Uro Probiotics: Side Effects and Benefits

Vaginal probiotics have gained popularity in recent months with Uro probiotics being a popular brand. Here we discuss the possible benefits, risks and the evidence (or lack of) for these.
Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Graduate medical student at Barts and London.

A blue image with text saying "Uro probiotics"

What are Uro probiotics?

Uro probiotics are a brand of daily probiotic supplement that claims to support healthy vaginal flora and promote a healthy vaginal odour. It claims to include ‘research-backed’ ingredients that work proactively to provide relief from dryness, vaginal odour and itching sensations [1]. Each capsule includes a blend of four strains with 5 billion colony forming units with the aim of enhancing protection. The four strains in questions and their claimed benefit include:

  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus: with the claim of targeting inflammation and digestive problems.
  • Lactobacillus Rhamnosus: with the claim of promoting balance in both the gastrointestinal tract and vagina.
  • Lactobacillus Reuteri: with the claim of anti-inflammatory, immune boosting and antimicrobial properties.
  • Lactobacillus Fermentum: with the claim of boosting your immune system and lowering your cholesterol.

Also a source of pre-biotics aiming to maintain the probiotics for longer.

People Also Ask

Prebiotics are beneficial for vaginal health as they stimulate the growth of probiotics, such as lactobacilli species, which help maintain a healthy vaginal microbiome. Prebiotics encourage the development of these beneficial microorganisms, which in turn promote a balanced vaginal environment by lowering pH levels, producing bacteriocins, disrupting biofilms, modulating immune response, and producing hydrogen peroxide. This helps combat the growth of pathogens and reduces the risk of vaginal infections. [1], [2]

Vaginal microbial imbalances can be caused by various factors. These include unprotected sex with a male partner, changes in hormones, poor hygiene habits, having multiple sexual partners or a new sexual partner, douching, a natural lack of lactobacilli bacteria, antibiotic use, pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes, impaired immune system, use of oral contraceptives or hormone therapy, and certain behaviors or practices such as using scented sprays, douching, and using improperly cleaned sex toys. [1], [2], [3], [4]

What are Uro probiotics used to treat?

Uro Probiotics are aiming to address vaginal imbalance, which has been associated witha number of diseases, more commonly yeast infections and BV. The vagina is resident to over 50 unique species of microbes, many of which are a lactobacilli, a type of bacteria. Their presence helps maintain vaginal health and keep it free from infection [2]. A lack of this bacteria paired with an overgrowth of some other microbe may lead to a vaginal imbalance that can occur due to many reasons including hormonal changes, menstruation, poor hygiene and unprotected sex with a man. The resulting imbalance may result in a strange odour, discomfort, itching and unhealthy discharge. It does have the potential to lead to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis and Trichomoniasis (a type of STI caused by a small parasite). It may also contribute to an increased likelihood of developing a urinary tract infection or UTI.

Uro probiotics and other similar vaginal probiotics often claim to be able to treat these issues by treating this imbalance; however, there is little conclusive evidence to say that probiotics are effective at preventing or treating conditions such as BV or UTI [2].

What is the evidence for taking Uro probiotics?

At this stage, the evidence for taking Uro probiotics to improve vaginal health is limited. Recently, researchers have begun to consider the possible benefits of taking probiotics to improve vaginal health [2]. Very limited proper studies have been conducted, however it does appear that one strain of probiotic - L acidophilus may help address issues associated with vaginal imbalance. This is an ingredient in Uro probiotics however there is still not conclusive evidence to suggest this would be an effective treatment.

One small study did investigate the effects of using a vaginal suppository containing Lactobacillus to treat BV. They found that 57% of the women in this trial were able to cure their BV and maintain a healthy balance of their vaginal microbiome following treatment. However, following this trial only 3 (11%) of the women were able to maintain this, with the BV returning in all others following menstruation [3].

What are the risks of taking Uro probiotics?

The risks of taking Uroprobiotics include that they may not be regulated as strictly as they are probiotics sold as dietary supplements and they may prevent proper treatment of a vaginal imbalance. Some further harmful effects that have been highlighted include unsafe substances being produced by the probiotic microorganisms and infection. The risk of side effects may also be higher if you have a suppressed immune system or a serious illness. If you are considering vaginal probiotics to treat an imbalance or associated disease it may be worth discussing with your doctor first - particularly as many of these supplements can be expensive and might not work!

Uro probiotics pros and cons summary

Uro Probiotics and other vaginal probiotic supplements have gained popularity in recent years and months however the data is still not clear that they are able to offer the proposed health benefits. Most of the studies done are small scale and do not adhere to the rigorous standards of clinical trials. While current probiotics should be viewed with considerable scepticism, this may be something worth keeping an eye on as the evidence expands.

Natasha Puttick

Natasha Puttick

Natasha is a medical student at Barts and the London school of Medicine and Dentistry, with an interest in the social determinants of health. She graduated from the University of Oxford with a BA in Human Sciences and has obtained two publications. Her most recent work investigating clinical vaccine trials has been published in BMJ Public Health.