Although the vagina has been created to be a naturally self-cleaning organism, it is important to maintain a balanced pH level to keep the vagina healthy always. The ideal probiotics and vitamins to help maintain a balanced vaginal pH level are discussed below.
Understanding Vaginal pH
Scientifically, the pH scale determines the level of alkalinity or acidity of a thing between 1 and 14 where the number 1 is the highest acidic state and number 14 is the highest alkaline state. For a healthy vagina, a measurement between 3.8 and 4.5 on the pH scale is ideal, which is mildly acidic.
The presence of natural bacteria in the vagina also called lactobacilli is responsible for its mild acidity as it helps to produce lactic acid that reduces the presence of alkaline bacteria and regulates the pH level of the vagina.
When sufficient lactobacilli are not produced in the vagina, the alkaline level increases in its environment, thereby creating a good environment for alkaline bacteria and more prone to infections such as yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis (BV), and urinary tract infections(UTI). Female vaginas with higher alkalinity can also make them prone to STIs like trichomoniasis.
Causes of changes in the vaginal pH level
The pH level of a healthy vagina is considered by experts to be between 3.8 and 4.5 even though this might vary according to age. For most women between the age of 15 and 49, during their most reproductive stage, the pH scale of their vagina is usually around 4.5 or below. But during a menstrual cycle or menopause, the pH level can rise slightly for a few women.
Furthermore, practicing unsafe sex can cause an imbalance of the pH level of a female’s vagina. The natural acidity can also be disrupted by douching or cleaning the inner part of the genitals. For some women, the production of lactobacilli can be disrupted by consuming antibiotics for other conditions or infections.
How is the pH level of the vagina balanced?
For the optimal function of the vagina, a healthy pH balance is required, just like a healthy digestive tract. The healthy pH balance of the vagina is determined by the percentage of healthy bacteria to unhealthy bacteria present in the vagina. This implies that the healthy bacteria should be in its required amount and professionals have recommended the consumption of different supplements to help maintain a healthy environment in the vagina.
Probiotics are living microorganisms that help to promote the development of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract to improve its health. Therefore, it also also recommended to use vaginal health probiotics as well. A recent study where probiotics and antibiotics were given to a select group of women for 30 days for treating bacterial vaginosis showed about a 90% cure rate. When comparing the results, only a 40% cure rate was recorded in women given antibiotics.
Calcium, Aloe Vera, and D-Mannose supplements
For many decades, aloe vera has proven to help improve women’s health, and is one of the commonly used supplements to help boost bladder and pelvic health and treat interstitial Cystitis (CI) due to its content of vitamins, enzymes, and antioxidants.
Aloe Vera in its natural form is packed with vitamins A, B, B12, C, and E, together with folic acid. Its content is also made up of a high volume of water, calcium, zinc, and potassium. It can help promote a healthy pH balance when boosted with the appropriate alkalizing calcium. These health benefits will also be increased when combined with D-Mannose, similar to what was done by the scientists at Intimate Rose.
D-Mannose, also known as Mannose is created naturally in the body by its sugar counterpart, glucose. D-Mannose can also be found in fruits such as oranges, peaches, cranberries, and apples, as well as vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, green beans, and tomatoes. D-Mannose is a natural cure for treating and preventing UTIs, as a result of its effective inhibition of toxic bacteria.
According to research, the introduction of E.coli bacteria into the urinary tract is the cause of most UTIs and their development which makes them resistant. While trying to attack the molecules of the D-Mannose, the bacteria can be eliminated from the body through urine, since according to studies, D-Mannose are usually processed by the kidneys and leaves through the urinary tract.
When should you see your physician about your vaginal pH level?
It is important to immediately speak with your OB/GYN about considering a vaginal probiotic if you discover that you regularly suffer from yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or UTIs. This supplement can also be beneficial for those experiencing a burning sensation when urinating, a foul odor, or unexpected discharge.
Make sure that the recommended probiotics come with Lactobacillus Reuteri, Lactobacillus Rhamnosus, or Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which can prevent the adherence of dangerous bacteria on the wall of the vagina. Additionally, ensure that you adhere to the dosage guidelines. Keep in mind that some vaginal probiotics are consumed orally, while others are meant to be inserted into the vagina.
Other methods of regulating the pH level of the vagina
Practicing safe sex through the use of condoms is one way of ensuring the healthy pH of a vagina. Also, make sure you urinate immediately after sexual intercourse to eliminate any alkaline semen that might tend to disrupt the vagina’s environment if you are practicing a monogamous relationship.
You can also prevent any dangerous bacteria from entering your urethra by wiping from the front to the back after using the lavatory.
The vagina and its inner part are self-cleaning organs. Therefore, avoid cleaning or douching the vagina. You can just splash warm water around the vulva/genitalia and use a clean washcloth to keep it dry.
Immediately change to gym or workout clothes that are sweaty. Stay away from tight pants or jeans that prevent air and wear fabric made from cotton.
Vitamins and probiotics can be helpful in maintaining a healthy pH level and treating vaginal infections, although, it is not the best option for every woman. However, they can be effective for females that are prone to constant yeast infections, UTIs, and bacterial vaginosis.
Make sure you get recommendations from your physician if you are considering taking probiotic supplements. Your doctor will guide you on the ideal dose and ensure that any current medication does not interact or react badly with the supplements.