We all know that alkaline water is good for your health. How does pH translate in terms of vaginal health? Your vagina relies on an acidic balance to maintain optimal health and going alkaline results in dryness and infection.
The average pH range for the vagina is between 3.8 and 5. Keeping it in balance is essential to optimize health and wellness. Douching, semen, and menstrual blood are a few examples of factors that can influence vaginal pH levels.
When pH rises to the alkaline range above 5, it creates an environment allowing yeast to thrive, resulting in yeast infections and the spread of candida throughout the reproductive system. If left untreated, this change can result in infertility or the onset of conditions like Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may have life-threatening consequences.
If you’re experiencing a yeast infection or vaginal dryness, you’ll need to visit the doctor for consultation. They’ll do a test to determine the pH level of the vagina and diagnose you for treatment.
This post looks at the link between vaginal dryness and vaginal pH levels.
Understanding Healthy Vaginal pH Levels
When the vagina has the correct pH, it stays healthy, providing an acidic environment that prevents fungal and bacterial infections. The vaginal pH level can vary, depending on age. For instance, a woman in her prime child-bearing years would have a vaginal pH ranging between 4.0 – 4.5.
Postmenopausal women or those that have yet to start menstruating may have a slightly elevated pH range between 4.5 – 5. The pH level in the vagina depends on the number of Lactobacilli bacteria present in the vagina. These beneficial bacteria secrete hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid, giving the vagina its acidic pH properties.
Tips to Maintain Healthy Vaginal pH Balance
If your vaginal pH levels are consistently high and there are no signs of infection present, you’ll need to take steps to ensure it doesn’t result in frequent infections. Fortunately, it’s possible to reduce vaginal pH levels with home-based strategies.
Here are a few tips to help you reduce vaginal pH and improve sexual health.
- Change tampons regularly
- Avoid douching and harsh body wash formulations or soaps
- Using condoms during sexual intercourse
- Avoid scented hygiene products
What Are the Causes of Vaginal pH Imbalance?
There are several lifestyle choices, behaviors, and factors influencing vaginal pH. Let’s look at the most common causes of pH imbalance and how to control an alkaline vaginal environment to reduce infection risk.
Some women may think washing their vagina in the bath will keep it clean. Or they might use DIY treatments like baking soda and vinegar to wash out the vagina to kill vaginal odor.
While the theory makes sense, it doesn’t work out in practice.
Douching can worsen vaginal odors and increase infection risk. It kills off the good bacteria in the vagina, altering the pH to an acidic environment. This state allows bad bacteria and fungi to spread, causing odors and infection.
Menopause is the most common cause of vaginal dryness. Vaginal dryness can cause health complications, including infection.
During menopause, the vaginal walls thin due to lower estrogen levels in the blood and tissues. Postmenopausal women have a slightly higher vaginal pH.
They must pay special attention to their vaginal health to avoid elevated pH environments and the onset of infection and disease.
Antibiotics kill good and bad bacteria without prejudice. If you’ve recently taken a course of strong antibiotics, it may cause an increase in vaginal pH as the beneficial bacteria die off.
With nothing to protect the vagina from infection, it becomes disease-prone. Always take a probiotic with your antibiotic to support beneficial bacteria during the treatment and avoid elevated vaginal pH levels.
Semen has an alkaline pH, the opposite of the acidic vaginal pH environment. When semen enters the vagina, it temporarily increases pH levels. However, the pH environment is restored a few hours after the semen absorbs into the vaginal tissues.
A heavy period may result in menstrual blood remaining in the vagina. The presence of blood in the vagina alters vaginal pH to the upside, increasing infection risk.
Bacterial Vaginosis & Other Infections
BV and UTIs are common conditions in women relating to their sexual health. A urinary tract infection involves symptoms of burning when urinating and discomfort in the bladder and vagina. Bacterial Vaginosis increases bacteria in the vagina, raising pH levels.
BV causes a grey or white discharge from the vagina and burning, itching, or pain symptoms. Infections like group B Streptococcus and Trichomonas vaginalis will also raise pH levels in the vagina.
The Link Between Vaginal pH & Vaginal Dryness
While hormone imbalance is the most common cause of vaginal dryness, it’s not the only factor causing it. Using soap, creams, or lubricants in the vagina disrupts the bacterial balance, elevated pH levels.
Remember that the vagina is self-cleaning, and douching products may do more to create vaginal infections than keep it clean. Elevated pH environments in the vagina may result in the onset of infections like thrush from Candida infestation.
So, don’t bother cleaning your vagina; leave it to do its thing. If you want to test your vaginal pH at home, get a testing kit from the pharmacy. It’s easy to administer, and you get immediate results.
Lubracil – The Natural Solution to Better Vaginal Health & an End to Dryness
Of all the causes of vaginal dryness, hormone imbalance is the most common. Menopause can lead to hormone deficiencies resulting in vaginal atrophy and dryness. While personal lubricants provide temporary relief from the discomfort caused by sex and the irritation caused by dryness, they don’t offer a sustainable, long-term solution.
Lubracil takes a different approach to resolving vaginal dryness. This soft gel supplement contains SBO17, a rich source of Omega EFAs and vitamins that help to stimulate vaginal secretions. SBO17 is clinically proven to relieve symptoms of vaginal dryness with consistent supplementation.
Give Lubracil a try and experience the moisturizing and hydrating effect of SBO17 for yourself.