As women, we’re taught from a young age to take care of our vaginal health through regular hygiene, but what about the pH balance of our vaginas? The acidic pH level of the vagina is crucial to preventing infections, irritation and discomfort. When our pH levels are off, it can lead to bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and other health issues.
In this article, I will be taking you through a comprehensive guide on how to balance vaginal pH through simple lifestyle changes, natural remedies, and probiotics. Let’s dive in!
The food that we eat has a direct impact on the pH balance and general health of our vaginal area. Therefore, adopting a healthy diet can improve our pH balance and also help in fighting off infections.
There are specific foods that contribute to a healthy vaginal pH, such as yogurt, garlic and cranberries. Yogurt contains Lactobacillus bacteria that help in restoring the natural balance of good bacteria in the vaginal area. Garlic has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, which help it in fighting off infections, while cranberries, particularly cranberry juice, can help prevent and clear up UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections).
You can easily incorporate these foods into your diet by using garlic as seasoning in your dishes, adding yogurt as a side dish, and sipping on cranberry juice regularly. Apart from these foods, make sure you consume a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein.
Maintaining good hygiene practices is necessary for the general health and pH balance of the vaginal area. However, some hygiene products used daily can negatively impact our pH level. Harsh soaps and detergents disrupt fragile pH levels and cause dryness and irritation in the area.
To keep your vaginal pH level in check, switch from using harsh soaps, scented douches, or wipes. Instead, opt for gentle fragrance-free cleansers and only use water for vulvar cleansing. Choose cotton undies over synthetic ones and change them frequently. These simple practices can help ward off infections and maintain a healthy pH balance.
There are a few at-home natural remedies that can help with vaginal pH balance. Apple cider vinegar and coconut oil are the most popular remedies out there. While apple cider vinegar has antimicrobial properties and aids in restoring pH levels, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help keep the genital area moisturized and healthy.
You can mix two cups of apple cider vinegar with warm water and use the mixture during a bath for relief from vaginal itching and dryness. Coconut oil can be applied directly to the genital area for moisturization. However, it is essential to note that these remedies are meant to aid and not replace medical treatment in cases of persistent infections or unusual symptoms.
Probiotics are becoming more popular for their gut health benefits, but did you know that they can also help restore the healthy bacteria in the vaginal area? Probiotic supplements containing strains such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus acidophilus are known to reduce vaginal pH and lead to a healthy bacterial balance.
You can choose to consume probiotics in pill form or eat probiotic-rich foods like kefir and fermented vegetables. It is essential to consult with your gynecologist before taking probiotics and to choose a reputable brand to avoid any harmful bacteria that can cause further issues.
Kegel exercises are one of the most effective ways to improve vaginal health and balance pH. These exercises specifically focus on the vaginal muscles that support pelvic organs, leading to better blood circulation and pH control. Kegels help in strengthening the muscles of the pelvic floor, leading to better bladder control, internal support and a healthy vaginal environment.
These exercises are easy to do and can be performed anywhere and at any time. Begin by identifying the correct muscles (the ones used to stop the flow of urine mid-stream) and contract and relax them several times in a row for best results.
Douching is the practice of cleaning or rinsing the vagina with water or other solutions. It is important to note that this practice, although marketed for freshness, can actually disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina.
Douching can lead to bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and other health issues. Instead of douching, use gentle cleansers and practice good hygiene practices, as outlined earlier in the article.
Consult a Doctor
If you have recurring vaginal health issues or persistent changes in your discharge or odor, it is essential to make an appointment with your doctor. Unexplained changes in discharge, burning, unusual odors, and itching are signs that you might need professional medical attention. Your gynecologist can help you diagnose and treat your medical issues while providing you with customized health care and advice specific to your lifestyle.
With the tips above, you can take a step towards a more balanced and healthy vagina. Eating a healthy diet and observing good hygiene practices, in combination with natural remedies and doctor-approved probiotics, will help in the maintenance of optimal vaginal pH balance. Remember to consult with your doctor if you notice any unusual changes, and to perform kegel exercises regularly for pelvic floor strengthening and vaginal pH balance.