What is all this talk about the pH level of a Vagina? Who would have ever thought that this was even a thing! How do we figure out what the pH level is and how it impacts us? This very important question helps to determine whether your vaginal is healthy or not.
Before we get into the details of a healthy vaginal pH, let’s understand what this means in the first place.
“pH” is a scale ranging from 0 to 14 that determines how acidic or alkaline a substance is. A pH below 7 is considered acidic and above 7 is basic, 7 being neutral (i.e. neither acid nor base).
Now coming to the vaginal pH – a healthy vagina is moderately acidic in nature with the pH ranging between 3.8 and 4.5.
The pH can, however, differ based on your age and stage of life.
This range of 3.8 to 4.5 is the ideal pH for women between the ages of 15 to 49 (which is majorly during the reproductive ears of a woman. However, for women who have hit menopause and girls who have not started menstruating yet, their healthy pH may be above 4.5.
Why does maintaining a healthy pH matter?
It is extremely important to maintain a healthy vaginal pH because if not kept in the healthy acidic range, bacteria and yeast can multiply quickly and cause infections in your vagina.
An acidic vaginal pH is a protective environment to prevent bacterial growth. Crossing over a 4.5 pH will make your vagina alkaline, which will create the perfect environment for this bacteria to grow and cause irritation and problems down there.
On the other hand, even though an acidic vaginal pH will not cause diseases as a result of bacterial growth, it can decrease fertility, as sperm require an alkaline environment to thrive. Sperm require a pH of somewhere between 7 and 8.5 to swim and reach the egg to fertilize it. In fact, during sex, in order to protect the sperm and help them reach the egg, the vaginal pH temporarily rises to make it more alkaline instead of the usual acidic environment.
What problems can this cause?
A pH above 4.5 can make you vulnerable to the following problems:
What are the symptoms of an unbalanced vaginal pH?
An alkaline vaginal pH (above 4.5) which leads to bacterial growth may cause the following symptoms:
What are the causes of an unbalanced pH?
The following reason can lead to an alkaline pH level:
How to maintain a healthy vaginal pH level
A few simple tips can help you maintain a healthy vaginal pH