Probiotics for Women’s Reproductive Health and Fertility

Ok, so this is about to get really personal. I tried to be tame with the title but just in case it was a little too cautious to get the point across, let me spell it out: today we are talking about vaginas and nutrition!

Probably not two words that usually go together in our minds, but they probably should. How we eat does affect the health of our nether regions. A healthy diet, one made up of a variety of foods, including probiotic containing foods, can help you keep your lady parts healthy.

Probiotics have been having a moment for quite some time. They seem to be touted as a cure all on one media outlet or another almost daily. From IBS to depression, there isn't anything they haven't been reported to help treat. Well, add protecting fertility and protection against sexually transmitted infection (STIs) to the list.

Our vagina's are home to millions of bacteria. And that's not a bad thing. It's the type of bacteria that we need to be concerned about. Lactobacillus, the friendly bacteria (probiotic) found in our intestines and urinary tract, is the one we actually want in higher amounts (when compared to the others.)

When the other bacteria begin to dominate, we run into a problem. If that happens we are more likely to experience bacterial infections and STIs. Both of these can damage our reproductive organs, which in the long run could lead to infertility. Lactobacillus, on the other hand, helps to keep the pH of our vaginas just right and may increase immune function, all of which protect us from other bacteria and viruses that could cause us harm.

Fortunately, we can help protect our delicate organs by eating a healthy diet. Eating probiotics positively impacts the amount of good bacteria found in our bodies. If you are looking for a way to keep your lady parts happy and healthy, as well as help protect against infertility include some (or all!) of these fermented foods below to get probiotics in your diet.

Fermented Foods

  • Kimchi (my favorite!)
  • Yogurt (try to choose ones without added sugar, please. Add your own flavor using fruit, cinnamon, dark chocolate, seeds, nuts, real fruit preserves, apple butter, nut butters, etc.)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kefir
  • Natto
  • Miso
  • Tempeh