pH balanced? What you need to know
Let’s start with understanding the basics… pH stands for potential hydrogen, and it is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 that shows the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. With that in mind, Vaginal pH is a measure of how acidic or basic the vaginal fluid is. And as you may know, your vaginal pH balance plays a major part in the overall health of your vagina.
The pH scale ranges from 0 (acidic) to 14 (basic):
- Less than 7 = acidic
- 7 = neutral
- Greater than 7 = basic
A healthy vaginal pH is between 3.8-4.5. So, why is it important to keep your pH balanced? An acidic vaginal environment creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly, so having a high pH will put you at risk of infections.
What Causes Unbalanced pH?
Antibiotics, diet, hormones, menstrual periods, unprotected sex, stress, moisture, tight pants, and basically a ton of things can throw off your pH! Especially the use of products near the area that contain fragrance, alcohol or harsh chemicals. That’s why we created our Skin Defense Lotion and Intimate Wipes pH balanced and fragrance free.
Signs or Symptoms
- unpleasant, fishy odor
- yellow, gray, or green discharge
- burning when you urinate
What to Do to Keep Regular pH Levels?
Women often think they are supposed to clean their vagina thoroughly by douching. However, most healthcare providers do not recommend cleaning inside the vagina neither with water or soap. Douching only causes to wash out the ‘good’ bacteria, which is essential for your vaginal health. Although there exist tons of intimate cleansing products, for those who didn’t know… the vagina cleans itself. I know, amazing, right? We only need to clean the vulva (outer part) with warm water.
Wear Breathable, Cotton Underwear
Wearing cotton underwear provides airflow, unlike, synthetic fabrics which trap sweat and moisture. This allows bacteria and yeast to grow, and increases the risk of infection and UTIs. Also, it is recommended to change promptly after swimming or sweating to keep the area dry.
Eat Probiotic Foods or Take Over-the-Counter Supplements
Eating a well-balanced diet that's high in fiber is one of the best ways to keep probiotics at healthy levels. Probiotics occur naturally in fermented foods such as:
- Yogurt and kefir
- Mozzarella and cottage cheese
- Kombucha (fermented tea)
- Miso and tempeh
- Kimchi and sauerkraut
Garlic is known to have antibacterial and anti fungal properties. Some studies show that it can help fight off vaginal infections.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Moreover, you can drink diluted apple cider vinegar or take it in a supplement form. But keep in mind that doctors do not recommend direct use on the vagina even if it is diluted.
Additionally, drinking plenty of water helps flush toxins and regulate the vagina’s ecosystem. Dehydration can lead to itching or worsen yeast infections.
Eat Less Sugar
Similarly, increased sugar in the body can lead to higher pH levels and fuel yeast growth. Avoid or limit excess sugar in foods and drinks. You can still treat yourself, but try to do it occasionally.
Lastly, and most importantly see your OB-GYN regularly! Doing checkups periodically can help you maintain your vaginal health.
Written by VIBLOK® Creative Team