It is normal to be extra concerned about your vaginal health. A female’s vagina is her most sensitive part and has a slightly acidic pH. The normal vaginal pH ranges from 3.8 to 4.5. Vgaina’s acidic nature is a natural barrier to any microbial growth.
The pH of the vagina alters (or turns alkaline) when it comes in contact with a foreign substance or catches an infection. Even, the slightly basic nature of menstrual blood can cause changes in the vaginal pH. But, it is not a major concern as the vagina regains the normal pH after menstruation.
Whenever the vagina is in an unhealthy condition, it shows symptoms like irritation, itching, swelling, foul odor discharge, burning sensation, and pain while passing urine. Fret not, you can keep vaginal complications such as pH imbalance at bay by following a few simple and effective tips.
What to do to maintain healthy vaginal pH balance?
- The simplest and the best way to ensure a healthy vaginal pH is to maintain proper hygiene. Clean vulva significantly lowers the chances of your vagina catching any infections. (Also read: How to clean private parts after urination)
- Wash the vulva with lukewarm water every day. This rinses off the dirt and debris from the vulva.
- Always wipe yourself properly after using the toilet (wipe from front to back). Doing so prevents the harmful bacteria that may be present around the anus from coming in contact with the vagina and causing vaginal irritation.
- Urinating after sex helps in releasing unwanted bacteria and prevents STIs (sexually transmitted infections). Thus, peeing after sex keeps you safe from the infections that can disrupt the normal vaginal pH.
(Also Read: What to do After Sex to Keep Your Vagina Healthy? )
- Choose comfortable cotton panties over tight fitted and synthetic ones. This allows the skin of the intimate area to breathe and retain normal moisture.
- Change the damp underwear immediately when you experience heavy discharge. Also, change your clothes after strenuous activities that cause sweating such as exercising, yoga, gymming, running, etc. This healthy habit keeps the vagina clean and free from the overgrowth of harmful microbes. (Also Read: Underwear rules you can swear by for a happy and healthy vagina)
- Use different condoms for vaginal and anal sex. This prevents the entry of unwanted bacteria that can disturb the normal vaginal pH.
- Change your tampons or sanitary pads within 4-5 hours to avoid any foul smell or unwanted bacterial growth in the vagina.
- Drink lots of water, healthy fluids, and a nutrient-rich diet for maintaining a healthy vagina. Especially, including probiotics such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi in your regular diet is a win-win situation. Yogurt keeps the skin, digestive system, and the reproductive system healthy. It is the best natural way to keep vaginal yeast infections away. And the probiotics are loaded with good bacteria that keep your gut healthy and resistant kind of body infections.
- Use only water-based lubricants during sex to maintain the adequate pH of the vagina.
Things to avoid to maintain vaginal pH balance
If you wish to remain healthy, it is wise to know what to do, but even wiser to know what not to do. Keep the following things in mind and you are likely to have minimum complications with your vagina.
- Do not use scent products to clean the vagina. Scented gels and soaps often lead to irritation and allergy in the vagina.
- Avoid douching. Douching does not help in getting rid of the vaginal odor. Too much douching only disturbs the normal vaginal pH and only aggravates the root cause.
- Avoid sharing sex toys. Sharing them is a potential risk for catching any STIs.
- Do not use petroleum jelly or oil-based lubricants for lubricating the vagina. Such lubricants have a tendency to cause inflammation in the vagina.
- Refrain from inserting anything in the vagina, until your doctor prescribes it. Strictly refrain from inserting any food items like garlic, vinegar, and salt in your vagina. This may result in irritation or inflammation. Use products that are approved by your gynecologist.
- Do not stay for hours in wet clothes. Doing so can trigger unhealthy microbes to build up in the vulva.
- Do not leave any symptoms of vaginal infections untreated. Any vaginal infection only grows severe when you do not receive proper treatment.
- Avoid rubbing the vulva too hard to dry it up, just gently pat it dry. Rubbing harshly results in vaginal dryness as well.
- Popping in too many antibiotics is a big NO! If you frequently need to consume antibiotics, then there are high chances of your vaginal pH getting altered. Although antibiotics act on bad bacteria, it somehow also affects the favorable bacteria.
There are plenty of food options that are just right to keep your vagina healthy and you happy. Let’s quickly know about all those amazing foods that you must eat to maintain the normal vaginal pH:
- Greek yogurt
- Curly kale
- Sweet potatoes
Having the above-mentioned foods will bring significant changes to your vaginal health in just a few days.
So, you can now see that it’s not at all complicated to maintain optimum vaginal pH. Now, that you know all the do’s and don’ts, spread the word and help other ladies know about them too.
Vaginal problems can occur to a female belonging to any age group as these are very common. What is necessary is to be aware that medical consultation is a must as soon as you face some abnormal symptoms with the vagina.
If you have any query or want to consult a gynecologist, then feel free to contact us at Pristyn Care. You can book your online appointment and get to consult the best gynecologist nearby you.