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5 Things You Might Not Know About Vaginal pH

1. An Acidic Environment Protects Your Vagina

The normal pH of the vagina is 3.8 to 4.5 which falls on the acidic side of the pH scale. In comparison, things like water and sperm have a more alkaline pH, in the 7 to 8 range. Your vagina tries to maintain an acidic environment because it helps ward off unhealthy bacteria and keeps yeast from multiplying too quickly.

2. A High pH (over 4.5) Can Increase Your Risk of Infection

All kinds of things can throw off the self-cleaning ecosystem of your vagina. Since sperm and water have a high pH, things like having sex or even washing with products that aren’t pH balancing can leave you with a higher than normal pH. Unfortunately, this can leave you susceptible to infection.

For many women, a pH imbalance is associated with bacterial vaginosis (BV), the most common genital infection and the least diagnosed. Roughly 1 in 3 women have BV.

When it goes undiagnosed, these women are more susceptible to both more serious STDs and HIV, as well as more likely to transmit these diseases to a partner.

3. Antibiotics Can Raise Your pH – But, Yogurt Can Help Lower It

If you’ve ever gone on antibiotics, your doctor may have recommended eating yogurt or taking a probiotic to replenish healthy bacteria in your gut. Just like your gut, your vagina can benefit from eating yogurt during and after you've taken antibiotics (as well as anytime!) to help restore the good bacteria and bring your pH back into a healthy acidic range.


4. Your pH Changes During Sex

To prepare for the possible influx of semen, your vagina temporarily rises its pH during sexual intercourse. This makes the normally acidic environment more alkaline to protect the sperm on their way to the egg.

Since sperm has the potential to affect some vaginal pH long after sex, it may be beneficial for those women to use a condom to avoid sperm altogether.

5. Using Conventional Soaps and Body Washes Can Alter Your pH

Your vagina is a remarkably self-sufficient, self-cleaning machine.

That’s why, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, certain conventional soaps, body washes, and feminine products that contain petrochemicals may alter the pH and make it even harder for your vagina to keep the bad stuff out. 

We recommend our very own Balance pH Balanced Personal Wash as an alternative option for everyday washing. Rebalance™ Personal Moisturizing and Cleansing Wipes are also a great item to keep with you on-the-go to cleanse, refresh, and eliminate odor. Like all Bio Match™ feminine hygiene products, Balance and Rebalance are made with organic ingredients and free of petrochemicals, parabens and hormones.

What To Do If Your pH Is Too High?

The following symptoms may indicate the pH in your vagina is not as acidic as it should be:

  • A foul or fishy smell
  • Unusual white, gray, or green discharge
  • Vaginal itching
  • Burning when you urinate

It’s best to see a medical professional to determine the cause of these symptoms and treat the underlying condition.