Vaginal pH Balance: A Comprehensive Guide
We often hear that maintaining the pH level of the vaginal area is crucial, but what exactly does that mean? Fret not! The article explains every aspect of a vaginal pH balance in detail.
Understanding vaginally pH balance
PH is a type of scale used to measure the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. A lower ph level indicates an acidic solution.
Vaginal pH balance is a scaling of how acidic or alkaline a vaginal fluid is. Disturbance in vaginal pH balance can cause many problems like yeast infection, vaginal vaginosis and Trichomoniasis.
An ideal vaginal pH level
If the pH level is 7, the solution is considered neutral. Whereas pH level lower than 7 is acidic and more than seven is alkaline. A healthy vaginal pH level ranges between 3.8 and 4.5.
Symptoms that indicate unhealthy pH balance
An unhealthy vaginal pH balance in your vaginal area can lead to infection. Before you end up having such issues, start taking care of your pH levels. Some of the signs to indicate unhealthy pH levels are as follows.
- Irritation, itching and swelling around the vaginal area
- A fish-like smell coming from your vagina
- A foamy grey or a green coloured discharge
- There is a burning sensation
Causes of unhealthy vaginal pH level
The overall health of a female affects the health of her vaginal pH level. A well-balanced diet and proper hydration keep your vaginal pH balance right.
Consumption of antibiotics
Antibiotics kill both harmful bacteria and good bacteria. It helps your body to keep the vaginal area acidic.
Menstrual blood is alkaline. When the blood flows from the vaginal area and sits on the pads or tampons, it causes a disturbance in the pH level.
Semen is alkaline. It encourages the growth of certain unwanted bacteria.
It is advisable not to wash the vagina regularly with a mixture containing water and vinegar or baking soda. It leads to the growth of harmful bacteria resulting in an unhealthy vaginal pH balance.
If you are going through your menopause or if you are pregnant, it is obvious to see a change in pH levels around the vagina. Factors like stress, too much moisture, heat caused due to workout clothes, bathing suits and tight pants can put off your pH levels.
Tips to keep the vaginal pH level balanced
One must keep an eye on vaginal pH balance. Consider a doctor to treat such problems. Besides this following are some tips and tricks to maintain a healthy pH balance at your level.
A healthy vagina has a good bacteria known as lactobacilli present in abundance. Lactobacilli fight with bacteria that are unhealthy for your vagina and helps in maintaining the pH balance. You can find it in probiotic supplements or fermented foods like kefir, kimchi. Yoghurt is an easily accessible food that has lactobacilli in abundance.
How about garlic tablets?
Garlic tablets have a bacteria-fighting compound known as allicin. However, one must note that garlic can disturb digestive functioning. People on blood thinners or having bleeding concerns must keep away from garlic tablets.
Stress affects all facets of your body, including the vagina. We know that stress is unavoidable. Some ways to help your body release good hormones to overcome stress-related hormones are as follows:
Let's start our day with exercise
Exercise enables your body to release feel-good neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Exercise like yoga or Zumba is a good stress buster.
Listening to a soothing music
Relax by listening to music that soothes your mind. Playing your favorite music is also a good idea.
Indulge in your favorite activity
Use your brain's energy into something that keeps you engaged. Solving a puzzle, reading your favorite book, watching a laughter show or playing a game are some of the activities you can easily indulge in.
Deep breath oxygenates your blood, clears your mind and centres your body. Find a quiet place and inhale air with your nose and release it via your mouth. Perform this activity for 5 minutes.
Be mindful about cleaning your vagina or vulva.
Use warm water to clean your vagina. If you still think that soaps will better clean your vagina, then use fragrance-free soap.
Boric acid suppositories
For mild bacterial vaginosis problems, boric acids can prove to be a good alternative. Boric acid suppositories are affordable and easily accessible in a local store.
Take great care of yourself during menstrual flow.
Change your pads or tampons regularly during menstrual flow. It helps in maintaining hygiene and keeps infectious germs at bay.
During a woman's life, the pH level of her vagina keeps on changing. The good thing is that you do not have to do something extraordinary to maintain the pH levels. The simple steps mentioned above are enough for a healthy vaginal pH level.