11 Impressive Natural Remedies to Restore Vaginal pH Balance
First and foremost, pH stands for ‘potential hydrogen’, which describes how basic or acidic a substance is. Your vagina’s pH balance is essential in keeping it healthy. However, several environmental and natural factors can affect the pH level, causing such symptoms as burning, itching, and changes in discharge. By knowing the pH scale and its relationship with your body, you can employ steps to balance your vaginal pH. The natural remedies to restore the pH balance you will read in this post may be exactly what you need to maintain or gain a normal vaginal pH balance. But before going to that, there are various other things you also need to first understand.
You will learn the following from this post:
- Meaning of natural vaginal pH
- pH levels of common substances
- symptoms of unbalanced pH levels
- what changes vaginal pH
- natural remedies to restore pH balance
What’s a Normal Vaginal pH?
The scale of the pH ranges between 0 and 14. A pH is acidic if it’s less than 7, and it’s alkaline (basic) when it’s above 7. A vaginal pH considered normal is moderately acidic, ranging between 3.8 and 4.5. the acidic environment of the vagina often fights against the growth of bacteria. But when your vaginal pH is too alkaline, there is the possibility of bacteria overgrowing.
The following are some ways you can find out if your vaginal pH level is too alkaline:
- Change in discharge texture and color. For example, the discharge that your vagina produces may be yellow, gray, or white. However, healthy discharge is usually clear.
- Change in the odor of discharge. When your discharge comes out, and you perceive a foul, strong, or ‘fishy’ smell, that is an indication that your vaginal pH may be too alkaline. Conversely, a healthy discharge is often odorless or just a very faint smell.
- Itching and discomfort around the vulva and vagina. You may begin to feel like scratching the opening of your vagina due to itchiness, and you may also feel discomfort and burning while peeing or having sexual intercourse.
The symptoms of a vaginal that is too alkaline may become bacterial vaginosis (BV) as diagnosed by a doctor. Most commonly, these symptoms may be a yeast infection, but natural remedies to restore pH balance can fix that.
pH Levels of Common Substances
Below are the levels of some common substances. Knowing about these levels will help you maintain your vaginal ph balance.
- Lye: 13
- Soapy water: 11 to 12
- Ammonia: 11
- Baking soda: 8.3
- Seawater: 8
- Pure water: 7
- Coffee: 5
- Pickles: 3.5 to 3.9
- Orange juice: 3.3 to 4.2
- Vinegar: 2.2
- Lemon juice: 2
- Stomach acid: 1
Symptoms of Unbalanced pH Levels
Discussing normal vagina flora is as important as knowing the pH balance of the vagina. Normal vaginal flora contains two healthy microorganisms like yeast, bacteria, and other fungi. Consider it as a mini-ecosystem available in the vagina, which is essential for maintaining a healthy pH level and balance overall. For example, a 3.8 to 4.5 pH level is fine for the normal vaginal flora to thrive.
Lifestyle factors, hormones, diet, and medications can affect the balance. The following symptoms of vaginal infections can result in the imbalance of the vaginal pH:
- Itching, swelling, a rash, or redness around the labia or vagina
- Burning sensation during sexual intercourse or urination
- Fishy odor or strong unpleasant smell
- Yellow, gray, or green discharge
- Chunky texture
- You may notice symptoms after intercourse or menstruation
Atrophic vaginitis (also called thinning of vaginal tissue) may result in discomfort or burning sensation. This is common among menopausal or perimenopausal women due to reduced levels of estrogen.
What Changes Vaginal pH?
Various infections and conditions can affect the ph balance of the vagina. Even though I have briefly mentioned some before in this post, causes of changes in the vaginal ph balance include the following:
Bacterial vaginosis is a disease that occurs due to too much bacteria in the vagina. This condition can cause a spike in pH levels. A person suffering from this condition may experience pain, burning, or itching in the vagina. She may also experience a burning sensation during urination which may come with a white or gray discharge.
Douching is a way of cleaning or washing the vagina with certain solutions, such as the solutions containing baking soda or vinegar. Many women believe these solutions reduce vaginal odor, but they actually worsen the smell. In addition, these solutions wash out the good bacteria that your vagina needs, affecting the vaginal pH balance and making the vaginal susceptible to infections.
Women often suffer higher pH levels when they reach the menopausal stage due to reduced estrogen levels.
Presence of Menstrual Blood
Blood contains a higher pH than the environment of the vagina. Therefore, when a woman is menstruating, the pH level of the blood can increase the pH level of the vagina.
Because antibiotics can kill harmful bacteria, some women may think that it effectively kills the harmful bacteria in their vaginas. While they may be right, they should also understand that antibiotics can also kill the good bacteria needed by the vagina to stay healthy. In addition, taking antibiotics may upset your vaginal pH balance.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
UTIs do not result in developing higher vaginal pH, but developing a high pH can increase your chance of having a UTI. In addition, reduced levels of estrogen at the menopausal and perimenopausal stages can put you at risk of having more frequent UTIs because reduced estrogen causes an increased vaginal pH. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe an estrogen boost to lower your vaginal pH and prevent extended UTIs for treatment.
Other Medical Conditions
Scientists have associated higher vaginal pH with other medical conditions, such as the increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), premature birth, and infertility.
11 Natural Remedies to Restore pH Balance
If you feel that the pH of your vagina is imbalanced or you experience mild symptoms, then there are various approaches you can take to restore this balance to the right level. Suppose you discover that your symptoms do not go away even after trying the natural remedies to restore pH balance, or the symptoms become more severe. In that case, you should follow up with your doctor for a proper diagnosis. The following are ways you can restore your vaginal pH naturally:
1. Consider Boric Acid Suppositories
You can get boric acid at a very affordable price, and it is also easy to access. Boric acid has been an effective remedy against BV for over a century. However, further studies need to be carried out to prove the efficacy of boric acid against BV clinically. You may use boric acid suppositories if your symptoms are mild before going for antibiotics. Boric acid suppositories are available online or at your local pharmacy.
2. Incorporate More Probiotics into Your Diet
There should be an abundance of lactobacilli (known as the good bacteria) in your vagina. That will show that you have a healthy vagina. Besides fighting off infection, the bacteria will help restore your vaginal pH balance.
You can find lactobacilli in probiotic supplements, which naturally occur in some fermented foods. There are several ways you can take lactobacilli:
- Orally, through using probiotic supplements
- In probiotic foods like saucerkraut, kimchi, kefir, or yogurt.
Taking enough probiotics and supplement foods effectively increases the lactobacilli in your vaginal; it may not entirely prevent the growth of other bacteria not good for your vagina.
3. Take Garlic Tablets
Garlic contains antioxidants and a bacteria-fighting compound known as allicin. Garlic may be a perfect oral antibiotic for treating the symptoms resulting from BV or vaginal yeast infection, and it comes with little or no side effects. The most common side effect of garlic is digestive. People prone to bleeding or those with blood thinners should take garlic at minimum doses. You can purchase garlic tablets online or at your local pharmacy.
4. Try to Destress
Stress can affect any human body area, including a healthy vagina. A study has shown a relationship between spikes in cortisol (known as the stress hormone) and BV. Even though there is no way you can avoid stress, you can manage it in some healthy ways and thus keep your stress hormones from negatively affecting your health, including the pH of your vagina.
The following distressing activities may work for you:
- Deep breathing
- Channeling your energy into a favorite activity
- Playing or listening to music
5. Quit Smoking
Women who smoke are likely to suffer from BV. However, in certain studies, women who did not smoke had a larger proportion of lactobacillus in their vaginal microbiota than those who smoked. As already mentioned, lactobacillus is an essential bacteria for the health of your vagina. If you smoke and try to quit or cut back on it, some alternative therapies and medications may help. You can also have a good discussion with your doctor about setting up a quit plan that works for you.
6. Consider How You Clean Your Vagina or Vulva
Although the vagina has a self-cleaning function, you may be tempted to use fragrant cleaning products on your vagina, especially when you experience the symptoms of yeast infection or BV. Douching can cause BV. Besides avoiding douching, you should also avoid fragrant vaginal washes and sanitary pads or scented tampons because they can affect your vaginal pH balance. Simply rinse the spot gently with warm water if you want to clean your vulva and vagina. However, if it’s vital that you clean your vulva with soap, opt for the fragrance-free washes.
7. Be Mindful of Your Underwear
What you wear to cover your private part may affect your vaginal health in various ways. In keeping your vaginal and nether region healthy, you should consider the following:
- Wear underwear made from natural fabric, such as cotton
- Wash your underwear with a hypoallergenic detergent
- To avoid moisture buildup, do not wear panties at night
- Replace your underwear if you have irritation or moisture buildup during the day
8. Use Barrier Methods during Sexual Intercourse
An increased exposure to semen that can create an alkalized effect on the vagina may increase your chance of developing BV. Using a condom while having sex may reduce the effect of semen on your vaginal flora. Similarly, use finger cots or dental dams while having sex to prevent the introduction of other bacteria into your vagina. You can purchase these barrier methods online or at your local pharmacy.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people include apple cider vinegar in their health routine due to its antifungal and antibacterial effects. If you would also like to try ACV, ensure that you take it orally instead of washing your vagina with it. You should dilute the apple cider vinegar before drinking it or take it in supplement form.
10. Stay Hydrated
You can flush out some bacteria and toxins by drinking plenty of water; this can also help you regulate your vagina’s ecosystem. Dehydration is one of the causes of yeast infections or itching around the vagina.
Ideally, women should drink about 2.7 liters of water each day. The following are some indications that you may need to introduce more water to your body system:
- Bad breath
- Dry or flaky skin
- Constant hunger
- Overly tiredness
- Orange, dark yellow, or yellow urine
- Feeling thirsty
11. Consume Less Sugar
Too much sugar in the body can cause higher pH levels, resulting in the growth of fuel yeast. Avoid extra sugar in foods and drinks like:
- Ice cream
- Refined pasta or bread
Eat natural sugars from fruit is healthy, but make sure it is in small portions unless your healthcare professional says otherwise.
Experiencing uncomfortable symptoms in the vagina like unpleasant odor, unusual discharge, pain, swelling, or rash can be pretty embarrassing. Still, it is normal for your pH balance to fluctuate, and it happens to most people at some point. However, do not allow embarrassment to prevent you from going for proper medical care or trying natural remedies to restore pH balance.
Soy, Avocados, Apples, Cranberries, Sweet Potatoes, Nuts, Olive oil, etc., are a few of the best supplements which help balance the cholesterol and estrogen levels, which help restore the vaginal Ph Balance.
Lavender Oil and Tea Tree Oil are two of the most effective and proven measures that help maintain hygiene and ph levels in the vagina under their antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic properties. These are available in any grocery store.
Deodorants around the vagina, Unprotected Sex, tight clothes, Douching, etc., are some of the most common Causes of Vaginal Ph Imbalance.
The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.