Vaginal health is important but is easy to forget because we don’t often talk about our vaginas. What a lot of women do talk about, and enjoy, is a lovely glass of wine, so I thought it might be beneficial to compare the two in order to remember the importance.
pH determines whether something is an acid or base. The range is 0 to 14, and neutral falls right in the middle at 7. Anything below is acid and above is a base. The lower the number, the more acidic the item. A healthy vagina is acidic and is in the range of 3.5 to 5.5. A glass of wine is also acidic with the pH between 3.0 to 4.0.
pH is important because it keeps the vaginal environment in balance. When your pH is unbalanced or is higher (more basic/alkaline) then you are more likely to experience vaginal health issues such as vaginal dryness, infections and/or vaginal odour and discomfort. When your vaginal pH becomes unbalanced, microorganisms can flourish causing vaginal odor and discomfort (no fun!). Studies show that vaginal issues often occur when vaginal pH is unbalanced. By maintaining a healthy vaginal pH, you can help reduce your risk of common vaginal health issues.
There are some reasons for an increase in vaginal pH from everything like your period (blood has a pH of 7.4) to soap (pH >8,) and hormone fluctuations, like pregnancy and or menopause, as well as your diet. The pH of semen is between 7.1 and 8 and therefore sexual intercourse may give rise to a higher vaginal pH. Tampons absorb blood, and that remains in your vagina, so it keeps the pH higher.
Just because the pH of wine is similar to that of a healthy vagina, it does not mean women should drink excessive amounts. Alcohol and sugar in the diet will upset the delicate balance of a woman’s vagina, so keep alcohol consumption to a minimum. Do eat a healthy diet and remember some foods, like garlic, may lead to vaginal odour. Do not use soaps or douches as these are known to upset the vaginal balance and increase pH. Remember to change your tampons as your risk of infection increases considerably when left in for long periods of time.
Whether it be pregnancy, peri-menopause or menopause, there may be an increase in vaginal dryness which may lead to painful sex and is which associated with an elevated pH. I say, it is just as important to moisturize your vagina as it is your face. Use a personal moisturizer like RepaGyn, an ovule that is inserted into your vagina once daily for 2 – 3 weeks, then every other day as directed by a healthcare professional. RepaGyn contains Tea Tree Oil, which will help to keep you feeling fresh as well. Ladies, a healthy vagina is a happy vagina and will get you back to the bedroom more often.