Great question! Vaginal pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline the vagina is. A healthy vaginal pH is usually between 3.8 and 4.5. This is important to know because an overly acidic or alkaline vaginal pH can lead to infections like yeast or BV, odor, excessive discharge, vaginal dryness, itchiness, vulva soreness and general discomfort.
Here are some things that may negatively impact your vaginal pH:
Antibiotics: Antibiotics kill off both the good and bad bacteria in the vagina. The problem is, the vagina needs good bacteria to fight off the infection causing bad bacteria. Without good bacteria, women are more likely to breed infections like yeast.
Sex: The alkaline pH value of semen is HIGH (usually around 7.1-8). Semen can disturb the vagina’s acidic environment, which can lead to BV.
Menstruation: Blood has a pH of 7.4, so during your period, vaginal pH can become elevated and cause discomfort and infection.
Menopause: A decrease in estrogen levels reduces the numbers of healthy bacteria in the vagina, and eventually can increase the vagina’s pH levels causing recurring infections.