Women are very susceptible to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Constipation, BV (bacterial vaginosis), Yeast and Urinary Infections, yet most of these conditions do not necessarily require medical treatment.
While use of antibiotics (BV ; UTIs) is the first line of treatment, continuous usage in recurrent infections remains controversial.
Preventative and precautionary measures to reduce the frequency, severity and discomfort have become more prominent, with research and clinical data prioritizing such measures in the overall management.
The use of probiotics has shown excellent response to constipation and moderate IBS, Candida infection (yeast) and Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) while cranberry extract is known to reduce the frequency of Urinary Tract Infections.
Femina™ is formulated with 10 Strains of probiotics and offers over 10billion CFU per serving primarily targeted both as meal replacement as well as cranberry extract for preventative support of women’s urogenital health.
IBS and Gut Health
Gastrointestinal distress and associated symptoms are twice as common in women as they are in men. The discomfort is additionally complicated by other factors including menses, migraine, heartburn and fibromyalgia.
Gut health and the relationship with probiotics focuses on four main areas where there is ample information and clinical data to support their use. They constitute what most women would refer as abdominal distress or naturally ‘tummy issues’ or ‘stomach worries’.
Common gut conditions
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) – a functional disorder of the gastrointestinal system presenting in either B (Bloating), C (Constipation) or D (Diarrhea). It is the most common functional gastrointestinal disorder with a worldwide prevalence of approximately 10-25%. 
- IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) – Refers to both Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative colitis that cause intestinal inflammation leading to diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain/cramps.
Over the years, preventative & supportive measures have been studied and used to relieve the discomfort and manage these conditions. Probiotics have taken center stage and have shown increased resolution, improvement and reduced abdominal distress.
What are the causes?
There is a delicate ecosystem of microbes, both good (probiotics) and bad (pathogens) that constitute our microbiome. This ecosystem can be disrupted by many factors including:
- Overuse of antibiotics  – Leading to depletion of both pathogenic (bad bacteria) as well as probiotics (good bacteria) from the gut.
- Foods high in sugary & processed foods
- Antibiotics overuse
- Post infection – After a gut infection, there is high tendency to cause dominance of gut microbiome with harmful bacteria.
How do Probiotics work?
The role of probiotics in overcoming IBS and other gut related issues is exerted in 4 primary mechanisms. :
- Pathogen suppression – competition for nutrition with the pathogenic bacteria as well as production of bacteriocins (anti-bacterial toxins)
- Improvement of barrier function
- Neurotransmitter production – production of neurotransmitters that may influence communication between gut and brain.
What have been the results?
In a study to assess the efficacy of probiotics in mild IBS, all the patients in the Probiotics Supplementation had abdominal pain resolution and an improvement in stool frequency. In a different study, the use of Bifidobacterium lactis demonstrated an improvement in constipation symptoms.
Your gut flora is affected by the food you eat, its pH balance, glycemic load, amount of fibre, essential fatty acids content, etc.
 Kennedy, P.J.; Cryan, J.F.; Dinan, T.G.; Clarke, G. Irritable bowel syndrome: A microbiome-gut-brain axis disorder? World J. Gastroenterol. 2014, 20, 14105–14125. [CrossRef] [PubMed]
 Perez-Cobas, A.E. Gutmicrobiota disturbance during antibiotic therapy: Amulti-omic approach. GutMicrobes 2014, 5, 64–70.
 Sánchez, B.; Delgado, S.; Blanco-Míguez, A.; Lourenço, A.; Gueimonde, M.; Margolles, A. Probiotics, gut microbiota, and their influence on host health and disease. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2017, 61, 1600240.
 Niedzielin K, Kordecki H, Birkenfeld B. A controlled, double-blind, randomized study on the efficacy of Lactobacillus plantarum 299V in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2001 Oct;13(10):1143-7.
 Dimidi E, Christodoulides S, Fragkos KC, Scott SM, Whelan K. The effect of probiotics on functional constipation in adults: a systematic review and meta-anlysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;100(4):1075-84. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.089151.