What is a Vaginal pH?
Did you know that the vagina also has a pH level? Also, were you aware that in order to keep the vagina healthy, you need to maintain that pH balance?
A pH level of less than 7 is considered acidic, while a pH level of higher than 7 is basic. Contradicting to a popular misconception that the vagina is neutral in nature, the vagina is actually acidic in nature. It has a pH level of less than 4.5. Lactobacilli bacteria present in the vagina secrete lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide that gives the vagina its acidic pH level.
The pH level inside the vagina can change due to various reasons. As the pH level increases, the risk of infections in the vagina also increases. This is so because a basic environment in the vagina allows bacteria and yeast to thrive.
A normal vaginal pH ranges between 3.8 and 4.5. This pH range prevents bacterial and fungal infections from occurring.
Vaginal pH may change throughout a woman’s life. It is generally more than 4.5 before a woman has her first menstrual period and after menopause. But it is generally less than 4.5 during a woman’s reproductive years unless a condition or infection increases it.
Causes of Vaginal pH imbalance
Causes of changes in vaginal pH include the following:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Other vaginal infections
- Presence of menstrual blood
- Presence of semen
- Taking antibiotics
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Other conditions like infertility, premature birth etc.
|Balanced pH||Imbalanced pH|
|Ranges between 3.8-4.5||Higher than 4.5|
|Acidic in nature||Not acidic in nature|
|Not prone to vaginal infections||Prone to Infections in the intimate area|
|Indicator of good vaginal health||Indicator of poor vaginal health|
|White to milk-ish discharge||White, gray or green discharge|
Symptoms of pH imbalance in the vagina-
Doctors look for the following symptoms in order to diagnose pH imbalance in the vagina-
- Itching in the intimate area
- A burning sensation during urination
- White, gray or green discharge
- Odor in the intimate area
Remedies to restore the pH balance in the vagina
Pristyn Care gynecologist Dr. Garima Sawhney says that the vagina is self-cleansing. Hence, it works on its own to restore the pH balance. She explains that the main aim is to restore the imbalance of good bacteria in the vagina. Fortunately, there are some remedies that can encourage the recolonization of good bacteria in the intimate area. Some of them are discussed below-
Eat probiotics such as yogurt
Probiotics are rich in good bacteria such as lactobacillus that fends off bad bacteria in not only in the vagina but also in the intestines. Many women have succeeded in restoring the pH imbalance by consuming probiotics.
Safe sex is the only way
Whenever you indulge in sex, make sure that you use condoms. This prevents transmission of several sexually transmitted infections such as genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, genital warts or chlamydia.
Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar is acidic in nature. The vinegar also works as it is a natural antibiotic. Make sure that you don’t put this inside the vagina. You can drink it with warm water and a few drops of honey.
A vaginal pH balance can disrupt if there is a vaginal yeast infection. In such cases, garlic can be your savior! Known for its anti-fungal properties, garlic can help get relief from a yeast infection. Using garlic doesn’t necessarily mean putting the cloves inside the vagina.
Practice some good hygiene rules
It is important that you maintain hygiene in the intimate area to prevent any infections or irritation down there. Some of the basic rules to keep in mind are-
- Don’t use any scented products or harsh soaps down there.
- When having periods, make sure that you change a tampon or sanitary napkin regularly.
- Avoid douching
Eating a Healthy Diet
A healthy, nutritious diet can keep various diseases at bay. A healthy diet not only includes fruit, legumes, protein or probiotics. But it also includes drinking enough water to keep the body hydrated.
Before Final GoodBye
It is important to have a clear idea of the normal range of pH levels in order to keep it healthy. There can be more causes for white, grey or green discharge. it is important to get it checked rather than leaving it untreated. To diagnose the abnormal pH level, consult the gynecologist in Gurgaon to keep the vagina healthy.