Petricevic L et al. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of oral lactobacilli to improve the vaginal flora of postmenopausal women. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2008;141(1):54-57.
The purpose of this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was to evaluate the influence of the orally administered probiotic strains Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Lactobacillus reuteri RC-14 on the quality of the vaginal flora in postmenopausal women.
Postmenopausal women with Nugent scores between 4 and 6 in initial vaginal swab, were randomized into two groups. Women in the intervention group received probiotic capsules containing 2.5×10(9)CFU (colony forming units) each of lyophilized L. rhamnosus GR-1 and L. reuteri RC-14 and women in the control group received an oral placebo once daily, in both groups for 14 days. Final vaginal swabs were taken 1 day after the last administration of the medication. The primary efficacy variable was a change in the Nugent score between baseline and the end of the study of at least two grades in each individual patient.
Seventy two women were recruited in the study, 35 assigned to the intervention group and 37 to the control group. Twenty-one of the 35 subjects (60%) in the intervention group and 6 of the 37 subjects (16%) in the control group showed a reduction in the Nugent score by at least two grades. The difference in the number of patients with improvement was highly significant (p=0.0001). The median difference in Nugent scores between baseline and the end of the study was 3 in the intervention group and 0 in the control group (p=0.0001).
Our results provide evidence for an alternative modality to restore the normal vaginal flora using specific probiotic strains administered orally.