It’s important to keep your vagina healthy for a variety of reasons. Vaginal pH plays a huge part in keeping it healthy. A balanced pH means you don’t have a nasty yeast infection or any other kind of vaginal infection. Let’s break down vaginal pH health and how to solve it.
A Healthy Vagina
A healthy vagina is naturally acidic. To keep your vagina healthy you need to have a healthy pH balance.
What is pH?
pH is a number scale that is used for measuring the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Anything under 7 is considered acidic, and anything over 7 is considered is alkaline, otherwise known as basic. A healthy vaginal pH is under 4.5. Higher numbers allow bacteria and yeast to grow and can cause infections.
A pH test can be done at home. It measures the amount of pH in your vagina and shows the results as colors. At-home pH tests are very accurate, just as much accurate as the one your doctor would use.
Signs of Bad Vaginal pH
If you have alkaline or basic pH you will most often notice itching or burning in your vagina. You may also discover a foul odor or see abnormal vaginal discharge. These symptoms can signal an infection. An at-home test can’t tell you what kind of infection you have, so if you have high pH it’s important to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
Bad vaginal pH can be caused by a variety of reasons. These can include:
Douching easily throws off your vagina’s balance, especially as a lot of solutions used for douching use vinegar or baking soda, which are acidic themselves and can throw off the vagina’s natural acidity. Douching also washes away good bacteria, which can lead to infection since there’s nothing to fight off the bad bacteria.
All women go through menopause, and during that time your pH levels can rise due to reduced levels of estrogen.
All women have these, too! Your body is going through a change, and this can disrupt your pH balance.
Sometimes we need to take antibiotics for a good reason, but while it is killing off the bad guys it’s also killing off the good guys. A lack of good guys can lead to an imbalance in pH levels.
How to Use pH Test Strips for Vaginal Health
At-home tests include a pH test paper along with a color chart that shows you the range of your results. Simply insert the swab into your vagina and hold it against the vaginal wall for five seconds. Once you see the resulting color, compare it to the chart to see what your pH level is.
Ways to Keep Your Vagina Healthy
A yeast infection may sound scary, but there are easy ways to keep your vagina healthy. Follow these steps to keep your vagina at its best.
Probiotics work with your body to increase healthy bacteria, which gets rid of unhealthy bacteria. Take probiotics for women to keep up your vaginal health. A good source of probiotics is yogurt.
Douching can disrupt your pH levels, so try your best to avoid it. There are more natural methods that can clean you without disrupting your vagina.
Synthetic underwear doesn’t breathe well, which can lead to unwanted moisture in your nether regions. Trapped moisture allows unhealthy bacteria to grow and can lead to infections. Wear underwear that is at least 95% cotton, or has a cotton insert at the crotch, and your vagina will be able to breathe easily.
Putting it All Together
If you suspect that you may have a vaginal infection it’s most likely because your pH levels are off. Because pH levels are so crucial for vaginal health, keep track of them to take charge of your vaginal health. Using pH test strips and a home testing kit will ensure that you know what’s going on down below.