Before we begin, let’s get a better understanding of the meaning behind “pH balance”. Remember in science class as a teenager testing the pH balance of different liquids such as water or vinegar with a pH strip to see the different levels of acidity? (If you don’t remember, not to worry!) Basically, pH balance refers to the level of acids and bases present. Now, let’s get personal! When your vagina’s pH is in balance your body can fight off bacterial and infections, however, when it is not then bad bacteria can build up and cause odor, irritation, and potentially infections.
When pH is measured it has a scale from 0 to 14. Anything less than 7 is considered acidic, while anything indicating higher then 7 is considered alkaline. Vaginal pH levels typically range between 3.5 and 4.5. You want to avoid high vaginal pH levels that can create the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria to form. This can lead to odor, painful sex, discomfort or infections. Not to mention higher risks for STIs, infertility, pre-term births, pelvic inflammatory disease and post-hysterectomy infection- no thanks!
So why is this important? Vaginal care can easily go unnoticed, but it is important to clean and use safe pH balancing products to ensure your vaginal health is in check! You may experience symptoms such as burning, itching, redness or various forms of irritation “down under”, this is a sign that your body is letting you know your pH may be off-balance.
Don’t vagina’s clean themselves? Yes, as magical as it sounds, your vagina is self-cleaning and can usually maintain its pH balance without additional help. However, circumstances can change and disrupt that perfect pH balance level.
Most common disruptors include:
Menstruation- Menstrual blood holds a pH of about 7.4 and can easily fluctuate when using products such as tampons and pads, increasing the risk for bacterial growth.
Medications- Unnatural substances such as prescription medications and antibiotics can upset the balance of good bacteria in your body.
Hormones- Anything that contributes to the fluctuation of hormones, such as oral or internal contraceptives, hormonal replacement therapy, and pregnancy can often cause a high pH that potentially leads to vaginal infections.
Wet or Damp Clothing- Bacteria and yeast flourish in warm and wet environments such as sweaty workout clothes and wet swimsuits.
Now that we know more about pH and its disruptors, let’s review the many ways you can help maintain that pH balance!
Before we get started, if you are experiencing any irritation, discomfort, or infections do consult your physician.
Healthy Diet- You are what you eat, right? Try avoiding processed foods, refined sugars and simple carbs. It is best to consume whole, fresh foods and natural antifungal foods such as yogurt and garlic (they help fight off bad bacteria).
Practice Safe Sex- Semen has a pH of about 7.1 to 8, it is best to use barrier protection such as condoms during sex to reduce risks.
Safe Feminine Care Products- We know it’s important to keep your vagina and its surroundings clean, however, it can be sensitive! Regular body washes or soaps can disrupt the pH balance or even cause dryness or irritation. We recommend using safe feminine care products that are made without harsh chemicals, such as our Pre + Probiotic Feminine Wash. Our gentle Foaming Feminine Wash is packed with pre + probiotics as well as lactic acid to maintain the perfect pH level of your delicate area and to combat odor before it starts.