pH (denoting the ‘potential of hydrogen’ or ‘power of hydrogen’ is the measurement of how acidic or alkaline (basic) a substance is. The pH scales runs from 0 to 14. A pH of less than 7 is considered acidic. A pH of more than 7 is considered alkaline, or basic. A pH of 7 is considered neutral.
Why does Vaginal pH Matter?
The vagina is most healthy in an acidic environment with a pH between 3.5 and 4.5. This environment is protective and creates a barrier that prevents unhealthy bacteria and yeast from multiplying too quickly and causing imbalances. A “normal” pH can vary depending on the stage of a woman’s life usually increasing before menstruation, around ovulation, and after menopause. Women with high vaginal pH, above 4.5, are more susceptible for unhealthy bacteria to grow and are at a greater risk for vaginal infections. A very acidic pH, less than 3.5, might reduce chance of fertility.
Some Causes of an Unbalanced Vaginal pH
- Unprotected Sex. Semen is alkaline, which can encourage growth of certain bacteria.
- Antibiotics. These drugs kill not only the bad bacteria that cause disease, but also the good bacteria you need to maintain a healthy, more acidic vaginal pH level.
- Douching. Although it isn’t advised, some women regularly wash out their vagina with a mixture of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine. Douching not only increases the vaginal pH level, but also encourages the growth of harmful bacterial overall.
- Menstrual Periods. Menstrual blood is a little bit basic and raises the pH in the vagina. When that blood flows through the vagina and is absorbed into a tampon or pad and sits in place, it can raise the pH level of the vagina. Note: The pH of blood is 7.4.
- Female hormone level change. Lack of estrogen, during the menopausal years, is associated with alkalization of the vaginal pH to above 4.5.
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding. Estrogen levels increases during pregnancy but plummets after pregnancy. Women who breastfeed usually have lower estrogen levels that those who do not.
Vaginal Steaming to Combat pH Imbalances
Her Sacred Place Vaginal Steaming Spa in Columbia, South Carolina is here to help with your vaginal imbalances. Vaginal Steaming may help cleanse the vagina of imbalances and reduce frequent infections. If you are not located in South Carolina, but would like to consult with a Steaming Facilitator, please click here to book your consultation. Make sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to keep up on the latest information pertaining to your most Sacred Place!