What is vaginal pH and how important to monitor it?
Do you know? Under normal circumstances, the pH value of the vagina is between 3.8-4.4.
Numerous gynecological problems can develop when the pH of a woman’s vagina changes. The female vagina has a pH value that is typically between 3.8 and 4.4, which is a slightly acidic environment. Women are protected against gynecological disorders by this environment, which frequently makes it difficult for microorganisms that are designed to reproduce in a weakly alkaline environment to do so. However, if the pH of the vagina changes, it can cause a number of gynecological disorders, including trichomonas vaginitis, which is brought on by too much alkali, fungal vaginitis, bacterial vaginosis, and many more.
The pH level of the vagina can alter for a variety of reasons, both internal and external. For instance, at this moment…
- Utilising alkaline products, such as bathing the vulva with alkaline soap, frequently dousing the vagina with alkaline liquid, or abusing antibiotics, can hinder and kill Lactobacillus and damage the vagina’s acidic environment.
- Antibacterial medications taken over an extended period of time can kill Lactobacillus but not other harmful bacteria (such as mould).
- Reduced estrogen during menopause: Topical estrogen effect is better because it causes the vaginal epithelium to contract, epithelial cell glycogen to drop, lactobacilli to be unable to develop, and the vaginal environment to worsen. This is the main cause of vaginitis in elderly women.
- Diabetes: When blood sugar levels are high, lactobacillus produces more acid, which raises the acidity of the vagina, and there is more glycogen in the vaginal epithelial cells. Mold can develop easily when the pH is below 4.5.
- Immune system dysfunction: Immunodeficiency illnesses, immunosuppressant use, insufficient sleep, excessive stress, etc. all influence the body’s immunity and lower resistance to microorganisms.
- Frequent sexual intercourse: The pH value of semen is 7.2-7.8. An imbalance in the vaginal microecology will result from too much sexual activity, which will increase the quantity of harmful anaerobic bacteria and Gardner bacteria causing vaginal microecological imbalance. Every sexual encounter alters the vaginal environment, but the lactobacilli typically recovers on its own within a few hours. If it happens too frequently, it won’t be able to adapt.
- Unclean sex: When vaginitis is present, or when a male has genital inflammation, or when one party experiences inflammation before it is treated, sexual activity will spread infection to the other party, and vaginitis is difficult to treat. The man’s lengthy foreskin and phimosis are also porous to dirt, which makes them a source of germs in the vagina.
- Unsanitary private parts: These include inadequate washing of the private parts, contact with unhygienic objects while bathing and using the toilet, the use of inadequate sanitary napkins, frequently donning tight pants, etc.
- Use condoms with alkaline lubricants: The lubricant used in commercial condoms is methyl silicone oil, which is only mildly alkaline, has a weak affinity for the human body while being used, is not volatile, and is insoluble in water. In addition, it is difficult to clean after use, and it gives users a strong greasy feeling. Because of this, after using this kind of condom, methyl silicone oil will stay in the female vagina for a long time, which will harm the acid-base balance and lead to disorders of the reproductive system.
Relationship between vaginal pH and gynecology
According to the statistical data in “Vaginal discharge: evaluation and management in primary care”, the estimated recurrence rate in the literature is 5% for Vulvovaginal Candidiasis (VVC) infection, 12.5%–18.5% in Trichomonas Vaginalis (TV) and up to 50% for Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) within a one-year period. What kind of close relationship does gynecological inflammation have?
Bacterial vaginosis: The most prevalent form of vaginal itching is bacterial vaginosis. Vaginal pH in women with bacterial vaginosis is greater than 6.0. The primary symptom is homogenous thin leucorrhea with a bad odor in the vaginal discharge. According to pertinent studies, the pH of the vagina must drop from 5.2 to 4.2 on average over the course of several months for the symptoms of vaginitis to go away.
Fungal vaginitis: Increased leucorrhea, genital irritation, redness, and edema around the genitals, superficial blisters and papules, and erosions that resemble eczema are all signs of fungal vaginitis. Vaginal pH in women with mycotic vaginitis is greater than 6.0.
Trichomonal vaginitis: Trichomonas vaginalis, a parasitic protozoa, thrive in the pH range of 5.5 to 6.0, where it is most conducive to reproduction. Trichomonal vulvitis is created when Trichomonas travels rampantly to the vulva, which would be prevented if the pH is less than 5.0 or more than 7.5. Trichomonias vaginitis can also be spread through intercourse.
Prevention is better than cure!
When vaginal pH is too high
Yeast or bacterial vaginosis will occur if the pH level of the vagina is too high. It can cause discomfort or itchiness to the vaginal lips or other parts of the vagina, discharge that resembleslumps of cheese, or discharge that is grey, white and fishy. You may also fee pain during sex or urination.
Don’t panic if you are infected! Besides seeing a doctor, these foods can also help to balance the vaginal pH.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar’s acidity destroys microorganisms and maintains a pH equilibrium. It can be delicious when combined with warm water and honey. Adding two tiny cups of apple cider vinegar to a bubble bath can also heal your vagina while achieving healthy skin!
Humans have long had a healthy relationship with lactobacillus. A glass a day will help keep your vaginal pH in the ideal range and battle harmful bacteria in your gut and vagina.
The twin of yogurt is probiotics. It can be taken orally to prevent and treat a mild high pH. Girls who value appearance can also take it as a standard supplement.
Additionally, the vagina can sometimes be treated externally using coconut oil, tea tree oil, and garlic to correct the vagina’s acid-base balance.
When vaginal ph is too low
If the lactobacilli are overactive and the vagina is already too acidic, what happens? The vagina is naturally acidic. It is frequently misinterpreted as a yeast infection or bacterial infection despite having the medical name “cytolytic vaginitis”. However, the actual reason is completely the contrary! White bean-like dregs, atypical discharge, and irritation and redness in the vagina.
Warm water and baking soda can be combined to create a sitz bath to correct an overly acidic vagina.
Eat less sugar
Girls who enjoy sweets might also have to temporarily give up desserts. Sugar intake can be decreased to regain vaginal pH balance.
Wrong care products are vaginal health killers
The vagina naturally repairs itself, but occasionally it requires assistance. The vagina’s distress signals include itching, odor, and colored discharge. If it is persistent, visiting a doctor is more important than simply washing the vagina.
The vaginal wall is soft and undiscerning, absorbing anything that enters the vagina without discrimination. Antibacterial soap has a pH of 9 to 10, while pure water has a pH of 7. These liquids damage the vaginal membrane because their pH level is higher than that of the vagina.
All information presented herein serves as a general guideline, and is not intended as dispensing any medical advice(s). User(s) should consult their doctor to seek further clarification for any doubt. It is recommended to refer to this guide with sole discretion, thereby we shall not be held responsible for any part of the information as presented.
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