You are currently viewing How do probiotics affect fertility?

Fertility is affected by many factors. One of them is the vaginal microbiome (in men, respectively, the sperm microbiome). If the vaginal or sperm microbiome is imbalanced, it can significantly reduce the likelihood of pregnancy during both natural and artificial insemination.

The study in Denmark involved 130 women who wanted to get pregnant through IVF ( in vitro fertilization). The study found that women with an unbalanced vaginal microbiome were less likely to succeed. Of the members of the test group with a balanced vaginal microbiome, 44% (27 of 62 women) became pregnant. Of the women whose vaginal microbiome was imbalanced, only 9% (2 out of 22 women) managed to get pregnant.

Reference 1.

A Philadelphia study of a test group of 1,950 women found that women who contracted bacterial vaginitis (the most common genital infection) in the first trimester of pregnancy had a significantly higher risk of miscarriage in the second trimester. The same study found that women with low levels of Lactobacillus in their microbiome are more likely to miscarry in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Reference 2.

Did you know that Dr.OHHIRA® probiotics contain as many as 7 different strains of Lactobacillus l actic acid bacteria ? 😉

The study, published in the International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, tested 700 pregnant patients and found that patients with low levels of Lactobacillus in their microbiome were 75% more likely to have preterm labor and, unfortunately, had a significantly increased risk of miscarriage.

Reference 3.

Probiotics help reduce the likelihood of inflammation, which prevents pregnancy.

Bacterial infections often affect women of the most fertile age and are also a major cause of fertility problems.

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If left untreated, the infection can develop into chronic inflammation, which in turn causes a variety of health problems. This can lead to a general weakening of the entire immune system, disruption of the menstrual cycle and consequent difficulties in pregnancy. Probiotics have proven anti-inflammatory effects. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains are considered particularly effective . In experiments on mice, the animals showed a significant reduction in inflammation and increased fertility after taking probiotics.

Reference 5.

Did you know that Dr.OHHIRA® probiotics contain 4 different strains of Bifidobacterium lactic acid ? Probiotics improve semen quality and increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Pregnancy is not only a problem for women. Today’s lifestyle is increasingly leading to problems with male fertility. Studies show that about 40-50% of pregnancy difficulties are caused by men. The good news, however, is that men can also do several things to improve semen quality.

Chinese researchers carefully studied the semen composition of 96 men and found that Lactobacillus (yes, the same probiotic strain of bacteria that helps increase female fertility and boost overall immunity) was high in the healthiest and most fertile semen samples, and lower in samples below or below average overall quality, deficient in fertilization.

Reference 6.

Probiotics vs. bacterial vaginitis

Bacterial vaginitis (BV) is the most common vaginal infection in the world, mainly due to the lack of lactic acid bacteria Lactobacilli in the microbiome . Unfortunately, women don’t know that in 50% of cases BV is almost asymptomatic, and if left untreated it can lead to pregnancy difficulties, premature labor, and miscarriage.

Reference 7.

In a recent study of bacterial vaginitis, a test group of 125 women was formed and divided into two. Half received antibiotics for 7 days, and the other group received antibiotics in combination with probiotics ( Lactobacillus rhamnosius GR-1® and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14® ). Group 2 continued taking probiotics for 3 weeks after the end of antibiotic treatment . As a result of the study, 40% of patients in Group 1, in which patients received only antibiotics, successfully completed their course of treatment. In group 2, which took antibiotics and probiotics concurrently , the successful cure rate was more than doubled, at 88%. Reference 9.


  1. Haahr, T. (2016). Abnormal vaginal microflora may be associated with poor reproductive outcomes: a prospective study in IVF patients. Journal of Reproductive Immunology, 115, 47-48. doi: 10.1016 / j.jri.2016.04.144
  2. Nelson DB, Bellamy S, Nachamkin I, Ness RB, Macones GA, Allen-Taylor L. (2007). BACTERIAL VAGINOSIS IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER, INDIVIDUAL MICROBIOME LEVELS AND RISK OF PREGNANCY LOSS IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER AMONG URBAN WOMEN. Fertility and Infertility.; 88 (5): 1396-1403. doi: 10.1016 / j.fertnstert.2007.01.035.
  3. Donders GG, Van Calsteren K, Bellen G, Reybrouck R, Van den Bosch T, Riphagen I, Van Lierde S. (2009). Prognostic value for preterm delivery of abnormal vaginal flora, bacterial vaginitis and aerobic vaginitis in the first trimester of pregnancy. BJOG 116 (10): 1315-24. doi: 10.1111 / j.1471-0528.2009.02237.x.
  4. Bhandari, P., Rishi, P. and Prabha, V. (2016). Positive effects of probiotic Lactobacillus plantarum on reversal of LPS-induced infertility in a mouse model. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 65 (5), 345-350. doi: 10.1099 / jmm.0.000230
  5. Weiss, G., Goldsmith, LT, Taylor, RN, Bellet, D., and Taylor, HS (2009). Inflammation in reproductive disorders. Reproductive Science, 16 (2), 216-229. doi: 10.1177 / 1933719108330087
  6. Weng, S., Chiu, C., Lin, F., Huang, W., Liang, C., Yang, T.,… Huang, H. (2014). Bacterial communities in semen of male infertile couples: metagenomic sequencing reveals associations of semen microbiota with semen quality. PLoS ONE, 9 (10), e110152. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0110152
  7. Poutahidis, T., Springer, A., Levkovich, T., Qi, P., Varian, BJ, Lakritz, JR,… Erdman, SE (2014). Probiotic microbes sustain youthful serum testosterone levels and testicular size in aging mice. PLoS 1, 9 (1), e84877. doi: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0084877
  8. Rafael CR Martinez, Sílvio A. Franceschini, Maristela C. Patta, Silvana M. Quintana, Bruna C. Gomes, Elaine CP De Martinis, Gregor Reid (2009) Improved cure of bacterial vaginitis with a single dose of tinidazole (2 g), Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, 55: 133-138, doi: 10.1139 / WO8-102
  9. Anukam K, Osazuwa E, Ahonkhai I, Ngwu M, Osemene G, Bruce AW, Reid G. (2006) Extending antimicrobial therapy of metronidazole bacterial vaginitis with the oral probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Microbes and Infection, 8 (6): 1450-4. DOI: 10.1016 / j.micinf.2006.01.003

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