InfectionPre, Pro, Synbiotics

Probiotics to treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis

The results using lactobacilli are mostly positive, but this is not the final word, based on a review of the medical literature by researchers at the Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences in Greece.

It’s suggested that the presence of peroxide-producing vaginal lactobacilli protects against bacterial vaginosis. And there’s support for this theory from laboratory research.

Here’s what we know from studies in women.
Compared to placebo, acetic acid, or no treatment, intra-vaginal administration of Lactobacillus acidophilus for 6-12 days, or L. acidophilus or Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus fermentum RC-14 taken by mouth for 2 months is associated with mostly significant positive results.

  • Cure of bacterial vaginosis
  • Reduced recurrences of bacterial vaginosis
  • Restoration of a normal vaginal microbial flora

On the other hand, several trials reported no difference in cure rate of bacterial vaginosis and in the number of vaginal lactobacilli after intra-vaginal application of lactobacilli compared with the effect of a placebo or estrogen.

The bottom line?
The results so far are promising, although the researchers caution, “It cannot yet be concluded definitively that probiotics are useful for this purpose.”

8/8/07 19:21 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.