Several things can affect the pH of your vagina, including unprotected penetrative sex and the use of medications. For instance, certain lubricants, as well as prescription drugs like estrogen and progestogen, can upset your vulva’s natural balance of bacteria.
Unprotected sex changes your pH because semen is alkaline and can encourage the growth of certain bacteria. Other causes include antibiotics, which can kill the good bacteria that help balance your ph.
1. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is key to maintaining a balanced pH level in the vagina. Certain foods are rich in probiotics, which help fight off harmful bacteria that can cause infections.
Using a condom during sex can also keep harmful bacteria on the penis from entering the vagina, helping prevent infection.
A woman’s vaginal pH level changes throughout the menstrual cycle. Unprotected penetrative sex causes the pH in the vulva to rise as semen is alkaline and sperm needs an acidic environment for fertilization. In addition, hormone fluctuations during perimenopause and menopause can affect pH levels. It is important to use protection during sex and to avoid douching as these behaviors can lead to infections like urinary tract infections (UTI). Drinking lots of water, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding certain hygiene products can help maintain a healthy pH balance.
2. Drink plenty of water
A woman’s vagina naturally has a slightly acidic feminine pH level, which helps keep away bad bacteria that can lead to yeast infections, UTI’s and even bacterial vaginosis. A variety of factors, including medications and hormones during menstruation, can affect this balance.
Drinking plenty of water is a great way to help balance your pH levels. Aside from that, avoid scented douches, oils and other harsh chemicals that can disrupt the natural balance. Also, be sure to wear loose-fitting underwear that allows for proper ventilation. Lastly, wiping from front to back is important in helping prevent unwanted bacteria growth. These tips, along with practicing safe sex, can help you maintain your vagina’s pH level.
3. Change your tampons
Taking healthy lifestyle choices like avoiding unprotected sex, having sex with one partner at a time, wearing loose-fitting clothes and washing the vulva with warm water and a pH balanced cleanser can help keep your vaginal microbiome in balance. Other ways to avoid an imbalance include avoiding harsh soaps and douching, and regularly changing your tampon.
Tampons increase vaginal pH unnaturally, by soaking up liquid that includes the healthy bacteria that create a vaginal ecosystem. This can lead to irritation and bacterial infections, such as BV and yeast infections. Instead, switch to a menstrual cup that collects, rather than soaks up, fluid.
Sexual activity can also cause a pH change, since semen is alkaline. And menstruation can make the vagina more acidic, as period blood does have a pH of 7.4. It’s important to be mindful of these changes and seek medical attention if you experience symptoms, such as fishy smell or an itchy vagina.
4. Avoid harsh soaps
Using harsh soaps that contain fragrances can disrupt the natural pH balance in your vulva, which can lead to irritation and infection. Showering with lukewarm water rather than hot can also help to avoid pH disruption.
Unprotected penetrative sex can change the pH level of your vagina due to the high acidity of semen and the alkaline environment created by intercourse. This can lead to bacteria overgrowth or abnormal discharge.
Your period can have a slight effect on your pH level, but this usually resolves itself shortly after your cycle. However, other things like using scented wash products, avoiding feminine hygiene sprays, having a sex toy and douching can all disrupt your natural pH level. This can cause a fishy smell, urinary tract infections and uncomfortable vaginal discharge.
5. Avoid douching
Douching can throw off your vagina’s natural acidic environment, making it harder for good bacteria to thrive. It can also introduce harmful bacteria into your vulva. If you’re experiencing itchiness, discharge with a fishy odor or pain in your vulva or genital area, it could be a sign of an unbalanced pH level. Douching is also bad for the vulva’s microbiome, as well as using perfumed vaginal washes and scented tampons or sanitary pads.
An acidic vulva doesn’t usually cause disease, but it can make getting pregnant difficult because sperm thrive in an alkaline environment to get to the egg. If you want to conceive, try to keep your vagina’s pH levels between 7.0 and 8.5. Douching and using harsh soaps to clean the vulva can disrupt pH levels, so try to use natural soaps.
6. Change your lubricants
A healthy vaginal pH is essential to a woman’s overall health and can help prevent infections, like BV or yeast infections. However, certain things can disrupt a healthy pH balance, including unprotected sex and using scented vaginal products.
Unprotected sex causes a temporary change in your vaginal pH because semen is more alkaline than the natural acidity of your vulva and uterus. This is because semen is needed to fertilize the egg during sex.
It’s also important to use a water-based lubricant that has a pH level between 3.8 and 4.5, to avoid an increase in the risk of bacterial vaginosis (BV) or a yeast infection. Avoid lubricants with glycerin or sugar, as these can be more alkaline and irritate your vagina. Also, be sure to change your sex toys often, and wash them with hot water and gentle soap to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
7. Take a probiotic
Some probiotics have been found to help restore the normal pH level. This can lead to healthier flora and less infections, such as yeast or bacterial vaginosis.
Unprotected penetrative sex can change the pH of your vagina, because semen is alkaline. The pH level of your vulva rises during intercourse to create a more alkaline environment that may help protect the sperm and encourage fertilization.
The pH of your vulva can also be affected by certain medications, diet, and hormones. For example, the pH levels can change during perimenopause and menopause due to a decrease in estrogen. It’s important to wash your vulva and genitals with gentle soaps and avoid using scented feminine hygiene products. Douching is also a bad idea, because it can make your vulva more sensitive to smells and irritation over time.