What is the Optimal Vaginal pH Level?
Maintaining optimal vaginal wellness can be as simple as understanding the way the body responds to a change in pH.
Scientifically speaking, pH is a measure of the hydrogen ion concentration of a solution on a scale from 0 - 14. The neutral pH is 7, which is the pH of water. Anything lower than 7 is acidic, and anything greater than 7 is alkaline. Lemon juice, which is very acidic, has a pH of 2, whereas ammonia, which is very alkaline, has a pH of 11. Many of the body's most sensitive areas, including the vagina, maintain a slightly acidic pH.
The normal pH of the vagina is 3.5 to 4.5; by comparison, the pH of human blood is close to 7. Because there is such a difference between the natural pH of the vagina and other agents, blood during menstruation, douching, and sex can dramatically alter vaginal pH. These are known as "pH triggers."
When pH is elevated, the vaginal flora changes, and organisms like yeast may increase in number and cause uncomfortable feminine issues, vaginal dryness, an unpleasant odor, discomfort during intercourse, or a persistent vaginal itch.
Another "pH trigger" is the aging process. A decrease in estrogen production as a result of growing older can also cause a change in pH, and can therefore also cause a decrease in healthy bacterial flora.
"Until vaginal pH is returned to the normal pH level (between 3.5 and 4.5), bacterial issues may occur more frequently, causing discharge and irritation, and contribute to increased urinary tract and vaginal issues," said Dr. Machelle Seibel, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Massachusetts.
However, by understanding pH, women can take control of their feminine health. One simple solution is RepHresh Gel, an over-the-counter product clinically shown to eliminate feminine odor and maintain healthy vaginal pH for up to three days.
Taking control of pH means taking control of the natural vaginal environment, and putting an end to unnatural odor and discomfort.