Are you constantly dealing with an itchy, smelly, or infected vagina? If so, you may have an imbalance in your vaginal pH levels.
An itchy vagina with a foul fishy odor could mean your vaginal pH levels are incorrectly balanced. It is especially true if you feel a burning sensation when you urinate too.
So if you experience all these vaginal symptoms, you’ll need to take steps to correct the balance of your vaginal pH levels. Now, in case you don’t understand pH, the symbol represents the acidic versus alkaline levels of your vagina. It is calculated on a scale from 0 to 14, with the lower end meaning higher acidity and the higher end meaning higher alkalinity.
For example, a normal vaginal pH range is anywhere from 3.8 to 5. That would mean your vagina has enough acidity to destroy harmful bacteria, fungi, and parasites to prevent infection. However, if your vaginal pH balance becomes abnormal with higher alkalinity and lower acidity, you are at greater risk of a vaginal infection.
How to Balance Your Vaginal pH Levels
So how do you balance your vaginal pH levels to prevent nasty infections like yeast infections, chlamydia, and bacterial vaginosis?
Here are the top seven ways to balance your vaginal pH levels.
1) Consume Vaginal Probiotics
A healthy vagina will have some level of good and bad bacteria in it. The medical terminology associated with the bacteria is “lactobacilli” for good bacteria and “anaerobes” for bad bacteria.
To maintain a healthy vagina, you need to increase the number of good bacteria (lactobacilli) in the vagina because it helps sustain an average vaginal pH balance. The best way to do that is by consuming healthy probiotic foods like kefir, kimchi, yogurt, buttermilk, and sauerkraut. You may even notice some digestive benefits as well. The best vaginal probiotics is a combination of GR-1 and RC-14 which have been extensively clinically studied.
2) Stop Smoking Cigarettes and Tobacco Products
Numerous studies have shown smoking increases the risk of a woman getting a vaginal infection and other adverse vaginal health conditions. This is because smoking causes bad bacteria to increase and good bacteria to decrease in the vagina.
Of course, many other reasons exist for why quitting smoking can preserve your health. But if you need one more reason, now you have one.
3) Reduce Stress and Anxiety Levels
Your cortisol levels rise when you feel stressed out. Once this happens, it disturbs the vaginal pH balance and increases the risk of adverse vaginal health conditions.
The best ways to reduce stress involve healthy lifestyle changes, such as regularly exercising, eating nutritious foods, reducing alcohol intake, and quitting smoking. You could even attempt breathing exercises and meditation to help achieve a mental balance.
If you can successfully manage your stress levels, it will also help manage your vaginal pH levels.
4) Maintain Your Menstrual Hygiene
Many women don’t think about their menstrual hygiene. However, doing so can reduce the risk of vaginal infections and symptoms like itching and irritation.
Practicing good menstrual hygiene helps maintain vaginal pH levels. Here are some ways to improve your menstrual hygiene:
- Shower or bathe every day
- Make sure your vagina stays clean
- Switch your sanitary napkin as often as possible
- Change underwear (preferably twice daily)
- Drink mostly water each day
If you can practice these tips, you should have excellent menstrual hygiene.
5) Stop Consuming Sugary Foods and Beverages
There are countless reasons why consuming sugary foods and beverages is bad for your health. Concerning the vagina, high sugar consumption boosts vaginal pH levels and increases the risk of a yeast infection. So if you lower your sugar intake daily by cutting out processed foods and sweets from your diet, you should find it easier to balance your vaginal pH levels.
6) Avoid Wearing Synthetic Panties
Synthetic panties cannot absorb vaginal sweat the way cotton panties can. So if you wear synthetic panties in a hot environment, all that trapped sweat in your vagina will increase the risk of a bacterial infection. Therefore, ensure you only wear cotton panties.
7) Avoid Douching
The vagina has a natural process for cleaning itself. So, you don’t need to wash the inside of your vagina with water or cleaning products.
It is okay to use warm water to clean your vagina while showering, but do it sparingly and only once per day. However, overcleaning your vagina could disturb the vaginal pH levels and increase the risk of a vaginal infection.