotics is ideal for both vaginal and digestive health. This supplement contains 30 strains of beneficial bacteria per capsule. It has thousands of positive reviews, both on Amazon and on social media. 

In addition to 120 billion CFUs, each capsule contains digestive enzymes and organic cranberry extract. Cranberry has a range of health benefits, especially for urinary tract health and vaginal health. Digestive enzymes help your body break down food more effectively.

Colony Forming Units: 120 billion
Strains: 30
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.62

 

Best Probiotic for Urinary Tract Infections: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics
(photo from amazon.com)

This probiotic was created specifically for urinary tract health and digestive health. With organic cranberry extract and over 16 probiotic strains, it’s ideal for anybody who wants to prevent or soothe digestive issues, urinary tract infections, and an imbalanced immune system.

As a bonus, these capsules contain added vitamin D3 - a vitamin that’s necessary for immune function, digestive health, and a balanced mood.

Colony Forming Units: 50 billion
Strains: 16
Dosage: 2 capsules a day
Price per dosage: $0.56

 

Best Probiotic on a Budget: Doctor's Recipes Women’s Probiotics
(photo from amazon.com)

These capsules contain 50 billion CFUs and 16 strains each, including strains that could be beneficial for gut and vaginal health. It also includes a prebiotic fiber blend, which has added benefits for your digestive health, as well as organic cranberry extract. 

Doctor’s Recipes Women’s Probiotics are great because they’re far more affordable than most similar supplements. Despite the fact that they’re more pocket-friendly, they don’t compromise on quality.

Colony Forming Units: 50 billion
Strains: 16
Dosage: 2 capsules a day
Price per dosage: $0.29

Best Slow-Release Probiotic: Nature's Way Probiotic Pearls
(photo from amazon.com)

These probiotic capsules have a unique three-layer softgel to protect them from stomach acid, heat, and moisture. This allows them to survive the long journey to your intestines! These pearls are also easy to swallow.

Each pearl contains 1 billion CFUs from the strains Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LR-32, and Lactobacillus plantarum LP-115. Although these strains can also benefit your gut, we’d recommend these capsules for vaginal health in particular.

Colony Forming Units: 1 billion
Strains: 3
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.39

Best Probiotic for Vaginal Health: Surebounty 4-in-1 Feminine Probiotic
(photo from amazon.com)

These veggie capsules contain a whopping 34 strains of CFUs. They also contain cranberry extract, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes for added benefits. This makes it a great all-in-one probiotic, as it contains multiple strains that specifically target your vaginal health. 

What makes these capsules stand out is that they’re vegan! Not all probiotics are. Whether you require vegan products or not, it's a high-quality supplement that’s certainly worth trying.

Colony Forming Units: 120 billion
Strains: 34
Dosage: 1 capsule a day 
Price per dosage: $0.65

Best No-Frills Probiotic: Renew Life Women's Probiotics
(photo from amazon.com)

Many probiotic supplements contain added ingredients. However, if you want a simple product with no added ingredients, Renew Life Women's Probiotics is ideal for you. It contains only three things: the probiotics, the capsule, and medium-chain triglycerides (which act as a carrier oil).

This product is dairy-free, soy-free, and free from animal products. Its unique combination of 12 bacteria strains is specifically formulated for vaginal and gut health.

Colony Forming Units: 25 billion
Strains: 12
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.50

Best Probiotic for Vaginal Thrush: Culturelle Women’s Healthy Balance Probiotic
(photo from amazon.com)

Vaginal thrush is caused by an overgrowth of yeast, which is usually the result of a lack of “good” bacteria. This supplement contains five strains of bacteria that are proven to help with vaginal health. An added benefit of this product is that it’s vegetarian. 

Colony Forming Units: 15 billion
Strains: 5
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.83

Best Probiotic for Gut Health: Physician's Choice Women's Probiotic
(photo from amazon.com)

Each capsule contains six strains of 50 billion CFUs in total. It also contains a generous dosage of organic cranberry extract and D-mannose, which is essential for urinary tract support. What’s more is that it contains two prebiotics - Jerusalem artichoke root and Arabic gum - to improve the probiotics’ efficacy.

This product is vegetarian-friendly. It’s also housed in a delayed-release acid-resistant capsule to ensure that the bacteria get exactly where they need to go.

Colony Forming Units: 50 billion
Strains: 6
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.60

Best Vegetarian Probiotic: INNATE Vitality Women's Once-Daily Probiotics
(photo from amazon.com)

Not all probiotic supplements are vegetarian. INNATE Vitality Women's Once-Daily Probiotics are not only vegetarian but also dairy-free and soy-free. 

With an impressive 120 billion CFUs from 32 different strains, this supplement covers all your bases: digestive tract health, vaginal health, and immune health. It also contains prebiotics, cranberry extract, and digestive enzymes for an added health boost. 

Colony Forming Units: 120 billion
Strains: 32
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.63

Best Probiotic According To Users: Nature’s Way Fortify Women’s Probiotic
(photo from amazon.com)

With 11 strains and 30 billion live cultures per capsule, Nature’s Way Fortify Women’s Probiotic is specifically formulated for vaginal and gut health. Each capsule also contains 50mg of chicory root fiber to boost gut health and improve digestion.

What makes this probiotic supplement stand out is that it has outstanding reviews, both on Amazon and on independent sites and social media. Reviews are a great indication of the quality of the product, so they’re certainly worth paying attention to!

Colony Forming Units: 30 billion
Strains: 11
Dosage: 1 capsule a day
Price per dosage: $0.58

The bottom line

It’s worth investing in your body’s “good bacteria.” This is especially true if you’re a woman who is prone to thrush or digestive issues. If you’re keen to start using a high-quality product, the above list of the best probiotics for women is a great place to start.