1) Do I need to take probiotics?
If your lab test shows that you have sufficient protective Lactobacillus bacteria (all Lactobacillus species combined are over 50% except Lactobacillus iners), you may not need to take a probiotic supplement. Once the bad bacteria are cleared, your good Lactobacillus bacteria will grow up and become the dominant species.
However, if your lab test shows that you do not have good protective Lactobacillus bacteria or the number is low (<50%), taking probiotics can help you speed up the recovery and also help stop BV bacteria from coming back.
If you have taken antibiotics recently, your friendly Lactobacillus bacteria might have been wiped out by the antibiotics. Thus, you will need to take probiotics to re-seed protective Lactobacillus bacteria.
2) What if I do not have a recent lab test?
You may assume that your protective Lactobacillus bacteria might be low. Otherwise, you might not have developed BV.
A vaginal microbiome lab test is expensive. It costs about $150/test, but probiotics cost much less. It may not be worth the effort and cost to take a lab test just to see if your protective Lactobacillus bacteria are low.
If you have BV, it suggests that your protective bacteria may be low. It would be a good idea to take probiotic supplements anyway.
Additionally, taking probiotics may not cause side effects even if you have sufficient Lactobacillus bacteria.
3) Can I take just the probiotics to clear BV?
A vaginal infection occurs when the protective Lactobacillus bacteria reduce and the bad bacteria increase, This imbalance in the microbiome is called vaginal dysbiosis. The hidden cause may be a change in the environment. To treat dysbiosis, it is important to address environmental change.
For explanation purposes, let us assume that good bacteria are fish, and bad bacteria are frogs. When the pond water is reduced, fish die and frogs thrive. Water reduction in the pond is the hidden cause of the population shift in animal species.
Without filling the water in the pond (changing the environment), adding more fish (probiotics) into a dried pond will result in more dead fish.
Therefore, taking probiotics alone may not clear BV, because the hidden cause is not addressed.
4) When is the best time to take probiotics?
NeuEve changes the environment of the vagina (like adding water to the pond). Thus, using NeuEve alone often helps restore your vaginal health because after you add water to the pond, the fish will increase.
However, if you do not have any good bacteria left, reseeding good bacteria by taking probiotics will be helpful.
When you use NeuEve BV Clear, Gold, or Silver to clear BV, you can take oral probiotics at the same time, because oral probiotics do not interfere with a vaginal treatment product.
Many customers reported that the Life-Space Women's Probiotics worked well.
Life-Space Women's Probiotics deliver a group of 5 beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria, including the well-studied RC-14 and GR-1 contained in Fem Dophilus pills.
However, if you use a vaginal probiotic insert, like VagiBiom, it would be a good idea to use it between the dates of NeuEve suppository applications after you have switched to the maintenance mode.
If you use a probiotic suppository at the same time as a NeuEve suppository for BV treatment, it may dilute the ingredients of the latter, rendering it less effective. Thus, we do not recommend that you use a vaginal probiotic insert while you are using a NeuEve suppository for clearing BV at the same time.
However, after your BV is cleared and you have switched to the maintenance mode, using a probiotic suppository between the dates of NeuEve suppository applications will have reduced interference, maximizing the effect.
5) Which is better, the oral pill vs. the vaginal insert?
The formulation of oral probiotic pills is simple. It fills freeze-dried Lactobacillus powers into a capsule without any additional ingredients. Therefore, it often has a longer shelf life. But, oral pills may take a longer time for the good bacteria to colonize the vagina because they have to go through a long passage of the digestive tract.
The formulation of vaginal inserts is often more complex. The manufacturer wanted to make it more effective by adding other ingredients like acids into the formula so that it could regulate pH. The trade-off is that the added acids may reduce the shelf life of Lactobacillus. So, it is important to use it while it is fresh. The advantage of a vaginal insert is that the good bacteria can colonize the vagina directly and can be more effective.
The combination of both may work better.
6) Can I use an oral probiotic pill as a vaginal insert?
We do not recommend it because an off-label use of a product can void the liability of the product. If a side effect happens, the product manufacturer may be less likely to help you as you did not follow the suggested application.
We would suggest that you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. A clinical study has shown that taking probiotic pills orally can help Lactobacillus colonization in the vagina to reduce infections.
7) How can I extend the shelf life of probiotics?
Since probiotics are perishable and sensitive to heat, you should store them in a refrigerator as soon as you receive the product to extend their shelf life. The products are the most effective when they are new.
The best time to take probiotics is to start with oral probiotic pills as soon as you start using the NeuEve BV Clear, Gold, or Silver suppositories.
After you complete the treatment and switch to the maintenance mode, you can use vaginal probiotic inserts in between days of the NeuEve suppository applications. The combination of two types of probiotics along with the NeuEve treatment plan may help you clear your BV sooner and stop BV from coming back.
**Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. It is about natural products, nutrients, and/or methods for managing menopause-related discomforts (not diseases). It is not medical advice for the treatment of any disease.