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The 18 Best Probiotics for Women to Improve Gut and Vaginal Health

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello

Are some probiotics better than others for women? Yes and no. In general, probiotics — live microorganisms that live in your gut — are a great addition to your diet regardless of gender. They are essential for the proper digestion of food, and taking them in supplement form may help restore the balance of gut bacteria after an illness or an antibiotic. With consistency, taking or eating probiotics may also improve your immune system’s ability to fight pathogens and reduce the number of colds you get each year (though more research is necessary to prove these theories). But probiotics are not just gut health and immune system improvers.

For women, they can also help maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome. Lactobacillus, a “good” bacteria found in nearly all probiotics, is the most abundant microorganism in a healthy vagina, according to a 2022 scientific review. It makes it difficult for pathogens to grow on vaginal tissue and helps the vagina maintain a low, healthy pH. A significant lack of lactobacillus and other healthy bacteria could lead to bacterial vaginosis (overgrowth of “bad” bacteria in the vagina), which leaves the vagina highly susceptible to sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory disease. So, when it comes to finding the best probiotics for women, it’s important to keep vaginal and total-body health in mind. Below, check out our top picks based on third-party testing, editor’s testing, reviews and product quality.

The 18 Best Probiotics for Women to Improve Gut and Vaginal Health

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Finding the Best Probiotics for Women: A Buyer’s Guide

When searching for the best probiotic, it’s important to first consider your goals and needs. If you want to improve your overall gut health, a formula that contains a diverse set of probiotic strains (at least eight strains) may be ideal. However, you may lean towards a less-diverse, low-potency formula if you want to gently ease into probiotics without causing too much stress on your gastrointestinal tract.

The choices can quickly become overwhelming, so we recommend that you consult with your doctor before making a purchase. Doing your own research first is a great way to prepare yourself for that doctor’s visit. Bring your top choices to your physician and have her weigh in — she may offer you key insights based on your personal health history.

Don’t know how to narrow down your choices? Check out the following considerations.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Probiotics for Women

To narrow down your choices, think about these five factors:


In an ideal world, all supplements would undergo third-party, independent testing. Independent testing (conducted by a team that has no connections to the brand) helps brands verify their claims and ensure their products are as potent as they say.

Of course, not every product has been independently tested as the process raises costs. It is up to you as a discerning consumer to decide whether independent testing is a must-have for your probiotic.


Shelf-stable probiotics are often touted as more convenient and easier to use than refrigerated probiotics. However, we believe that refrigeration shouldn’t stop you from buying certain formulas. If anything, a refrigeration requirement is a sign that the seller has formulated a highly potent product with live cultures.

Still, refrigeration is a deal-breaker for many consumers. If you fall into this category, be sure to check the label on any probiotic you buy. Note that some say they are shelf stable on the front of the package, but still recommend refrigeration in the fine print.


When picking a probiotic, ingredients are arguably the most important factor. The amount and diversity of a product’s probiotic strains can make a huge difference in your overall experience and how your body tolerates the formula. For example, a product with 50 billion CFU may cause too much discomfort, while a product with only 5 billion CFU may not create enough positive change in your gut microbiome.

The ingredients that form the capsule, gummy, powder, or liquid are important to consider as well. If you are vegan, avoid products that contain lactose or other substances sourced from animals.


Most probiotics are in capsule form, but some come as powders, liquids and gummies. Capsules tend to have the most potency because they survive the harsh conditions of the GI tract long enough to release inside the intestines. However, powders and liquids are excellent alternatives if you struggle to swallow pills.

We chose not to recommend probiotic gummies in this product guide, as they are less likely to survive stomach acid. As a result, they may not be as effective as capsules, powders, or liquids. Gummies are often high in sugar as well, making them a less healthy option.


Probiotics can get expensive, especially if you plan to take them on a daily basis. So, it’s important to think about your budget. How much do you want to spend per month on your digestive, vaginal and immune system health? Though some of the best products are between $50 and $60, it’s possible to find a product under $20 that will meet your needs.

What Are the Different Types of Probiotics for Women?

As mentioned above, probiotics come in three varieties:


Capsules, or the digestible containers that hold probiotics, are made of either gelatin or non-gelatin shells. These days, most probiotics use non-gelatin shells made from collagen or cellulose — ingredients that are vegan and vegetarian friendly.

Capsule probiotics are further divided into refrigerated or shelf-stable. A refrigerated probiotic must be stored at 33 to 34 degrees Fahrenheit, while shelf-stable products should be stored in a cool, dry place between 60 and 70 degrees.

Non-Capsule Supplements

Non-capsule probiotics consist of powders, liquids and gummies. Powders contain dry probiotics along with other ingredients to fill out the powder, such as soy lecithin. Liquid probiotics, on the other hand, usually contain water and natural flavoring, along with a few binding ingredients. Gummies contain either gelatin or jelly-like vegetable gums, such as carrageenan and corn starch.


Food-based probiotics are foods that naturally contain probiotics, or live cultures. Examples include yogurt, kefir, certain cheeses, sour cream, sourdough bread, miso, tempeh, kimchi and sauerkraut. Probiotic-rich foods should not be confused with prebiotic-rich foods, such as oats, asparagus, chicory root, bananas, apples and flaxseed.


Garden of Life Once Daily Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women


  • 50 billion CFUs
  • Independently tested
  • Delayed release (survives stomach acid)


  • Not vegan certified
  • May be too potent
  • Amount of each strain is not listed on bottle

In terms of ingredient quality, diversity in probiotic strains and price, Garden of Life’s Once Daily Women’s Probiotic is the winner. This vegetarian, shelf-stable formula includes 50 billion CFU, or colony-forming units (a measurement that indicates the amount of viable bacteria in the capsule). It also contains 16 different probiotics — 11 of which are Lactobacillus strains and five of which are Bifidobacterium strains.

As mentioned above, Lactobacillus is important for the health of the gut and vaginal microbiomes. Bifidobacterium may help improve immunity, reduce constipation and bloating, plus lower inflammation in the intestines. If you regularly eat probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kefir, the Garden of Life formula may have too much potency. In addition, it contains a prebiotic fiber blend (to help feed gut bacteria) which some buyers may want to avoid.


Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotics Supplement for Adults


  • Supplement For Adults
  • High potency of live bacteria
  • Suitable for sensitive stomachs


  • Relatively price point than other options

Discover the Bio-Kult Advanced Probiotics Supplement for Adults. As a powerhouse in digestive wellness and immune support, this supplement is packed with carefully selected and beneficial bacterial strains. This multi-strain formula is designed to replenish and maintain a diverse gut microbiome for optimal health. The high potency of live bacteria ensures that a substantial number of probiotics reach the intestinal tract. When they get there, they can work synergistically to enhance digestion and nutrient absorption. This supplement helps to foster a resilient immune system. What sets this probiotic supplement apart from the rest is its commitment to gentleness. This advanced probiotic supplement is formulated to be well-tolerated by individuals with sensitive stomachs, making it an inclusive choice for adults seeking digestive balance without compromising comfort. Elevate your gut health with this precision-engineered probiotic blend. It will provide comprehensive support to help you achieve a flourishing digestive system.  


California Gold Nutrition LactoBif 5 Probiotics


  • Affordable
  • Independently tested
  • 8 strains for gut, vaginal and immune health


  • Relatively low CFU count
  • Packaging is not sustainable
  • Refrigeration not required but highly recommended

Hoping to spend a lot less on your daily probiotic? The California Gold Nutrition LactoBif formula is an excellent choice. Each pack holds 60 vegetarian-friendly capsules for $10, which comes out to 17 cents per serving. The formula contains eight active and well-researched probiotic strains, all of which are Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium variants. At 5 billion CFU, this product is significantly less potent than the Garden of Life probiotic. However, that may be a plus for some buyers that want a weaker formula. If you prefer a higher CFU count, California Gold Nutrition LactoBif also comes in a 30-billion CFU option for $20.


Designs for Health ProbioMed 50


  • Shelf stable
  • Timed capsules survive stomach acid
  • Independently tested


  • Expensive
  • Some reviewers don’t achieve expected results
  • Must sign up to purchase products directly from website

Looking for a probiotic with research behind it? The Designs for Health ProbioMed 50 capsules contain an impressive 50 billion CFU of highly-researched probiotic strains. Transparency is key, and Designs for Health independently tests this product and lists the quantity of each strain on the side of the bottle. The two largest strains include: Bifidobacterium lactis (17.8 billion CFU), a powerful bacteria that aids absorption of vitamins and minerals and may improve immunity, and six different strains of Lactobacillus, which improve digestion and vaginal health. (Some strains, like Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus paracasei, may also help restore the balance of the microbiome after a stomach bug.)

At $57.99 for 30 capsules ($1.93 per capsule), this is one of our most expensive recommendations. In addition, this probiotic is highly potent. Gas and bloating can occur during the first few days, but if symptoms persist, you may need a less-potent formula.


Florajen Digestion Probiotics


  • Easy on the stomach
  • Available at most pharmacies
  • 15 billion live cultures


  • Refrigerated
  • Amount of each strain not listed on bottle
  • Some buyers had problems with shipping

My pharmacist recommended Florajen the last time I needed an antibiotic, and I’m so grateful he did. As someone who never tolerates antibiotics well, I was surprised to have no side effects when taking these capsules at least two hours before my antibiotic. Plus, this probiotic costs only $34.99 for 60 capsules, which comes out to $0.58 per capsule. It is also vegan friendly and contains 15 billion cultures per serving.

The primary strains include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium Lactis. This formula does not contain prebiotics, which may cause discomfort in an already-upset stomach. Note that this product requires refrigeration for maximum potency, which isn’t ideal for someone on the go. Still, it is effective for up to two weeks at room temperature.


Culturelle Ultimate Balance for Antibiotics Capsules


  • Shelf stable
  • Counteracts diarrhea
  • Simple formula


  • Contains prebiotics which may upset the stomach
  • Only one probiotic strain
  • Expensive

If you’d prefer a shelf-stable probiotic, we recommend Culturelle’s Ultimate Balance for Antibiotics Capsules. This formula is designed specifically to counteract the effects of antibiotics and replenish the gut and vaginal microbiomes. The key strain is Lactobacillus rhamnosus, a well-researched probiotic which helps prevent and treat gastrointestinal infections and diarrhea.

Unlike Florajen, Culturelle’s formula contains chicory root fiber. This is a mild prebiotic that helps feed good bacteria in the gut, but may cause discomfort in an already upset stomach. In addition, some reviewers dislike that the formula contains only one strain.


Kal Saccharomyces Boulardii Capsules, 60 Count


  • Helps eliminate harmful bacteria
  • Easy on the stomach
  • Vegan friendly


  • One probiotic strain
  • More research is necessary to show it works
  • Low potency

KAL Saccharomyces Boulardii capsules are designed to ease gastrointestinal distress caused by stomach viruses and food poisoning. Studies have shown that S. boulardii adheres itself to harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, which helps the body eliminate those pathogens. (This is different from other probiotic strains which colonize the intestines.) Some buyers report that S. boulardii also helps during recovery from urinary tract infections, though it’s important to consult with a doctor before trying.

To make things easy on the stomach, KAL’s shelf-stable formula contains just 8 billion CFU of S. boulardii, and no other probiotic strains. As a result, it may be best to pair this product with an additional probiotic (after your stomach flu is over) to help repair the gut microbiome.


Ritual Synbiotic+


  • Delayed release capsules
  • Transparency in ingredients
  • Contains pre and postbiotics


  • Expensive
  • Overly minty
  • Not available at most retailers

For a supplement that does it all, we recommend RitualSynbiotic+. It’s a three-in-one formula which includes prebiotics (“food” for probiotics), probiotics and postbiotics — the “waste” created when your body digests pre- and probiotics. Healthy postbiotics include B and K vitamins, amino acids and short-chain fatty acids, or molecules that encourage the growth of healthy bacteria.

Each capsule holds 11 billion CFU of just two, well-researched strains: Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animalis. These strains may help relieve bloating and gas while supporting a healthy gut microbiome. Some reviews note that the product is overly minty which contributed to their heartburn, and others said it gave them bloating, gas and burps.


HPD Rx Pro-Fem #1 Vaginal Health Probiotic


  • Shelf stable
  • Designed for the vaginal microbiome and urinary tract
  • Clinically tested probiotic strains


  • Only two probiotic strains
  • Not as potent as other products
  • Amount of each strain is not listed on bottle

If your main concern is your vaginal microbiome, consider the HPD Rx Pro-Fem #1 Vaginal Health Probiotic. The company claims that its formula is clinically proven to promote yeast and pH balance, thanks to Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus reuteri.

Though this product contains only 5 billion CFU, many reviewers believe that it helps them get rid of bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections and keep future infections at bay. However, some buyers wish it had greater potency.


Align Gut Health & Immunity Probiotic, Daily Digestive


  • Affordable
  • Shelf stable
  • Well-researched probiotic strain


  • Just one probiotic strain
  • Complex ingredient list
  • Less potent than other products

Poor gut health is linked to poor immune health, so finding the right probiotic could help boost your immunity. The Align Gut Health and Immunity Probiotic is an excellent pick because it contains Bifidobacterium lactis, a key strain which helps create a healthy gut and immune system. Reviewers note that this formula helps reduce gastrointestinal distress.

At just 5 billion CFU, some reviewers think this product is not potent enough. Others argue that it is a good potency level, especially when paired with a pre- and probiotic-rich diet. In addition, the ingredients are not as “clean” as those of other brands.


Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Ultimate Care


  • 100 billion probiotics
  • 34 probiotic strains
  • Includes protein-digesting enzymes


  • Expensive
  • May be too strong
  • Not vegan

Though most consumers don’t like the idea of using a refrigerated probiotic, they have their advantages. For instance, Garden of Life Raw Probiotics stay potent for a long time because the bacteria are less likely to die at cold temperatures. As a result, the formula remains incredibly strong, and contains 100 billion CFU and 34 different probiotic strains per serving.

As with all highly potent probiotics, this product may be too strong for some users. In addition, it contains potential allergens like plum, cherry, strawberry and raspberry. Note that it is not entirely vegan, either, as some ingredients are sourced from dairy.


Hyperbiotics Pro 15 Vegan Probiotic Supplement


  • Shelf stable
  • 15 diverse probiotic strains
  • Independently tested


  • Only 5 billion CFUs
  • Amount of each strain not listed
  • May cause gas or bloating at first

Many products are vegan friendly but not vegan certified, which makes Hyperbiotics stand above the rest. This supplement contains just 5 billion CFUs but 15 different probiotic strains. (Indeed, one scientific review notes that the diversity of a product’s strains may be more important than the CFUs.) This may be the winning combination for buyers who want a low-potency formula that still contains diverse strains. Plus, the timed-release pearl tablets are shelf stable, gluten free and non-GMO.

Like many modern probiotics, this product also contains prebiotics — which may be a downside for some buyers. In addition, the amount of each probiotic strain is not listed on the label. Some reviewers note that this product causes gas and bloating during the first few weeks, but symptoms simmer down after a month.


Garden of Life Organic Probiotic Powder for Women and Men


  • 34 different probiotic strains
  • Add to a smoothie
  • Certified organic


  • Only 5 servings per package
  • Add-ins: prebiotics, fiber, enzymes
  • May cause gastrointestinal distress

Ready for our most potent product recommendation? One serving of the Garden of Life Organic Probiotic Powder contains a whopping 400 billion CFU with 34 different probiotic strains. Designed for short-term use, this powdered probiotic can be added to a smoothie or water.

The big downside: One package contains just five servings, which makes this one of our most expensive picks ($14 per ounce). In addition, the formula may be too strong for some users and could cause gastrointestinal distress.


MaryRuth’s USDA Organic Liquid Probiotics


  • Vegan
  • Easy to digest
  • 12 probiotic strains


  • CFU level is not clear
  • Slightly earthy taste
  • Amount of each strain not listed on bottle

If you don’t like to swallow pills and want to customize your daily probiotic levels, a liquid formula may be just what you need. The suggested dose of Mary Ruth’s Organic Liquid Probiotic is 60 drops or four pumps, but you may find that a half dose (two pumps) works better for your needs.

Whether you take it straight or mix it into fruit juice or a smoothie, this probiotic is one of the easiest formulas to consume. (Some parents give this formula to their babies to ease constipation.) However, the CFU count is unclear because it is in liquid form.


Live Conscious PRO45: Probiotic Formula


  • Vegan
  • Slow release
  • 45 billion CFU


  • Expensive
  • Amount of each strain not listed on bottle
  • Prebiotics may cause some discomfort

If you’re looking for a well balanced pre- and probiotic, consider Live Conscious PRO-45. This product contains over 45 billion CFU, 11 probiotic strains and fructo-oligosaccharides — natural prebiotics that feed healthy gut bacteria. The capsules are slow release, so they should survive stomach acid.

The downsides: This product is slightly more expensive than other products in our guide, as each capsule costs $1.11. Also, the exact amount of each probiotic strain is not listed on the bottle, though they are listed in order of most abundant to least.


Bonafide Clairvee Vaginal Probiotic


  • Formulated for perimenopause and menopause
  • Clinically tested probiotic strains
  • May reduce vaginal itching, dryness and odor


  • Expensive
  • May take over a month to experience benefits
  • Amount of each strain not listed on label

Designed to support women during menopause, the Bonafide Clairvee probiotic contains folic acid (which helps reduce the risk of certain diseases), lactoferrin (a nutrient that helps balance iron levels) and 5 billion CFU of two well-researched probiotic strains.

According to the brand, a study showed that 88 percent of women who took Clairvee remained free of vaginal itching and discharge after four months. The Bonafide Clairvee probiotics are expensive, and come out to $3.80 per serving. Also the exact amount of each probiotic strain is not listed on the label.


HUM Gut Instinct


  • 10 probiotic strains
  • Vegan
  • Environmentally-friendly packaging


  • May take a few weeks to experience benefits
  • Amount of each strain not listed on label
  • May cause gas and constipation during first week

Want a probiotic that will help reduce bloating? Though HUM Gut Instinct probiotics (and many other products) may cause bloat during the first few weeks, with time they help reduce it. That’s because HUM probiotics contain 25 billion CFU and 10 diverse probiotic strains, which are known to combat digestive distress.

A few downsides: The brand recommends that you take this product on an empty stomach, which may not be ideal for your schedule. In addition, the label does not list the exact amount of each probiotic strain.


Optibac Probiotics Every Day Extra-High Strength Vegan Digestive Probiotic Supplement


  • Vegan certified
  • Great for eczema and acne
  • 20 billion CFU


  • Expensive
  • Just 4 probiotic strains
  • Amount of each strain not listed on label

Did you know that probiotics may improve the appearance and texture of your skin? In a blog post, Optibac Probiotics notes that strains like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria help reduce inflammation and inhibit “bad” bacteria on the skin, which may result in less acne. In addition, a good balance of bacteria in the gut correlates with reduced rosacea.

The company’s every-day, extra-high strength formula may therefore be exactly what you need to achieve clear, healthy skin. However, many factors can cause acne and rosacea, so this formula may not improve your symptoms.


Lifeway Organic Lowfat Kefir, Plain, 32 Ounce (Pack of 06)


  • Food-based
  • High in protein
  • Improves digestion


  • May be high in sugar
  • May cause bloating
  • Shelf life of 5-14 days

Though probiotic pills, powders and gummies are convenient and easy on the stomach, food-based probiotics like kefir are an excellent, natural way to maintain gut health. Kefir is a fermented probiotic drink made from cow or goat milk. It is similar to yogurt in taste and texture, but contains a more diverse array of gut-friendly bacteria.

Kefir correlates with numerous health benefits, including improved digestion and reduced blood pressure. It may also help reduce inflammation and carcinogenic activity (carcinogens are substances capable of causing cancer), though more research is needed to support these findings. A word of caution: Some store-bought kefirs are very high in sugar. And while this food is easy to digest, it may still cause bloating, gas or nausea in people with severe lactose intolerance.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What’s the best probiotic form — capsules, gummies, powder or liquid?

    A:We recommend capsules, but if you cannot swallow them, a powder or liquid is an excellent alternative.

  • Q: What ingredients should I avoid?

    A:If you are vegan, avoid products that contain lactose or are derived from dairy. You may also need to avoid certain add-ins such as cherry or plum flavoring if you have an allergy.

  • Q: How much should I expect to spend on probiotics?

    A:Good-quality probiotics range between $10 and $60.

  • Q: Who should not take a probiotic?

    A:Probiotics may make certain conditions, like small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), worse. SIBO occurs when the small intestine contains excessive bacteria. (In general, the large intestine should house the biggest bacterial population in your digestive tract.) As a result, a probiotic could help bacteria flourish in the small intestine, which could exacerbate SIBO symptoms like bloating and diarrhea. Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking a probiotic, especially if you have SIBO or a condition like Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Author photo

By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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