Updated: Nov 5, 2020
We know what the pH scale is and that we use it to determine mostly the acidity or basicity of a solution, but did you know it’s also used to regulate our body and its functions as well? Your vagina should have a normal pH level between 3.8 and 4.5, which is moderately acidic. The pH level of your vagina plays an important part in determining whether it is healthy.
Sooo…. why does vaginal pH matter? An acidic vaginal environment is protective as it creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly and causing infection. A high vaginal pH level above 4.5 provides the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow. Having a high vaginal pH puts you at risk for several infections such as bacterial vaginosis and trichomoniasis. Additionally, an acidic vagina usually does not cause disease, but if the acidity rises too much it might reduce your fertility. During sex, the pH level inside the vagina temporarily rises, making the normally acidic environment more alkaline to protect the sperm so they can make their way to the egg.
Any of the following situations can raise your vaginal pH level above 4.5: Unprotected sex. Semen is alkaline, which can encourage growth of certain bacteria. Antibiotics. These drugs kill not only the bad bacteria that cause disease, but also the good bacteria you need to maintain a healthy, more acidic vaginal pH level. Menstrual periods. Menstrual blood is a little bit basic and raises the pH in the vagina. When that blood flows through the vagina and is absorbed into a tampon or pad and sits in place, it can raise the pH level of the vagina.
You can maintain a healthy vaginal pH by taking probiotics. Probiotics can restore the balance of healthy bacteria to your system. Eating yogurt can also a plentiful source of beneficial bacteria.