Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is an endocrine disrupting autoimmune disease that occurs in women of reproductive age. It can cause a number of difficult symptoms including infertility, period irregularity, fatigue, acne, digestive problems, and more . PCOS is increasingly common, affecting one and five women. These hormonal issues have even been seen in teenagers!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS, but there are ways to alleviate symptoms and reverse PCOS naturally. Changes in diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference! One of the most challenging symptoms of PCOS is the constant digestive turmoil. Your gut is the center of so many things in our body including our mood, immune health, weight, sleep, and even our skin!
One of the best ways to better your gut health is through probiotics. Probiotics have been shown to alleviate a number of PCOS symptoms that are sourced back to the gut. You can get some probiotics from fermented foods like kombucha, kimchi, and miso! However, if you’re following my anti-inflammatory gluten & dairy free PCOS lifestyle, I don’t advise fermented cheeses and yogurt.
So, today, I am dedicating my whole post to probiotics! I’ll list the top PCOS supplements and list the many benefits of taking a regular probiotic. However, make sure to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement. Since so many PCOS patients have seen relief using probiotics, you’ll likely get the green light! When you do, consider one of these 7 probiotics for PCOS:
7 Best Probiotics for PCOS
I’ve had Dr. Brighten on my podcast before because she’s a hormone-balancing queen. She’s a naturopathic endocrinologist who’s spent much of her career as an ND helping women resolve period struggles, reset their bodies after birth control, and restore their body’s natural hormone balance. If you want to listen to the episode where we talk with her about PCOS and hormonal birth control, click HERE.
She has her own line of supplements that are great quality and specifically designed for women. Her women’s probiotic is a blend of multiple probiotics, prebiotics, and antioxidants for a healthy gut and vaginal microbiome. (Hormone balance is important in both places.) Others on this supplement have found relief from bloating, PMS, acne, painful periods, and vaginal itching. It also can help improve ovary and bladder health!
For this one, you take 2 capsules a day for your full serving. It’s best to take them first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night, since this type of probiotic works best on an empty stomach. I should also mention that these probiotics are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as vegan. That means these probiotics are hypoallergenic and support your PCOS diet.
There are lots of different forms of probiotics, and spore probiotics can be beneficial to include in your supplement regimen alongside a standard probiotic, because they do more than promote the growth of good bacteria. Spore-based probiotics stay in the gut for weeks and travel to other parts of the digestive system, killing bad bacteria while supporting the growth of good bacteria. Because it does both, spore probiotics usually do a little better in terms of balancing your gut microbiota.
Early research shows spore probiotics help lessen the development of insulin resistance in women with PCOS, which can help with weight gain. Though more research needs to be conducted, spore-based probiotics can also help with reducing toxins, lowering cholesterol, lowering inflammation, improving immune health, and increasing the metabolism. All of these things can be beneficial for PCOS symptoms!
Unlike regular probiotics, you should always take spore probiotics with food. And, if you’ve never taken probiotics before, you may experience some gas and bloating at first. This is just because your gut microbiota is changing and your body is trying to readjust.
Don’t worry, your body will likely get used to the new balanced microbiome. The symptoms will relieve themselves on their own. If you’re concerned, of course, call your doctor. The MegaSporeBiotic has no fillers, GMOs, dairy, corn, wheat, gluten, salt, sugar, soy, or artificial flavors and colors. Needless to say, there are no common allergens here.
This is another probiotic specifically formulated for women. It’s a blend of a few probiotic strains designed to help balance the bacteria in your gut and vagina. The gut is the center of your immune health and the vagina is the center of our reproductive/menstrual health. Just like gut health is volatile, factors like stress, diet, sex, periods, pregnancy, and medications can disrupt your vaginal microbiome. That’s where the probiotics can help stabilize and balance.
All of the probiotics included in this blend are of the lactobacillus variety, which have been shown to help with the lactose digestion, immune health, cholesterol levels, and even better sleep! Like previously mentioned, you may have some gas or bloating when you first start taking a probiotic. This probiotic is also allergy friendly with no dairy, wheat, eggs, tree nuts, or peanuts.
Pure Encapsulation’s probiotic has everything you need, and nothing you don’t. They keep their supplements free of wheat, eggs, tree nuts & peanuts, gluten, artificial colors, artificial flavors, sweeteners, coatings, shellacs, GMOs, and any other unnecessary binders, fillers, and preservatives. What it does have is a collection of prebiotics and probiotics to support your gut, immune system, and more!
This blend of probiotics and prebiotics can also help improve your skin, dental health, cholesterol, inflammation, liver function, and blood pressure. For this brand, you can take them with or without food 1-2 times a day. It’s a good idea to start with once a day, let your body adjust, and then expand to 2. I also love that this blend is shelf stable, so I can’t store them with the rest of my vitamins. (I find it easy to forget to take them if they’re in the fridge!)
A lot of the supplements on this list are a bit flashy and come with a high price tag. Quality supplements are totally worth it, but if you’re looking for something effective and budget-friendly, NOW supplements are a great choice. They’re still diary, soy, and gluten free despite the lower price tag.
The probiotic blend includes 10 strains, as the name suggests. Like other probiotics on this list, this mixture helps with digestion, detoxification, and immune health. Studies show some of these strains can help with cognitive function, which improves mood and sleep.
The instructions note that these capsules need to be refrigerated and you should take these probiotics on an empty stomach 1-2 times a day between meals. You can expect some digestional discomfort as your body gets used to the changing hormone balance in your gut.
Here’s another doctor formulated probiotic blend just for women. I like anything specifically attuned to our specific biological condition, because the supplements are more likely to work in the way we need them to! This probiotic is not only specialized for women, but it’s also organic, non-GMO, vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, and soy-free. The capsules are also shelf-stable, so no refrigeration required!
The prebiotic and probiotic blend can help with lowering the cholesterol, relieving digestive troubles, balancing your vaginal microbiome, reducing stress, and strengthening your immune system. It’s a great probiotic supplement option that’s cheaper than some other on this list!
Here’s one more spore probiotic for the road. Remember, the spore probiotics stay in your body longer and travel to other parts of your digestive system, killing harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria to keep you balanced.
The strains of probiotics in this blend can relieve digestive issues, increase immunity, and help your body better absorb nutrients. Since this is a spore-based probiotic, you should take your capsule directly after eating a meal. You don’t need to refrigerate these capsules, and they’re free of soy, gluten, dairy, and GMOs.
Probiotic Benefits for PCOS
There are a lot of benefits to adding probiotics to your supplement routine! Results vary depending on the probiotic blend and the person, but here are all the ways probiotics can help you as a woman with PCOS:
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves immune health
- Supports mood regulation
- Betters stress management
- Relieves digestive troubles like constipation, diarrhea, stomachaches, gas, bloating, etc.
- Betters digestion of lactose
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Improves your sleep
- Lowers risk of bacterial and yeast vaginal infections
- Improves skin
- Removes toxins
- Improves insulin resistance
- Helps balances female hormones
An investment in probiotics may help alleviate some of your PCOS gut health symptoms!
If you’re ready to add probiotics into your supplement routine, first talk to your doctor, and then choose one of these high quality probiotics and get started! Be sure to check when they need to be taken and if they need to be refrigerated. And, if you can, see if you can set your supplements up to ship automatically to your door each month, so you never miss a day.
While you wait for your supplements to come in, find other tips for symptom relief on my blog and podcast! I share tons of information on how you can reclaim your life, reverse your PCOS, and get back to feeling amazing! Join The Cysterhood, and let’s do this together.