5 ways to maintain or regain your vagina's pH balance
A hush hush around women’s bodies, especially their intimate body parts has led to a culture where intimate hygiene is neither talked about nor is it taken seriously. However, this can be dangerous because your intimates are a part of your body and their wellness will also have an effect on your entire health.
However, recently we see an encouraging trend where women, companies and gynaecologists are coming forward to speak about women’s intimate hygiene, women’s sexual wellness and so on. Companies are manufacturing products like intimate foam washes and other such products to cater to the needs of women. So while talking about women’s intimate health and hygiene one of the main topics that becomes quite important is vaginal pH.
So what is vaginal pH? Let us turn back time a little and go back to our 7th-grade chemistry classes. pH is an indicator that tells us whether something is acidic or basic. The scale ranges from 0 to 14. Anything more than 7 is basic while anything above 7 is acidic So now coming back to the discussion, your vaginal pH is an important indicator of your vaginal wellbeing. That is why the intimate foam washes, organic vaginal washes focus on correcting or maintaining the pH of your vagina
So what is the pH of my vagina?
This definitely is the most obvious question, what is the pH of my vagina? Well, ordinarily the pH of a healthy vagina ranges somewhere between 3.8-4.5 which means that our vagina is slightly acidic. The reason behind the slightly acidic nature of our vagina is the existence of lactobacilli bacteria secreting lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide giving our vaginas their acidic pH. This acidic environment actually prevents harmful bacterias and yeast from multiplying thereby lowering the chances of infection. A higher vaginal pH may put you at risk of contracting infections like Bacterial vaginosis, Trichomoniasis and so on. There can be various indicators that may warn you of a higher vaginal pH. Apart from periods, having white or transparent discharge is normal. However, if the discharge takes an unusual colour like grey, green or yellow and you notice a foul or fishy smell coming out of it, chances are that you may have contracted a vaginal infection. Significant itching and soreness around your vagina are also some of the symptoms of vaginal infection
So now that we have talked about what is meant by vaginal pH and why is it important to maintain that in a particular range, let us go ahead and see what are the means through which we can maintain or regain our vaginal pH
- Using Intimate foam wash: Today we have a variety of intimate wash foams in the market and they can be quite instrumental in helping to maintain or regain the pH of your vagina. The best organic vaginal washes will ensure that it cleanses and moisturizes your vagina and also keeps any kind of irritation and itching at bay. It can also aid in preventing bacterial and fungal infections while maintaining the natural pH of your vagina.
- Have protected sex: Condoms are an absolute necessity while having sex. They protect you against STDs and unwanted pregnancies. But what if we tell you, it can help you in maintaining your vaginal pH level as well? That’s right. Semen is slightly alkaline in nature and direct deposition of semen in your vagina can actually disrupt its natural pH
- Opt for probiotics: Probiotics have been proven to be very effective when it comes to maintaining vaginal pH. That is mainly because probiotics contain lactobacilli. As we have already mentioned lactobacilli is a good bacteria that is responsible for the acidic nature of our vagina which in turn helps keep the bad guys meaning infections off. So, consuming probiotic supplements or foods like yoghurt or kefir which contain probiotics can actually help you in maintaining or restoring your vaginal pH
Don’t douche: Douching is a method of flushing water up your vagina in an attempt to clean it. Many believe that douching can also help prevent STDs and STIs.
However, this is completely unnecessary and even detrimental. The vagina is self-cleaning. You don’t have to put anything inside your vagina to clean it. If anything douching can mess up the pH of your vagina by flushing out the good bacteria which help is essential to maintain the acidic nature of your vagina. Also, there is absolutely no evidence that douching can prevent any sort of STIs. So it is best to stay away.
- Consult your gynaecologist: There is no denying the fact that most of us avoid visiting our gynac. However, that might not be the best route to take. Many a time we ourselves cannot decipher if our sexual and intimate health is on point. So having regular visits with our gynaecologist is a good way to ensure that any kind of infections down there are kept at bay and our vaginal pH remains in the right range as well.