, Volume 66, Issue 9, pp 1253–1261 | Cite as

Probiotics for Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women

A Review of the Evidence from Microbiological and Clinical Studies
  • Matthew E. FalagasEmail author
  • Gregoria I. Betsi
  • Theodoros Tokas
  • Stavros Athanasiou
Review Article


Recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) afflict a great number of women around the world. The use of probiotics, especially lactobacilli, has been considered for the prevention of UTIs. Since lactobacilli dominate the urogenital flora of healthy premenopausal women, it has been suggested that restoration of the urogenital flora, which is dominated by uropathogens, with lactobacilli may protect against UTIs. This review is based on a search of PubMed for relevant articles. Many in vitro studies, animal experiments, microbiological studies in healthy women, and clinical trials in women with UTIs have been carried out to assess the effectiveness and safety of probiotics for prophylaxis against uropathogens. Most of them had encouraging findings for some specific strains of lactobacilli. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 (previously called L. fermentum RC-14) seemed to be the most effective among the studied lactobacilli for the prevention of UTIs. L. casei shirota and L. crispatus CTV-05 have also shown efficacy in some studies. L. rhamnosus GG did not appear to be quite as effective in the prevention of UTIs. The evidence from the available studies suggests that probiotics can be beneficial for preventing recurrent UTIs in women; they also have a good safety profile. However, further research is needed to confirm these results before the widespread use of probiotics for this indication can be recommended.


Lactobacillus Bacterial Vaginosis Recurrent Urinary Tract Infection Vaginal Flora Vaginal Fluid 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors received no funding for the preparation of this manuscript and have no potential conflicts of interest directly relevant to its contents.


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Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew E. Falagas
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Gregoria I. Betsi
    • 1
  • Theodoros Tokas
    • 1
  • Stavros Athanasiou
    • 3
  1. 1.Alfa Institute of Biomedical Sciences (AIBS)AthensGreece
  2. 2.Department of MedicineTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  3. 3.First Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyAthens University School of MedicineGreece

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