Vaginal pH underwear wash

Why is Vaginal pH Balance so Important?

Your vaginal pH is responsible for everything from preventing infections to ensuring comfort – making a healthy vaginal pH balance crucial for intimate health. But what exactly is vaginal pH, and why is it so important?

In this blog, we’ll explore what affects vaginal pH, how to maintain it, and what can happen when it’s out of whack.

What Throws Off Our pH Balance?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that our most delicate intimate area must be alkaline – but the vagina is actually slightly acidic! With a pH that typically ranges from 3.8 to 4.5, this acidity is essential for keeping harmful bacteria at bay and supporting the growth of beneficial bacteria, like Lactobacilli. [1]

However, several factors can disrupt this balance and jeopardize our intimate health.

  1. Antibiotics: In addition to killing harmful bacteria, antibiotics can destroy the beneficial kind, leading to an imbalance.
  2. Douching: Disturbing the normal chemical and microbial balance of the vagina, douching is an absolute no-go for intimate health! [2]
  3. Harsh soaps: These can strip away the natural protective layer and alter the pH of your vulva. If you want to clean your vulva with more than water, you need a pH-balanced feminine wash like AH! YES® CLEANSE.
  4. Menstrual cycle: Blood has a higher pH, which can temporarily raise vaginal pH. As the menstrual cycle progresses, the pH levels in the vagina may approach a more neutral or slightly alkaline level. [3]
  5. Sexual intercourse: As seminal fluid is alkaline, it can temporarily increase the vagina’s normal pH levels.
  6. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy, menopause, and hormonal contraceptives can all throw off pH levels.
  7. Tight clothing: Wearing tight, non-breathable fabrics can create a warm, moist environment where bacteria can grow.

Let’s take a look at what you can do to support a healthy vaginal pH balance.

pH matched intimate wash

How Do I Fix My pH Balance?

If your vaginal pH is off, don’t worry – there are several steps you can take to restore balance:

  1. Probiotics: Consuming probiotics, particularly those containing Lactobacilli, can help to restore the natural flora.
  2. Proper hygiene: Wash the vulva (external genital area) with warm water and a pH-balanced intimate wash, and avoid using harsh soaps or douches.
  3. Healthy diet: Did you know that eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can support overall health – including vaginal health?
  4. Hydration: Staying well-hydrated helps to maintain the natural balance of bodily fluids, which can support a healthy vaginal microbiome.
  5. Cotton underwear: Wear breathable fabrics to reduce moisture build up and avoid clothing that’s too tight.

Now, let’s look at some tell tale signs that your vaginal pH may not be at its happiest.

What Happens When Your Feminine pH Balance is Off?

When your vaginal pH balance is disrupted, it can lead to several uncomfortable (and potentially severe) issues:

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV): An overgrowth of harmful bacteria can cause BV, characterized by a fishy odor, grayish discharge, and itching.

Yeast infections: An imbalance can lead to an overgrowth of yeast, causing itching, swelling, and thick, white discharge.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): An altered pH can facilitate the growth of harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of UTIs.

Increased STD risk: An imbalanced vaginal environment can make it easier for sexually transmitted infections to take hold.

Discomfort: Symptoms like itching, burning, and unusual discharge can cause significant discomfort and affect daily life. If you’re struggling, a vaginal moisturizer could help to reduce some of the discomfort – but you should always seek appropriate medical advice for persistent symptoms, as you may need antifungal or antibiotic medications.

How is Vaginal pH Different from Skin pH?

Understanding the difference between vaginal pH and skin pH is crucial for proper care:

  • Vaginal pH: The vaginal environment is naturally more acidic, with a pH ranging from 3.8 to 4.5 to prevent infections, support beneficial bacteria, and inhibit harmful ones.
  • Skin pH: Generally, the skin has a pH between 4.7 and 5.75. While also slightly acidic, the skin's pH is less acidic than that of the vagina. This is why regular body soaps and skin cleansers are often too harsh for the vaginal area – potentially disrupting its pH balance.

So, there you have it. That’s why vaginal pH is so crucial for intimate health – and why douching and regular soaps are no good for the delicate vaginal microbiome. Now that you understand what affects your pH balance and how to maintain it, you’ve got the tools to maintain a healthy and comfortable vaginal environment.

Remember, a balanced pH is critical to a happy, healthy vagina – and we’re all about Making Vaginas Happy®!