Taking care of your body is one of the best things you can do for yourself, especially when it comes to taking care of your vagina. There are plenty of aspects involved in keeping everything down there healthy, but one of the most important aspects is that of vaginal pH balance. Without having this in check, you could cause a lot of unnecessary and completely avoidable problems for yourself.
My Vagina Has a What?
Yes, your vagina has a pH level. The pH level of any given substance is simply a measurement describing how acidic or basic a substance is. With a scale running from zero to fourteen, anything less than seven is acidic, while anything higher than seven is basic. A normal vagina’s pH level is pretty acidic, being between 3.8 to 4.5 on the scale.
These numbers may vary depending on what stage of life you’re in as a woman, but know that the acidity in your vagina does a lot of good. For example, with the right pH, your vagina can protect itself from infection-causing bacteria and yeast, such as bacterial vaginosis. However, if your vagina is too acidic, this can cause infertility because sperm will not survive in these conditions.
How Does My Vagina Become Unbalanced?
There are many reasons why your vagina could become unbalanced, but some of the most popular causes are antibiotics, douching, unprotected sex, and even your menstruation cycle. Both semen and menstrual blood are basic, so this can cause your vagina to grow bacteria. Antibiotics, on the other hand, aim to kill the bad bacteria in your body but tend to kill the good bacteria that keeps your vaginal pH balance steady and healthy.
Douching is quite possibly the worst culprit of all, as it fools women into thinking they need to clean out their vagina for it to smell good or feel fresh. The cleaning solutions for this process are usually composed of products like vinegar, iodine, or baking soda, which not only increases your vagina’s pH level but also causes bad bacteria to grow and thrive. Some signs and symptoms to look out for when checking up on your vagina are itching, a burning sensation while peeing, a foul or fishy smell, or unusually colored discharge that appears gray or green.
If you’re suffering from an unbalanced vagina, first know that you’re not alone. Vaginal infections are very common, so don’t be alarmed. The next thing you should know is that you should go to your gynecologist or doctor immediately. Instead of trying to “clean” out the infection through douching or another at-home treatment, go to a professional.
Depending on what you have, your doctor could run a series of tests, check your pH level, and prescribe you different medicines or antibiotics. If you do not currently have an infection, focus on maintaining vaginal pH balance. Through consuming probiotics, having protected sex, and getting regular checkups from your gynecologist, your vagina should be good to go.
Check Your Vaginal pH Balance at Dr. Susan Fox’s Office
As a licensed, experienced, and trained OB/GYN, Dr. Susan Fox is who you should call for any of your feminine emergencies, including any questions or concerns you have about your vaginal pH balance. If you experience any of the alarming symptoms mentioned above, don’t be afraid to schedule an appointment at our Center for Women as fast as you can. We would love to help you out!