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What is Vaginal pH Balance?

No matter what age you are or how healthy you may be, understanding how the vagina works is imperative to maintaining a good bill of health overall. Although many women believe they fully understand how the vagina functions, they may not know as much as they think.  It is never too late to learn how to maintain a healthy vaginal pH balance to take better care of yours.

What is Vaginal Balance?

Simply put, the pH value is the overall level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. When discussing pH in relation to the vagina, the pH balance helps determine how healthy it is. A normal, balanced vaginal pH level is between 3.8 and 4.5, making it a moderately acidic environment to help keep bacteria away. However, the vagina’s pH level can change based on a variety of factors. For instance, while those who are in their reproductive years typically have a vaginal pH of 4.5 and below, those who have reached their menopausal years typically have a vaginal pH that is higher than 4.5 due to hormonal changes. Also, menstrual blood and semen also have higher pH values, which can change the normal pH balance of the vagina. 

It's worth mentioning that a high or unbalanced vaginal pH level can sometimes lead to a vaginal yeast infection. When too much bacteria accumulates in the vagina it can lead to a vaginal infection known as bacterial vaginosis. Common symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include painful itching, burning, and/or unusual discharge from the vagina when urinating. A relatively acidic vagina is a healthy one because the acidity protects the vagina from developing unhealthy bacteria and other related issues. 

How to Stay Fresh Down There All Day

Imbalanced vaginal pH level can be caused by sexual intercourse, tight pants or exercise. These factors can also produce a variety of issues such as yeast infection, vaginal infection, vaginal odor, vaginal dryness, vaginal secretion, and unwanted bacteria. No matter what is causing your feminine odor issues, there are plenty of ways to ensure you stay fresh down there all day long by restoring pH balance to the body. Some are as follows:

  • Hygiene: Natural changes in the vagina may have you occasionally wondering, "is my vaginal odor normal?"  The answer is most likely, yes. Practicing good hygiene can help maintain a normal vaginal pH balance and prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. This involves cleaning your labia minora with a pH-balanced wash. You should also be sure to avoid harsh products, as they can often do more harm than good, thus affecting vaginal health.
  • Wear Loose Clothing: Since tight-fitting clothing can cause issues with circulation and trap in moisture, you should wear loose-fitting clothing as much as possible.  If you are wearing tight clothing to workout, you may experience some natural feminine odor after exercise, which is normal.
  • Use Mild Soap for Undergarments: You should also be sure that you are using mild soap to wash all your undergarments and avoid using harsh soaps to clean your vagina, as it may affect your vagina's pH level.