We know that the pH reading explains its nature — whether acidic or basic(alkaline). But, what about the pH of body parts? Let's say, the pH of the vagina. Do they possess any pH reading too? The answer is yes! Interestingly, despite being a part of the same body, they all have a different nature. F
What is the average pH level of the vagina?
The average pH of a vagina lies between 3.8 and 4.5; therefore, it is slightly acidic. So, what is the significance of its acidic nature? The acidic nature of the vagina acts as a protective barrier against germs and bacteria. It stops the abrupt growth of unhealthy bacteria in the vagina.
Interestingly, the healthy pH level is not a numerical value but a range; it can vary based on age, menstrual cycle, menopause, etc. For instance, a female in her reproductive years — within the age range of 15 to 49 — has a pH either below or equal to 4.5. Whereas, just before hitting the menstruation cycle, her vagina's pH increases and becomes more than 4.5.
So, are there any issues associated with the basicity of the vagina?
Yes! A prolonged duration of basicity in the vagina can cause several diseases, such as bacterial vaginosis. Vaginosis causes a fishy odor from the intimate region. What's worse? It can even lead to severe vaginal itching and burning sensation while peeing.
What are the causes of unbalanced vaginal pH?
- Unprotected sex: Did you know that semen is alkaline in nature? Its pH value lies between 7.0 and 8.1. Therefore, unprotected sex exposes a person to numerous severe risks and disrupts the pH of the vagina. - Antibiotics: These are medicines chemically formulated to kill all kinds of single-cell foreign bodies present in our body. They can't differentiate between healthy or necessary micro-organisms and unhealthy bacteria; they are equally dangerous. Therefore, antibiotics and killing harmful bacteria also kill good bacteria needed to maintain a healthy pH of the vagina. - Douching: Washing the vagina isn't advisable. However, approximately 20% of women wash their vagina regularly, which increases their vaginal pH level. - Menstrual cycles: As discussed above, menstrual cycles leave the vagina a little basic. Why does it happen? It happens because of the pH level of blood — it ranges from 7.35 to 7.45, which is slightly basic. Moreover, when soaked and kept stagnant, the blood can maintain the vaginal pH at a certain raised level.
How to correct an unbalanced vaginal pH?
The vagina's pH might sound like it's not very important in the grand scheme of your health. You might think it is no harm in ignoring little deviations in the pH readings, but a healthy pH provides a great deal of protection to the vagina and maintains vaginal hygiene. Hence, it must not be underestimated.
Therefore, instead of douching, visit a doctor and consult about the issues.
The following are the antibiotics or cream can help you overcome most of the issues, but use it as per prescribed: -
- clindamycin (Cleocin) for BV - tinidazole (Tindamax) for BV or trichomoniasis - metronidazole (Flagyl) for BV or trichomoniasis
Talking about sex and intimate parts is still a taboo in most societies. However, it has become more important to eradicate all kinds of infections in the body, especially in the vagina for women. One way to do so is by maintaining the pH of the vagina. It forbids the growth of the bacteria in the vaginal part and keeps it healthy.