What You Should Know to Maintain Your Vaginal pH Balance
The pH value of a substance indicates how acidic or basic it is. The range used to measure the pH level of a substance is between 0 to 14. An acidic pH is lower than 7, and a basic pH is higher than 7. How is it connected to your vagina? Vaginal pH, whether it is acidic or basic, plays a significant role in deciding if your vagina is healthy.
What is vaginal pH balance?
The term pH, which stands for the potential of hydrogen (p), describes how acidic or alkaline a substance is. This includes everything, be it our skin or the cosmetics we apply to it. 1 being severely acidic, 14 being strongly alkaline, and seven being neutral make up the pH scale. The pH of a healthy vulva normally ranges from 3.8 to 4.7.
Factors that can affect the pH of the female body
- Persistent dryness
- Vaginal discharge
- Cosmetic items
- Tight clothes
- Sanitary Pads
- Contamination by faeces or urine
Why does the vaginal pH matter?
According to experts, your vaginal pH should be less than or equal to 4.5 when you are in your reproductive years (ages 15 to 49). However, a healthy pH is typically greater than 4.5 before and after menstruation. Vaginal acidity serves as protection. By forming a barrier, it stops harmful bacteria and yeast from infecting the body and proliferating rapidly.
What causes the imbalanced pH of the vagina?
Your vaginal pH level can alter in any of the following circumstances:
Unprotected sexual activity- Since semen is alkaline, some bacteria may flourish more readily after sexual intercourse.
Douching- Approximately 20% of women regularly wash out their vagina with water and a solution of vinegar, iodine or baking soda, despite the fact that this activity isn't recommended. Douching doesn’t just raise the pH of the vagina, it also promotes the development of dangerous bacteria in general.
Antibiotics- The good bacteria required to maintain a healthy, acidic vaginal pH level are also destroyed by these substances alongwith the pathogenic bad bacteria.
Menstrual cycles- The pH in the vagina rises during menstruation because menstrual blood has a somewhat basic composition. The pH level may rise when the blood passes through the vagina, is absorbed by a tampon or pad, and remains in close contact with the vaginal walls and the vaginal entrance.
What are the symptoms of an imbalanced pH balance?
Knowing that the vaginal pH balance affects women of all ages can be helpful. However, the specific symptoms of an improper pH balance can differ from one person to the other. Therefore, you should constantly pay attention to the clues your body is sending you. You might be experiencing one or more of the following indications-
- Discharge that is odd or discoloured
- Unpleasant or fishy odour
- Pain while urinating or having sex
How to treat vaginal pH imbalance?
Here are a few tips for you on how to balance vaginal pH-
- Use a condom during sex
- Consider probiotics to restore healthy bacteria
- Avoid douching
- Eat yoghurt regularly
- Visit your OB-GYN regularly