A healthy vagina depends on having balanced pH levels. You can maintain balanced vaginal pH levels by developing better lifestyle habits and consuming the proper food and supplements.
For example, a woman can balance her vaginal pH levels if she stops douching, manages her stress, stays hydrated, reduces sugar intake, wears cotton underwear, practices safe sex, and consumes probiotics, apple cider vinegar, and garlic.
A healthy vaginal pH level is anything from 3.8 to 4.5, a mildly acidic pH range. If your vaginal pH level is under 3.8, you have a highly acidic vagina. But if your vaginal pH level is over 4.5, your vagina is less acidic and more prone to symptoms like rashes, burning, and redness.
A primary care physician can prescribe treatment for your symptoms and any other health conditions or infections you may develop from having imbalanced pH levels in the vagina.
Normal pH levels maintain the good bacteria in your vagina and prevent the bad bacteria from getting out of control and causing health problems. The good bacteria also assist in keeping your vagina clean. These healthy microorganisms in your vagina include yeast, bacteria, and other kinds of fungi. A mildly acidic vaginal environment is what they need to remain beneficial to your vaginal health.
How to Improve Vaginal pH Imbalance
Many things can throw off the balance of your vaginal pH levels, such as medications, lifestyle habits, poor nutrition, and hormones. It is critical to prevent your vaginal pH levels from getting too high because that would create an environment more susceptible to harmful bacteria growth and vaginal infections.
Below are the top 9 natural ways to improve your vaginal pH levels:
Probiotics are healthy microorganisms (good bacteria) associated with your body’s natural flora. The vagina depends on a healthy balance of probiotics to prevent bad bacteria from taking over and causing an infection.
One of the best healthy bacteria of the vaginal flora is Lactobacilli. These bacteria produce lactic acid to prevent bad bacteria from spreading and causing an infection in the vagina.
Women who consume antibiotics to eradicate a bacterial infection usually encounter problems with their vaginal pH levels because antibiotics can kill good and bad bacteria in the vagina. This creates a more alkaline vaginal environment, making it more susceptible to bacterial infections like bacterial vaginosis.
You should create a daily diet plan to include fermented foods rich in probiotics. Some examples include yogurt, buttermilk, pickles, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, kefir, and kombucha. You can also find vaginal probiotics that can provide an excellent support to your diet and health regimine.
Garlic is a delicious plant-based seasoning used in lots of different food recipes. But it is also a bulbous flowering plant with antifungal and antibacterial properties.Research suggests regular garlic consumption could help women eliminate and prevent vaginal infections. Just add garlic powder to your daily meals or consume oral garlic supplements.
Talk to your primary care physician regarding how much garlic you should consume each day because too much garlic may cause vaginal bleeding or limit the effectiveness of your prescription medications.
3) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has plenty of antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is a traditional home remedy prepared by diluting vinegar in water for oral consumption. You can also take apple cider vinegar supplements.
Do not apply diluted apple cider vinegar to the vagina directly. It is not a topical home remedy.
There are many good reasons for drinking lots of water and keeping yourself hydrated. One reason is to flush out the toxins from your vaginal region. Studies show that good hydration leads to fewer vaginal or yeast infections.
Make sure you drink clean, purified water rather than alkaline water. Health experts recommend drinking around 2.7 liters of water per day.
5) Stress Management
Too much stress causes your cortisol levels to rise, creating an imbalance in your vaginal pH levels. While you may not be able to control everything that causes stress, you should try to reduce your daily stress levels as much as possible.
Some ways to reduce stress include daily exercise, a nutritious diet, deep breathing (meditation), sleeping 6 to 8 hours nightly, no drug use, no smoking, no alcohol, and doing something that brings you happiness or pleasure.
6) Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Too much sugar consumption causes your vaginal pH levels to rise and increases the risk of a yeast infection. So, reduce your sugar intake from foods and beverages as much as possible.
Remember that fruits contain natural sugars that can affect your vaginal pH levels. Talk to your primary care physician about how much fruit you should eat to stay healthy and maintain healthy vaginal pH levels.
7) No Douching
It is okay to clean the outside of your vagina. However, cleaning the inside of the vagina (douching) is not recommended because it will disrupt the vaginal pH balance. Douching could also push bad bacteria toward the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes, increasing the risk of infection and pelvic inflammatory disease.
8) Wear Cotton Underwear
You need to let your vagina breathe by wearing underwear made of a breathable fabric like cotton. That way, sweat and moisture won’t get trapped in your vagina and increase your risk of getting a urinary tract infection or vaginal infection.
9) Safe Sex
You or your partner should wear a condom during vaginal intercourse. Since a man’s semen has a high pH level of around 7.1 to 8.0, you’ll want to avoid exposing your vaginal to the semen directly. Any barrier protection during sex can help you avoid contact with semen.
When to Contact Your Doctor
Contact your primary care physician to learn more about maintaining healthy vaginal pH levels. They can advise you on how to approach each home remedy listed above.