When it comes to taking care down there, very few people talk about it, and that’s why so many of us do the wrong things that can increase our risk of getting infections. This article answers all your questions on vaginal health and its optimal pH level.
What is a pH value?
pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. Its scale is from 0 – 14, and a pH value over seven is considered alkaline (basic) and one less than seven is considered acidic.
What is the normal pH value of a healthy vagina?
Though the vaginal pH levels keep changing depending on age an time of the month, the normal vaginal pH level is anywhere between 3.8 and 4.5. It means it has to be mildly acidic to keep unhealthy bacteria from multiplying and causing infection.
What are the dangers of having a higher-than-normal vaginal pH level?
Are vaginal discharges normal?
Vaginal secretions are normal and can also keep changing. For example, during ovulation the consistency and quantity of discharge change.
What is Douching and is it necessary?
Douching refers to washing or rinsing of the vagina with water and other substances. Though it sounds like a good thing, douching is not recommended. The vagina cleans itself. The vagina also has certain bacteria which keeps infections away. Messing with its natural pH balance increases your risk of infection.
How do I know I have an infection?
If you see any changes in your discharge, regarding colour or odour, you should make an appointment with your gynaecologist. If you also feel itchy or a burning sensation when you pass urine – these are also signs of an infection.
What are the causes of an imbalance in vaginal pH?
Vaginal pH level can change due to some reasons. Some of them include antibiotics, douching, unprotected sex and periods.
How do I know if my pH level in unbalanced?
An unbalanced pH level increases the risk of infection, and the symptoms can include:
- A foul smell (fishy)
- Unusually coloured discharge
- Itching or a burning sensation while passing urine
How can the pH level be corrected?
Since an imbalance causes infection, you’ll have to see a doctor for treatment. Attempting to correct it by douching can make the imbalance even worse.
Are there any precautions or steps I can take to maintain a healthy pH level?
Yes, there are some ways to keep the pH level of your vagina healthy. These include:
- Use a condom during sex: A condom will protect you from STDs and also maintain your pH level by keeping the alkaline semen away.
- Do not douche: Remember that the vagina is self-cleaning, so you don’t have to do too much to keep it clean. When you shower, rinse it with water.
- Yoghurt: Yogurt has beneficial bacteria that help your vagina maintain a healthy pH level.
- Visits to the doctor: See your gynaecologist regularly.
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- Do you need to see your gynecologist every year?—Health Harvard—accessed on 9 April 2018–https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/do-you-need-to-see-your-gynecologist-every-year
- Vaginal pH—FDA—accessed on 9 April 2018– https://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUseTests/ucm126074.htm