pH reflects the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. Its scale runs from 0 to 14; less than 7 is acidic while above 7 is alkaline. In women, the pH of their vagina, whether it is basic or acidic, plays an important role in maintaining health. A normal range of a female vagina is 3.8 to 4.5, which is slightly acidic.
Your vaginal pH also depends on your life stage. For example, for the reproductive age of women (15 to 49 years), it should be below 4.5. And before menstruation and after menopause, it must be higher than 4.5.
Importance of Balanced pH in Women:
A slightly acidic vaginal pH is beneficial for you. It makes a barrier, which prevents the growth and multiplication of unhealthy yeast and bacteria in your vagina.
Ladies our vaginas are sensitive, I recommend wearing cotton panties rather than synthetic fiber like nylon, lace and polyester. Synthetic material can cause body heat to increase which can cause moisture in the vagina and possibly cause your ph to be unbalanced. You can wear your lingerie for your man in the bedroom , I just don’t suggest for the entire day.
Several studies have revealed that higher vaginal pH creates a favorable environment for the growth of unhealthy bacteria that may cause bacterial vaginosis (infection of vagina). The abnormal bacteria growth causes abnormal yellow, grey, or white vaginal discharge and fishy odor. Furthermore, it may cause burning during urination and itching in the vagina.
Causes of Unbalanced Women’s pH:
Different factors can contribute to unbalanced pH in your vagina. Some common reasons are:
Your menstrual blood is slightly basic, which can increase your vaginal pH. When blood flows in the vagina and gets absorbed in the pad, it increases the pH.
Excessive use of antibiotics is unhealthy for your body. Antibiotics kill harmful bacteria as well as beneficial bacteria in the vagina and reduce the pH that makes it more acidic.
Semen has high pH (alkaline) that supports the bacterial growth in women’s vagina.
Douching is the washing of the vagina with a mixture of iodine, water, vinegar, and baking soda. But it is not advised. A study has depicted that douching disturbs vaginal pH, makes it alkaline that promotes bacterial growth.
Natural ways to balance your pH:
Use natural ways to restore and maintain your vaginal pH such as:
Beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus) are present in a healthy vagina. They not only prevent infections but also maintain vaginal pH. So, add the food rich in lactobacillus to your diet including kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi. You can also use probiotics supplements to restore your pH.
Garlic is rich in antibacterial compounds such as allicin and antioxidants. In 2014, one study has revealed that 500 mg of garlic extract is effective in treating several vaginal infections such as bacterial vaginosis.
The research suggests that women who smoke are more prone to vaginal infection. In 2018, a study concluded that non-smoker females contained a higher level of lactobacillus in their vagina than those who smoked.
Be careful on How You Clean Your Vulva and Vagina:
Researchers have revealed that douching is strongly associated with bacterial vaginosis. Prefer to clean your vagina and vulva with warm water, and avoid the use of fragrant sanitary pads and vaginal washes because they disturb your pH.
Aisha Take Away Message:
Your vaginal pH is important for your health. So, eat a healthy diet and adopt hygienic practices to keep your vaginal pH in balance.