Firstly, what is a vaginal pH balance?
It the level of acidity or alkaline in the vagina. A pH level below 7 is acidic while a pH level above 7 is alkaline. So where does the vagina’s healthy pH level sit on the scale? It is moderately acidic and should be between a pH of 3.8 & 4.5.
This natural acidic level is essential to keeping the vagina healthy, protecting it from bacteria overgrowth. Therefore, a high pH may lead to infections as it allows for yeast and bacteria to thrive.
So how do I tell if my vagina’s pH is out of balance?
- Change in discharge colour and texture. Your vaginal discharge may be white, gray, or yellow with a cottage cheese-like texture. Healthy discharge will typically be clear to white.
- Change in discharge odour. You may notice a strong, unpleasant or “fishy” smell. Normally, healthy discharge may have a very faint smell and can often be odourless.
- Discomfort/itching around the vagina & vulva. You may also feel burning and discomfort while peeing or intercourse.
There are many causes for vaginal pH imbalance including your period, menopause, douching, antibiotics, UTI’s or infection.
Don’t worry you’re not alone. Most women will have at least one vaginal pH issue, like a yeast infection, at some point in their life. Thankfully, there are solutions that help restore your balance, and your sanity.
Here’s how you can restore & maintain your feminine area’s pH balance:
1. Eat probiotic-rich foods
The “good” bacteria, known as lactobacilli, are abundant in a healthy vagina. These bacteria help to keep your vulva’s pH balanced & fight bacteria. Eating probiotic-rich foods will increase the presence of lactobacilli.
Taking a supplement with probiotics in may be more effective in producing this healthy bacteria.
2. Drink diluted apple cider vinegar
In a glass of water, add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. The acid present helps to bring down high alkaline levels in the vagina and restore it back to its healthy, acidic pH level.
It can also be added to your salad but DON’T apply it directly onto your feminine area.
3. Keep your stress levels low
Stress has effects on your entire body including the vagina. High stress levels can actually cause a bacterial infection BV. So managing your stress is so important to keep your sacred area’s pH levels happy too. Here are some ideas:
- Listen to music
- Do some self care
4. Period Care
As mentioned, your period can cause a disruption in your pH levels due in the presence of blood that has a higher pH level than your vaginal environment.
This is why it’s important to change your period care products frequently to avoid a build-up of blood in that area. This also helps to reduce risk of any bacterial infections.
Also try to avoid tampons that contain harsh chemicals as these will interfere with your pH levels, hormones and irritate your delicate area.
5. Use contraception
Just like your vagina will increase in pH level when exposed to blood, the same applies to semen. Semen is basic (alkaline) & therefore opposite to the vagina’s acidic environment, causing a disrupting the pH level and making it vulnerable to infection.
Overall, vagina’s do a great job at maintaining their optimal pH balance but sometimes they just need a little extra help. These tips should help you restore and maintain a healthy vulva pH and in turn, prevent the risk of infection. However, if your symptoms worsen and don’t ease with these natural remedies ensure you check in with your doctor.
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