It’s happening again.
Vaginal itching, discomfort, and even a little bit of an unpleasant smell has you down.
It’s embarrassing and making you miserable. You know your lady bits are off, and now you’re searching for how to balance vaginal pH and get back to your daily activities.
It’s a problem all women face at some point, but knowing that may not make you feel any less uncomfortable or embarrassed about it.
Fortunately for you, we have lots of great tips to help you figure out the cause and how to balance vaginal pH levels.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Normal Vaginal pH
- Losing Balance: Potential Vaginal pH Disruptors
- Signs of an Unbalanced Vaginal pH
- 5 Tips on How to Balance Vaginal pH
- Why Is It So Important Women Know How to Balance Vaginal pH?
- Chiavaye: Promoting Vaginal Health & Wellness
What Is a Normal Vaginal pH?
Although on the pH scale, neutral — which is seven — would be considered “normal” for most things, the vagina is a bit different.
A normal vaginal pH ranges from 3.8 and 5.0 on the pH scale. This lower value (meaning a more acidic environment) helps protect the vaginal mucosa from various infections.
Losing Balance: Potential Vaginal pH Disruptors
If you’re experiencing symptoms of an unbalanced vaginal pH, many factors could be at play.
Your vaginal pH can change due to:
- Medications; and
- Even health conditions
Ask yourself questions like:
- Have you douched recently?
- These are a big no-go for a “normal” vaginal pH.
- Are you wearing 100% cotton underwear or a blend of materials?
- Other fabrics may be disrupting your vaginal pH.
- Are you facing any hormonal changes?
- Shifts in hormones can affect your vaginal pH.
These are just a few examples of how your pH can easily be thrown out of balance. Continue reading for more information about the most common vaginal pH disruptors.
As your body goes through menopause, your estrogen levels begin declining.
Low estrogen levels can cause the vaginal walls to start to thin, leading to less exfoliation in the vagina. This typically results in dryness and less glucose in your lady bits — causing your pH levels to rise.
This rise can make you more susceptible to vaginal inflammation, irritation, and infection.
But there is still hope for those dealing with the dreadful vaginal discomfort associated with the pH changes of menopause — cue Chiavaye.
Chiavaye is a natural lube created by a woman for women. Its natural ingredients can help counteract some of the symptoms of a pH imbalance due to menopause, like dryness and irritation.
Antibiotics are often major vaginal pH disruptors. The reason? Antibiotics kill bacteria, including the good bacteria in your vagina.
Birth control is another medication that many women don’t realize is affecting their vaginal pH.
Different types of birth control can affect your vaginal pH differently. In short, birth control affects the amount of progesterone and estrogen in your body, which can affect the flora of the vagina.
This change may lead to …
- Vaginal dryness
- Increased risk of infection; and
- pH changes
… in some women.
A healthy vagina is similar to a well-working, self-cleaning oven.
Hear me out before you jump ship.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists state that your vagina is capable of keeping itself clean and healthy by maintaining the proper pH balance with natural secretions.
So, when you throw off your body’s ability to naturally take care of itself, trouble arises.
This most commonly occurs when women douche.
In the early 1900s, Lysol was marketed as a female hygiene product. Women would use a douche with diluted Lysol solution to mask vaginal odors and “reduce pregnancy.”
Today, one in five women report that they use a douche regularly as a method of rinsing their vagina. This is done with water, or sometimes a mixture of vinegar, baking soda, or iodine.
And while it may seem like douching is a good idea because it masks unwanted smells, it can actually cause harm to your vaginal pH.
Instead of letting your vagina clean itself, douching is:
- Disrupting its natural environment
- Changing the flora of your vagina
- Getting rid of any good bacteria (lactobacilli); and
- Disrupting the pH by becoming too alkaline
But what does that mean for your vaginal health? When your pH balance is off, it can result in more vaginal infections like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis.
Did you know that how you wipe in the bathroom can influence your vaginal pH?
Wiping your genitalia from front to back after using the restroom is one of the easiest ways to make sure you’re not spreading harmful bacteria from your bottom to your vagina and upsetting your pH levels.
When your time of the month arrives, the pH of your vagina rises. Menstrual blood has a pH level of around 7.4 — making it more alkaline than your vagina.
While most women’s bodies can handle this change, for some, this disruption is enough to throw off their vaginal pH and cause added discomfort.
A man’s semen has a higher pH than the vagina — typically around 7.2-7.8 on the pH scale. During sex, the pH of your vagina increases to create an alkaline environment for the sperm, encouraging fertilization.
While this is beneficial when trying to conceive, it can mess with your vaginal pH and encourage the growth of bad bacteria.
Signs of an Unbalanced Vaginal pH
If you’re dealing with …
- An increase in the amount or color of your vaginal discharge
- A change in the odor, color, or appearance of your discharge
- Itching in or around your vagina
- Burning during sex or when urinating
… you may be dealing with a pH imbalance.
5 Tips on How to Balance Vaginal pH
Your pH is off, and you feel off. So, how can you balance your vaginal pH? Try the following tips.
#1: Avoid Harsh Soaps and Douching
We’ve already touched on why you shouldn’t douche — but what can you do instead?
Avoid douching or using scented products to clean your vagina. Let your body take care of itself the way it’s meant to. If you’re concerned with vaginal hygiene or odor, contact your physician to discuss what you can do.
Instead of douching, wash your intimate areas with warm water and minimal unscented soap. Neither of these things should throw off the pH balance of your vagina.
#2: Take Probiotics Regularly
Restoring your vaginal pH may involve increasing your intake of probiotics to restore the balance of good bacteria in your vagina. Eating a well-balanced diet (one that is high in fiber) is a great way to balance your vaginal pH.
Include foods like …
- Pickled vegetables
- Kefir; and
- Fermented Sauerkraut
… to promote the growth of helpful bacteria while still fighting off any bad bacteria in your vagina and maintaining a balanced pH.
#3: Use Protection During Sex
If you aren’t trying to conceive, it’s best for your vaginal health if you use protection during sex.
Wearing a condom is one of the best ways to prevent semen from entering the vagina and maintain a healthy pH during sex.
#4: Change Tampons Frequently
Women experiencing pH imbalances may want to pay more attention to how often they change their period products.
Tampons absorb everything inside your vagina, including the mucous that protects the vagina and helps maintain the pH balance.
Tampons also keep alkaline blood in your body, causing this blood to remain on your vaginal walls longer than it normally would.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends changing your tampon every 4-8 hours, but it can’t hurt to change it more frequently if you're concerned about pH imbalances.
Avoid using tampons when you are not menstruating, as it can cause a variety of issues beyond disrupting your vaginal pH.
#5: Stay Hydrated
Water can help flush any toxins in the vagina and help regulate your pH levels.
Dehydrated skin in and around your vagina is no good — just like the rest of your body when you aren’t getting enough to drink. The more you drink, the more lubricated your vagina becomes, helping to get rid of those toxins.
Dehydration can not only lead to …
- Discomfort; and
… but it can worsen your chances of bacterial or yeast infections.
Should you jump on the trend of drinking alkaline water? Maybe not — but drinking a little more water each day won’t hurt.
Why Is It So Important Women Know How to Balance Vaginal pH?
It’s critical you understand that for good bacteria to thrive and bad bacteria to shy away, you need to have a balanced vaginal pH.
When these levels are disrupted, you’re at higher risk for dealing with infections and issues like:
- Bacterial vaginosis
- Yeast Infections
- Urinary Tract infections
- Reduced fertility
- And more
Chiavaye: Promoting Vaginal Health & Wellness
- pH balanced; and
It was created with you in mind — as it’s for any woman struggling with …
- Vaginal dryness
- pH imbalance; or
… or women simply looking for a way to reduce friction when it’s time to get it on.
Chiavaye may be just the thing you need to feel better and experience relief from symptoms associated with a pH imbalance.