The optimum vaginal pH during one’s reproductive years is 3.8 – 4.5 . Before menstruation and after menopause, the optimum pH tends to be greater than 4.5
Outside the optimum vaginal pH for each stage, bacteria and yeast thrive leading to vaginal infections like bacterial vaginosis (common vaginal infection for menstruating women), irritations and offensive odour.
Factors that lead to a change or a deviation from the optimum vaginal pH are;
1. Unprotected sex.
4. Menstrual periods.
6. Weakened bones.
7. Low energy.
9. High stress.
Why is a good vaginal pH important
1. Acidic – an acidic vaginal environment is protective. It creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly and causing infection.
2. > 4.5 – provides the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow. Having a high vaginal pH puts you at risk for these infections;
*BV or bacterial vaginosis. It can also result in vaginal itchiness and burning during urination. BV isn’t necessarily harmful but people with these conditions are at increased risk for more serious infections eg; HPV (human papilloma virus), herpes simplex virus and HIV.
A person with acidic vagina won’t have a disease on the regular but if the acidity rises too much, it might reduce your fertility (sperms thrive in alkaline environment – swim in 7.0 to 8.5). Now, pH level in the vagina temporarily rises, making the normally acidic environment more alkaline so the sperm can be protected enough to make their way to the egg.
Important look outs
These are seriously telling you to seek help;
1. Foul or fishy smell.
2. Vaginal itching.
3. Burning when urinating.
4. Unusual white, grey or greenish discharge.
Foods that helps to make the vagina happy
What we eat certain affects us and it is also true that, we are what we eat. For the sake of our vagina(s), we need to eat healthy and balanced meals and make sure we incorporate these foods in our meals; cranberries, sweet potatoes, probiotic-rich foods, omega-3 fatty acids rich foods, apples, soy, avocados, dark leafy greens, mint, citric foods (orange, pineapple, tangerine etc) and others.
There certainly are foods which are bad for our vagina’s pH, and it can happen when they are abused; beer/alcohol, dairy, onions, shallots, meats, fish. Too much of everything is bad.
Take home note;
1. See a gynaecologist (to check especially if you are presenting with any of the look outs and treat any infections.
2. Improve on your vaginal pH by eating healthy (balanced diets) and incorporate the foods mentioned in your daily meals (in line with your healthy 24 hour dietary recall) to improve on your vaginal pH.
Cheers to a happy vagina!
QUESTION OF THE DAY – if the pH of the mouth (saliva) is neutral or slightly alkaline, and the pH of the vagina is acidic, WHAT HAPPENS DURING CUNNILINGUS (oral sex, where a man does that for his partner)? DOES THIS HELP FERTILIZATION IN ANY WAY???
Read and share with family and friends and let’s together build a very healthy populace.
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