Vaginas need and enjoy attention; and knowing how to keep your vagina happy is very important — because if your vagina isn’t happy, nobody’s happy! If you’re a midlife woman, you might have noticed that your vagina and her needs are changing. Vaginas experience climate change! They actually have an environment that shifts during our life cycle, and what we expect of them changes too.
Why is pH important to vaginal health?
A slightly acidic vagina is the perfect environment for the types of good bacteria that help keep your vagina clean and healthy – and most harmful bacteria have a hard time surviving in an acidic environment. Keeping those harmful bacteria at bay is not only important for general hygiene and comfort, but also to help avoid infection and diseases. A pH level above 4.5 can make you more susceptible to vaginitis, or inflammation of the vaginal tissue, which can be caused by infections like yeast and bacterial vaginosis (the most common cause of abnormal vaginal discharge) . Some vaginal infections can even make you more susceptible to other STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
Intercourse: The pH of semen is between 7.1 and 8, so introducing it into your vagina can trigger a change in your balance. If you experience irritation after sex, try using condoms and wash your vagina by using a pH balanced cleanser after the intercourse to avoid upsetting the balance.
Menstruation: Blood has a pH of 7.4, so during your period your pH is elevated. Most women’s bodies can handle the difference, but some find that they are prone to infection during or after menstruation. Pay close attention to your discharge around this time for any sudden changes and if you use a cleanser – at any point in your cycle – be sure that it is pH balanced and gentle enough to help you maintain a healthy and comfortable vagina.
Tampons: Tampons absorb your menstrual fluid and all bacteria – good and bad. They can stop the good bacteria from keeping your pH balanced and can give the bad bacterial a surface to grow on. Try out a reusable menstrual cup instead – they collect your flow rather than absorbing it and are made of medical-grade silicone, so your natural balance is protected.
Breastfeeding or Menopause: Our hormones, especially estrogen, play a large part in keeping our vaginas healthy and our pH acidic. When women breastfeed or start menopause estrogen levels are low, sometimes resulting in conditions like vaginal atrophy and causing higher pH. If you’re breastfeeding or going through menopause, talk to your doctor about solutions to keep your pH in the right range. They can suggest supplements or creams to help you stay balanced.
here is also some evidence that probiotics – good bacteria like those in yogurt – can help increase the amount of good bacteria and keep your pH acidic – but not all scientists agree on the effectiveness of probiotics for prevention of infection. Paying close attention to your body is an important part of avoiding pH issues and infection – that said, remember that it’s normal for the consistency and scent of your discharge to change throughout your menstrual cycle. Why not consider BareDerma’s “SuperVagina” Natural Vagina facial range that would help not only in maintaining the natural pH of intimate area, but also address issues such as skin laxity, hyperpigmentation, vaginal odour and razor bumps.