pH stands for potential of hydrogen, the measurement scale to determine the acidity and alkalinity of a certain substance. The human body contains different substances which need to be regulated at a specific level, specifically for health reasons. One of the best examples for this is the vagina. It is where life is created and it helps bring life into the world. It has its vital functions to maintain life that is why it has its own cleaning mechanism. In order to shed some light, here are the things you should know about PH balance and how to find out if you are too acidic.
Before knowing whether you are too acidic, let us define PH deeper first. Since it is a scale to measure whether a substance is acidic or alkaline. Measurement is done within the range of 0 to 14 where 7 is considered to be the neutral state of solution, neither acidic nor alkaline. Measurements below 7 denote acidity while those above mean alkalinity. The lower the measurement, the more acidic the substance is, while the higher the measurement, the more alkaline it is.
A healthy vagina would have pH measurements within the range of 3.8 to 4.5. When the reading shows acidic, this means that the vagina is healthy.
Inside the laboratories, the pH content is measured using pH indicators. These are chemical solutions which, when added to the substance, will change the color to indicate the pH level content. The most common way of measuring pH is by using a litmus paper, a special paper made of natural pH indicators which changes color when submerged to the solution.
The acidity of the vaginal fluid acts as a protection against infection. The main reason why the pH level has to be maintained is to keep bad bacteria from growing and invading the area. Its acidic nature is conducive for growth of good bacteria while keeping the bad ones out. If the pH level goes above the 4.5 range, this means that the fluid is now alkaline than acidic. When the vagina has an alkaline nature, it will open the doors for bad bacteria to cause irritation and infection.
Bacterial vaginosis is the most common problem when the pH level increases beyond the normal range. Infection may occur resulting to abnormal discharge, discomfort, irritation and foul odor. Other common problems are herpes, syphilis, Chlamydia and HIV.
As mentioned, the pH level may change and could result to infection. Keeping your pH level in the safe range means knowing the things you need to avoid.
During your monthly menstrual period, the pH level will elevate due to the blood’s natural pH level (7.4), opening your body to the possibility of infection. At this stage, you may use cleansers to keep out irritation. However, you must pay attention to the products that you are using. Now that you are aware of the normal range, make sure to check product labels.
These may be very convenient to use however these products have the ability to absorb the acidity of your vaginal fluid. Remember, in order to keep the bad bacteria out, you should be able to maintain pH level within 3.8 – 4.5. Absorbing the acidic fluid means not only giving a suitable environment for bad bacteria but also preventing the good ones to grow.
A man’s semen is alkaline in nature (pH level 7.1 to 8). It means that contact to this fluid will disturb the balance. You may use condoms to avoid this problem.
It is not really common but there are women who find it necessary to clean the insides of their vagina beyond the vulva, the external most part and it often results to irritation and infection. As mentioned above, the vagina has the ability to clean itself. The only cleaning technique that you should do is on the vulva.
Hormones also play an important role in keeping the balance of our body fluids. A lactating mother may experience a drop on the estrogen level and could affect the pH level. This also applies to women going through the early stages of menopause.
The most efficient way to keep your pH level within the right range is to stay hydrated so take more fluids to balance the level. Also, having a nutritious diet can help improve your vaginal health. Visiting your gynecologist regularly is also beneficial. They can run some exams to check your vaginal health and assess whether medication is necessary. The simple infections may lead to greater problems if left untreated. Take time to check on the things you should know about pH balance and how to find out if you are too acidic.