The Importance of pH
Why is the pH of the vagina important?
The vaginal environment contains many microorganisms/flora living in balance. Lactobacillus (friendly bacteria) is the main type of normal vaginal flora and plays an important role in female health. It produces hydrogen peroxide and lactic acid to keep the vaginal environment slightly acidic (with a normal pH of 3.8 to 4.5).
The acidity of the vagina helps control bacteria and prevents the overgrowth of infection-causing anaerobes and other unfriendly pathogens, such as Gardnerella vaginalis and Mycoplasma hominis, which prefer a higher pH. This acidic environment provides an effective natural protection for the vagina against infection and irritation as the majority of harmful micro-organisms cannot survive at a low pH. A yeast infection usually does not cause an increase in vaginal pH.
A normal and healthy vaginal ecosystem is maintained by lacto-bacilli that secrete lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide resulting in a vaginal pH < 4.5 which protects against the overgrowth of anaerobes that thrive in an alkaline (high) pH.
Tips for Good Vaginal Health
Your vagina is self-cleaning. It’s designed to eliminate semen, blood, and other fluids through natural discharges. To keep your vagina healthy:
- Practice good hygiene: Clean only the outside of your vagina with a washcloth, a mild soap and water. Loofahs may cause small tears and expose the area to possible infection. Don’t scrub the folds harshly, and avoid getting soap inside your vagina.
- Do not douche: They can upset your vagina’s pH balance and cause irritation and infections. More importantly, regular douching may mask or hide underlying problems.
- Avoid using deodorizing products: If you want to use any scented sprays or perfumes, only use them on the outside of your vagina. Don’t insert them. They can upset your natural chemistry and lead to bigger problems.
- Change your underwear: If you normally wear satin, silk, or polyester panties, make the switch to 100 percent cotton. Cotton is breathable and does an excellent job wicking away sweat and fluids from your body. Excess moisture can upset your natural bacteria levels.
- Wear breathable fabrics: Wear clothing that breathes, especially in high humidity, to avoid vaginal irritation. That includes tight pants or other restrictive garments.
- Change out of wet clothes or bathing suits quickly.
- Wipe from front to back to reduce your risk of getting a bacterial infection.
- Visit your doctor regularly for testing and checkups if you are sexually active.
- Discuss any irregular vaginal discharge immediately, before the condition worsens.
- Use a vaginal pH regulator such as GYNALAC to help restore your vagina’s natural pH.
- Prophylaxis: If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, even for an unrelated condition, use GYNALAC, immediately after completing your course of antibiotics, to help maintain a natural and healthy vaginal balance.
If the smell doesn’t go away with these helpful tips, contact your doctor. You may need a prescription to help treat an underlying infection.
GYNALAC – Restores & maintains normal vaginal pH balance to restore and maintain normal vaginal flora
Until now, whenever the vaginal area hasn’t felt quite right, there was very little that could be done – except just carry on. GYNALAC can help change this.
GYNALAC is a double-acting vaginal gel, which contains a unique formulation of both lactic acid and sodium hyaluronate, and is clinically proven to regulate and maintain the natural pH of the vagina while providing a moisturizing effect that promotes wound healing. Read more...
Bacterial Vaginosis: Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most common cause of vaginal infections and results from an imbalance in the natural flora of your vagina and a change in its pH.
Types of Vaginal Odor: Click to learn more about the different types of vaginal odor.
Vaginal Discharge: The production of vaginal discharge can change in consistency and appearance depending on many factors. Click for a guide to Vaginal Discharge Colour.
Vaginal Discharge: Click here to learn more about what the color of your vaginal discharge means.
Vaginal Health: Click to learn more about vaginal health.
Antibiotic Resistance: The growing concern over the risk of antibiotic resistance is the primary reasons most healthcare practitioners are now turning towards non-antibiotic approaches to prevent recurrent infections.
Pregnancy: Bacterial Vaginosis is found in about 25% of pregnant women. Click to learn more about potential risks to your pregnancy.
UTI or Vaginal Infection? If you experience discomfort in your genital area or when you urinate, you may have an infection. Click here to learn more about difference between a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and Vaginal Infection.
Bacterial Vaginosis or Yeast Infection: Which Is It? Click here to learn how to tell the difference between bacterial vaginosis and a yeast infection.