The Importance of Vaginal PH
The vagina is an amazing body part of sexual pleasure and it also helps life enter the new world. It has a remarkable and unique self-cleaning ability. It is an organ that is approximately 2.5 cm wide, and 7-10 cm long and is surrounded by the labia (or vaginal lips). The normal environment of the vagina contains a lot of different types of microorganisms, that live together in harmony to help maintain a balanced and healthy environment. A normal vaginal pH is measured at 3.8 to 4.5 (which is a measure or acid base balance). This balance creates a perfect environment that balances the good bacteria to thrive while preventing the nasty discharge, odor causing bacteria to be unsuccessful and unproductive.
A health care professional can test the vaginal pH by placing a special piece of paper (Litmus paper) within the vagina. Depending on the color that the paper turns, the provider will be able to guestimate the vaginal acidity or alkalinity. A pH lower than 7 is acidic and a pH higher than 7 is considered alkaline. If the PH of the vagina becomes higher than 4.5, it often leads to vaginal symptoms such as burning, discharge or odor. With an acidic environment, the balance on the battlefield between the good and bad bacteria is maintained.
There are a variety of conditions which can upset the vaginal ph. Sexual intercourse, menstrual blood and douching all upset the natural balance of the vaginal echo system. Over use of antibiotics, often can lead to prolonged chronic infections! Many over the counter “sensitive” “Intimate” or other genital cleansing soaps have abnormal pH within the range of 7-14. Harsh soaps or foamy cleansers on the genito pelvis should be avoided since they affect a healthy pH balance.
In addition, there are many times during a woman’s life, (breastfeeding, menopause or when she is taking anti histamines or oral contraceptives) when she may have decreased estrogen levels. Vaginal dryness or atrophy can occur occurs, the vaginal pH elevates, and hence predisposes the women to infections.
The unique properties of Lubrigyn® products work together in order to give many benefits. Cleaning, excellent hydration action, lubricity, and also act as a natural deodorizer. Lubrigyn® creams preserve and protect, the natural acidity of the vaginal pH.
Once the PH is modified, symptoms may appear such as excessive inflammation, foul smelling discharge, itchiness and painful vaginal tissues! She may also become more predisposed to certain infections like Candida (Yeast) and Gardnerella Vaginosis (Bacterial Vaginosis). If your vagina has a strong or unpleasant odor or if you are experiencing distressing symptoms, seek medical care. Do not self-treat and do not over use, over the counter products.
Some Final Helpful Tips:
Some women believe that certain foods and drinks can directly impact the genital flora. Many advocate avoidance of excessive tea, carbonated soft drinks, coffee and junk food! Processed food with a lot of salt preservatives also are known to negatively impact the vagina. Be food smart. Focus on healthy colorful fruits, yogurt, vegetables, and keep your body and tissues well hydrated. The acidic vagina maintains a delicate balance between good and bad bacteria and under a variety of life conditions or circumstances this balance may become disrupted, predisposing to vaginal infections and irritating symptomatology. Products like Lubrigyn® can help normalize, deodorize, balance and hydrate short-circuiting the potential detrimental effects of an altered pH.
By Dr. Michael Krychman