The Best Probiotics for Women, According to a Dietitian

Our best overall pick is Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women

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Culturelle Daily Probiotic Capsules

Byrdie / Peter Ardito

Antibiotics, poor diet, or traveling can compromise the innate bacteria living inside us. But supplemental probiotics, consumed naturally or in supplement form, can help restore a healthy gut microbiome.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Overall, the Garden of Life’s Dr. Formulated Probiotics for Women is our top choice in probiotics for women. Each pill is formulated with 16 diverse probiotic strains to help boost immune, digestive, and vaginal health. For a more affordable pick, consider Culturelle’s Daily Probiotic, which contains a potent, evidence-backed strain of good bacteria to improve gut health.

A 2018 study published by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) indicates probiotics support immune function, digestion, and nutrition absorption. Another 2018 NIH study notes that probiotics can decrease the risk or duration of common infections, including those of the respiratory tract and gut.

With this in mind, we went to work and tried a handful of top-rated probiotics, spanning a range of budgets and particular gut health needs. After using them for weeks at a time, our testers rated each, taking into account the amount of colony forming units (CFUs) as well as particular probiotic strains targeted to concerns. They also considered how easy it is to incorporate the supplement into your daily routine, looking at things like pill size and whether refrigeration is necessary. We then combined these testing insights with our registered dietician nutritionist recommendations to compile a list of the best in show.

Ahead, find the best probiotics for women to add to your daily routine.

Best Overall: Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics For Women

4.8
Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics Once Daily Women's Shelf Stable 30 Capsules

Walmart

What We Like
  • Contains 16 diverse probiotic strains

  • Includes a blend of prebiotic fiber

  • Shelf-stable

What We Don't Like
  • May cause gas or bloating for some

Who else recommends it? Prevention and Healthline both picked the Garden of Life Dr. Formulated Probiotics For Women.

What do buyers say? 92% of 38,100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Beloved by myself and fellow dietician nutritionists alike, these probiotics for women are one of the best out there. They contain 50 billion Colony Forming Units with 16 diverse, specially-selected probiotic strains. Among them are Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria—two strains that are resistant to stomach acid and bile—to help boost immune, digestive, and vaginal health. There is also a prebiotic fiber blend of organic potato and organic acacia fiber to help boost the results. The capsules are non-GMO, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free, as well as vegetarian.

As an added benefit, they are also shelf-stable, meaning you don't have to keep them refrigerated between uses. This is an ideal perk for women on the go—all you have to do is stash it into your purse, gym bag, or carry-on.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 50 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian

Best Budget: Culturelle Daily Probiotic

Culturelle Daily Probiotic

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains evidence-backed gut-improving strain

  • Includes prebiotic fiber to boost results

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Not as strong as others on the market

Probiotic supplements that are super affordable are hard to come by. One 30 day supply of Culturelle won't break the bank and contains a potent, evidence-backed strain of good bacteria. Lactobacillus rhamnosus (LGG) has been used in multiple clinical trials focusing on abdominal pain, infection-induced diarrhea, and allergic reactions such as eczema.

Culturelle contains ten billion Colony Forming Units of this evidence-backed bacteria strain per serving. In addition to these beneficial bacteria, Culturelle combines 200 mg of inulin, a naturally occurring prebiotic fiber to feed the probiotic. Independent product testing company, Consumer Labs, confirmed that it contains the listed amount of probiotic organisms and is free of contamination as well as yeast, milk, dairy, lactose, wheat, and gluten, which makes this a great option for anyone who may be following a gut-healing specific diet looking for an extra gut health boost.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 10 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, soy-free, non-GMO

Editor's Choice: Seed Daily Synbiotic

Seed Daily Synbiotic
What We Like
  • Blend contains both a prebiotic and probiotic

  • Uses only research-backed probiotic strains

  • Patented microalgae capsule ensures survival in stomach acid

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

The research on various probiotic strains has been booming. With more research comes more knowledge on specific probiotic strains to help support various bodily mechanisms. Seed focuses on using specific probiotic strains that have been researched in human-based studies.

Seed’s Daily Synbiotic extends beyond a focus solely on gut health. If you are wondering what a ‘synbiotic’ is and how it differs from a probiotic, it is a scientific way of naming a product that contains both a prebiotic and a probiotic in one capsule. Think of prebiotics as the food that the probiotics live on. To ensure that their pre and probiotics survive the stomach’s acidity, the potent combination of bacteria strains specific for dermatological and cardiovascular health (in addition to gut health) are protected in a patented capsule made from microalgae.

Seed Daily Synbiotic does not have to be refrigerated and they meticulously test their product to make sure they are free of gluten, dairy, corn soy, binders, fillers, and excipients.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 53.6 billion AFU | Dosage: 2 daily | Certified: Vegan, allergen-friendly

What Our Editors Say

"The label on Seed's probiotics says it'll help with digestion and metabolic and immune health. I've been taking the supplements for almost a month now, and I've never been less bloated—before, during, or after my period." Hallie Gould, Editorial Director

Best Combination: Lovebug Probiotics Yeast & Vaginal pH Support Probiotics

Lovebug Probiotics Yeast & Vaginal pH Support Probiotics
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Designed to support vaginal, digestive, and immune health

  • Helps prevent and treat urinary tract infections

  • Patented capsule ensures survival in stomach acid

What We Don't Like
  • Large pill size

Offering slightly more Colony Forming Units of specific, clinically studied probiotic strains than the above product, Love Bug’s Yeast Is A Beast probiotic is designed with women's health in mind. Featuring five different strains of Lactobacillus, this product may help support optimal vaginal flora as well as digestive and immune function.

In addition to probiotics, this Love Bug includes 250 milligrams of D-Mannose from cranberry extract. D-Mannose has been researched for its ability to help prevent or treat urinary tract infections. All of Love Bug’s probiotics use BIO-tract®, a patented delivery technology scientifically developed to protect the tablets against stomach acids and other rigors of digestion. These probiotics are non-GMO, gluten and artificial flavor, and color-free.

Type: Capsule | Colony Forming Units: 50 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Non-GMO, allergen-friendly

Best for Vaginal Health: Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus for Women

jarro-dophilus

Courtesy of Jarrow

What We Like
  • Contains four clinically-studied probiotic strains

  • Lowers vaginal pH to control undesirable bacteria

  • Food-grade, pH-sensitive coating survives stomach acid

What We Don't Like
  • May oxidize quickly

Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus for women is one of Consumer Labs' top picks of probiotics for women. Featuring five billion CFU of four clinically studied probiotic strains to support vaginal health, this product is an excellent choice for women looking for additional support to prevent and fight against vaginal inflammation.

According to Jarrow Formulas’ website, the patented strains used in this product lower the vaginal pH, creating a mildly acidic environment that is not optimal for the growth of undesirable bacteria. Coated with EnteroGuard®, a proprietary food-grade, pH-sensitive enteric coating, these capsules resist stomach acid, optimizing the delivery of bacteria to the lower GI tract.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 5 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Vegan, allergen-friendly, vegan, vegetarian

Best Gummies: Olly Probiotic Gummy

Olly Probiotic Gummy
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Contains both probiotics and prebiotics

  • Independently tested and evaluated for quality and safety

  • No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or color

What We Don't Like
  • Contains lower amount of probiotics than most others

Supplements in a gummy form are normally packed with added sugars and artificial colorings. Artificial coloring and sweeteners (in any form) are known triggers to gastrointestinal distress. Good news: Olly does not use artificial colorings, flavors, or sweeteners in its products.

Providing one billion Colony Forming Units of Bacillus Coagulans and 1.5 grams of a prebiotic blend in one gummy, this product is an excellent choice for consumers looking for options that are not in pill/capsule form. Olly features NSF certification, a symbol to show that products have been independently tested and evaluated against a rigorous set of quality and material safety requirements. Third-party testing is ideal when purchasing supplements as the supplement industry is not regulated.

Type: Gummies | Colony Forming Units: 1 billion | Dosage: 2 daily | Certified: Gluten-free, B Corporation, NSF

Best On the Go: Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care Go-Pack

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care Go-Pack
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Improves digestive balance with 12 probiotic strains

  • Delayed-release design survives stomach acid

  • No refrigeration necessary

What We Don't Like
  • Effects may be subtle

A major obstacle when it comes to staying consistent with taking probiotics is that many of them need to be refrigerated. Refrigeration keeps bacteria viable and supports overall efficacy. Finding a probiotic that ensures potency not just at the time of manufacture, but at the time of purchase is difficult.

Renew Life’s On The Go Probiotic takes away the stress of refrigeration. Renew Life’s Extra Care probiotics provide 50 billion live cultures from 12 different probiotic strains, designed to re-establish digestive balance. Ensuring quality and potency through expiration, Renew Life’s capsules are designed to be delayed-release, making sure the contents make it past the acidic environment of the stomach. As a bonus, these probiotics do not need to be refrigerated, a plus when shipments might be delayed, routines are disrupted by travel or emergency times without refrigeration.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 50 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: Non-GMO, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free

Best Powder: Garden of Life 5-Day Max Care Probiotic

Garden of Life 5-Day Max Care Probiotic
Courtesy of Amazon.
What We Like
  • Contains 34 studied probiotic strains for digestive health

  • Also made of prebiotics, fiber, and enzymes

  • Can be added to your smoothies or shake

What We Don't Like
  • Only five servings per package

Looking for a powerful probiotic solution without adding a new daily supplement to your routine? If so, Garden of Life’s 5 Day Max Restore is a potent, fast solution.

This probiotic blend in powder form is rich in different Bifidobacterium strains which have been studied extensively for their effect on the gastrointestinal tract. One daily serving contains 400 Billion CFU of 34 different probiotic strains, 100 milligrams of digestive enzymes, and a rich prebiotic blend from Jerusalem artichoke and banana powder. This powder alone contains 10 grams of fiber per serving, a bonus for anyone seeking to increase their fiber consumption.

Certified organic, non-GMO, and featuring an NSF certificate, this supplement has been independently tested and evaluated against a rigorous set of quality and material safety requirements.

Type: Powder | Colony Forming Units: 400 billion | Dosage: 2 tbs. daily | Certified: Organic, gluten-free, NSF

Best Vegan: Innate Response Flora 20-14 Capsules

Innate Response Flora 20-14 Capsules

Courtesy of Amazon 

What We Like
  • Contains 14 probiotic strains for digestion and immunity

  • Tested for 125 microbiome-disrupting pesticides and herbicides

  • Contains no animal-derived ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Must be kept refrigerated

Innate Response is one of the first supplement companies to guarantee that their products are glyphosate residue-free which increases the efficacy of their potent Flora 20-14, Probiotic by limiting interference from a known microbiome disrupter.

Glyphosate, a key ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, has been making headlines recently due to its negative effects on hormones, gastrointestinal health, respiratory health, and immune functioning, among other concerns. In addition to glyphosate, each batch of incoming ingredients is tested for over 125 different pesticides and herbicides.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 20 billion | Dosage: 1 daily | Certified: B corporation, non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free

Best Prebiotic + Probiotic: Happy V Prebiotic + Probiotic

Happy V Prebiotic + Probiotic

Happy V

What We Like
  • Fights bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and yeast infections

  • Restores gut health and decreases bloating

  • No refrigeration necessary

What We Don't Like
  •  A bit pricey

Happy V’s Prebiotic + Probiotic Vaginal Health Supplements can effectively fight against bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and yeast infections thanks to its lineup of powerhouse ingredients. The formula's probiotics optimize your vagina’s pH for wellness, prevent pathogenic activity, and improve your lactic acid production. You can also rely on the supplement's probiotics to help restore your gut health, increase gut comfort, and even decrease bloating. The capsules are made with a patented prebiotic that destroys bad bacteria, improves the probiotics' efficacy, and maintains urinary tract and vaginal health. To round things out, the ingredient list also boasts lactobacillus, which is the most common beneficial bacteria found in the vaginal flora.

Happy V’s Prebiotic + Probiotic Vaginal Health Supplements are also physician-formulated, clinically proven, 100% natural, drug-free, and allergen-free. So, you know you can trust them.

Type: Capsules | Colony Forming Units: 20 billion | Dosage: 2 daily | Certified: Vegetarian, allergen-friendly

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is Garden of Life Probiotics Supplements for Women with its 50 billion Colony Forming Units and 16 diverse probiotic strains. The capsules are easy to swallow and digest. If you're looking for a gummy probiotic, consider Olly Probiotic Gummies. They contain one billion Colony Forming Units of Bacillus Coagulans and 1.5 grams of a prebiotic blend in one serving, and are NSF certificated to show that they've been tested and evaluated to meet safety requirements.

Meet the Expert

  • Sydney Greene, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutritionist focusing on integrative, customized nutrition counseling and coaching for individuals in recovery from substance use. She also works with individuals who are looking to change their relationship to food and body image.
  • Lauren Minchen, RDN is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant based in New York City.
  • Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic, clinical pharmacist and author of the Clinical Guide to Probiotics.
  • Kimberly Snyder, RDN is a celebrity nutritionist, holistic wellness teacher, author, and the founder of wellness community Solluna.


What to Look For in Probiotics for Women

Levels of Live Probiotics

It's important to look into the level of live probiotics a supplement contains before you purchase it. This indicates the number of live bacteria in the formula. However, you'll also want to make sure this information is provided through the "best by" date noted on the product.

Consider Your Particular Needs

It's equally important to choose the right kind of probiotic supplement to best fit your health goals. Generally speaking, the bacterial strains that will benefit vaginal health are different from those that will be good for gut health, so look for a product that’s targeted for your exact needs.

The Amount of CFUs

When it comes to CFUs, "more isn’t always better, as the amount of bacteria needed to be effective depends on the particular strain," says clinical pharmacist Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic, author of the Clinical Guide to Probiotics. “Some strains would work at a dose as low as 0.5B CFU per day, and others might require up to 450B CFU per day,” she explains. Your best bet? Discuss your particular goals and needs with your doctor so you can find the right probiotic supplement for you.

FAQ
  • What do probiotics do?

    As nutrition consultant Lauren Minchen explains, "probiotics populate the gut lining and other areas of the body (like the skin) to protect against harmful bacteria and viruses, keep tissue intact, and boost the absorption of nutrients." Probiotic supplements can ensure your body is further optimized by improving gut function, improving skin conditions like rosacea and dermatitis, improving immunity, boosting mental health, and promoting heart health.

  • Are probiotics safe for pregnancy?

    Though you should always consult your doctor before, probiotics are generally considered safe for pregnancy and are even sometimes recommended for this time. Taking them can improve the gut health of both you and your baby, reducing the risk of developing food allergies, infections, and illness.

  • How long does it take for probiotics to work?

    Probiotics begin their work within your gut immediately, but consistency is key for the best results. According to celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, "if you’re taking them for skin health, you might expect to notice a difference in about four weeks, but results may vary as there’s no one-size-fits-all experience."

Best Probiotics for Women

Byrdie / Michela Buttignol

Why Trust Byrdie

This article was written by Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist, who evaluated dozens of top-rated probiotics for women on their amount of CFUs and targeted strains. Her recommendations, in concert with our research insights determined the products included in this roundup.

Additional input was provided by Lauren Minchen, RDN, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant, Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic, clinical pharmacist and author of the Clinical Guide to Probiotics, and Kimberly Snyder, RDN, a celebrity nutritionist. This roundup was medically reviewed by Maryann Walsh, MFN, RD, CDE.

According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find any probiotics from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at contact@byrdie.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP. 

Updated by Jill Di Donato
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  8. Domenici L, Monti M, Bracchi C, et al. D-mannose: A Promising Support for Acute Urinary Tract Infections in Women. A Pilot StudyEur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2016;20(13):2920-2925.

  9. Hu J, Lesseur C, Miao Y, et al. Low-dose Exposure of Glyphosate-based Herbicides Disrupt the Urine Metabolome and Its Interaction with Gut MicrobiotaSci Rep. 2021;11(1):3265. doi:10.1038/s41598-021-82552-2

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