PpH stands for the potential hydrogen and measures how acidic or alkaline something is. The number of hydrogen atoms determines the pH scale of 14 to 0. The less acid the higher the pH level and the more acid, the lower the pH level. The vaginal pH value is the level of pH associated with the vagina. Normal vaginal pH ranges between 3.8 and 5.0 and is moderately acidic. Your pH level being balanced is key to regulating bacteria. The acidity in your pH level fights off harmful bacteria so when your pH level is balanced it can regulate good and bad bacteria.
Good bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus are the primary stabilizers of the vaginal ecosystem. Lactobacilli is a microorganism that can produce lactic acid by fermenting glycogen that deprived of the decay of eutrophic vagina mucosa, which then releases hydrogen ions. Producing an acidic pH and bacteriocins designed to kill other bacteria in the vagina, Lactobacilli protects women from sexually transmitted pathogens and other infections. When there is a low number of microorganisms, such as Lactobacilli, the vaginal pH level can become imbalanced and bacteria or other microorganisms can overgrow.
Most women can tell when their pH balance is thrown off but over-the-counter tests or seeking medical attention can help women reduce the risk of infections. Your vaginal area can regulate
itself, but it can also get thrown off and may need help getting back to its normal state.
What causes Vaginal pH imbalance?
There are a few ways a women’s pH balance can become imbalance such as:
· Stress: Stress can cause your hormones to become imbalanced by causing an increase in cortisol, a stress hormone, resulting in the reduction of testosterone. This can result in your pH
becoming imbalance due to changes in your immune health
· Unprotected sex: During intercourse, your vagina creates an alkaline environment to encourage fertilization which can cause an overgrowth in bacteria. Semen has a pH between 7.1
and 8, during unprotected penetrative sex the alkaline from semen can also encourage bacterial overgrowth in the vaginal area.
· Antibiotics: When you take antibiotics, they kill bacteria in your body whether good or bad. This result in an imbalance of good and bad bacteria which may cause pH imbalance.
· Douching: Douche is French for washing or soaking. Douching is the process of washing out the inside of your vagina. Douche solutions can be made from sole water but can also be a
mixture of water and vinegar. Doctors do not recommend douching as it strips bacteria in the vaginal area and can cause pH imbalance and cause harmful bacteria to overgrow.
· Menstruation: Menstrual blood has a pH of 7.4. When menstrual blood sits against your vaginal area for too long it can cause the acidity in your vaginal area to reduce. This results in
your pH raising and becoming more alkaline. It is important to change your pad or tampons frequently so that your pH balance doesn’t get thrown off during menstruation.
· Scented soap/ body wash: Your vaginal area can cleanse itself. Though it may be natural to want to go the extra mile to give it a boost using scented soaps/body washes can throw off your
pH balance. When using soaps/body washes use unscented natural soaps and only use them externally never apply them internally.
Signs your vaginal pH balance might be imbalanced:
Bacterial infections and other health issues can be linked to an imbalance vaginal pH level.
Symptoms that your pH level is imbalanced includes:
· Burning sensation while urinating
· Foul odor
· Itching around the vagina
· Discolored discharge
These are also symptoms of infection such as bacterial vaginosis, urinary tract infections, or yeast infections. If you are experiencing these symptoms seek medical attention to get a proper
diagnosis and get relief.
Ways to treat an imbalanced vaginal pH level:
If you are uncertain if you are experiencing an imbalance in your pH level or if you have any other bacterial infections or health issues you should always seek medical attention, doctors can
often prescribe antibiotics for relief. If you are unsure and need a quick answer you can purchase inexpensive pH strips online or in-store that show quick results in seconds. If you are looking for
a natural way to restore your pH balance here are a few ways you can:
· Cut sugar
· Eat yogurt
· Use condoms
· Drink cranberry juice
· Avoid douching and scented body washes
Your vaginal pH level can be easily imbalanced by many things such as fragrances and stress and can be extremely uncomfortable. It is important to seek medical attention if you have any
symptoms of an imbalanced pH as the symptoms are similar to other vaginal infections. Remember that your vaginal area needs good and bad bacteria so be cautious not to strip all the
bacteria in your intimate area to maintain a healthy pH level. Finding brands that offer natural ingredients that not only won’t strip your vaginal pH but also keep it balanced can help relieve
discomforts caused by an imbalanced pH.
At Ava: Women Health and Hygiene introduced by Stetho Health Systems we are producing products, such as sanitary pads and intimate wash, with natural ingredients. Our products will
help women feel clean and fresh without causing irritation and discomfort from their pH being imbalanced.