June 8, 2021
What is a healthy PH balance and why it matters
Think back to high school chemistry and you’ll probably remember hearing something about pH levels and how they help our body regulate itself. What you probably didn’t learn in the classroom though, is just how important vaginal pH is in maintaining a healthy and happy ~downstairs~. Today we’re going to talk about everything vaginal pH, and why it matters.
What is vaginal pH?
Basically, potential Hydrogen (or pH) levels indicate how acidic or basic something is, measuring the level of hydrogen atoms present on a scale of 0-14, with 0 being the most acidic, and 14 being the most basic. The ideal pH for our vaginas is around 3.8 to 4.5. This acidity helps protect against harmful yeast and other bacteria that can cause infections.
What’s more—the acidity of the vagina may also help protect against sexually transmitted infections.
The thing is, when our pH balance is off—specifically when it becomes more basic— it becomes the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria and Candida to thrive, which can easily trigger fungal infections like yeast infections or vaginosis. And if you have ever had either, you know they are incredibly unpleasant; causing discomfort, itchiness, and foul odor.
So, pH is clearly very important in maintaining vaginal health. How can we maintain a healthy pH? As with the rest of our body, it’s important to keep everything cleansed and hygienic for our optimum health. That’s why we created our flushable feminine wipes to help cleanse and refresh, all while helping keep an ideal pH.
Think your vagina may be unbalanced? There are several reasons why that may be. Here are a few key factors to investigate.
Douching is when you flush your vagina out with water or a “cleansing liquid”. Often marketed as a way to “clean” your vagina, douching is actually super disruptive to the balance that your vagina naturally strikes. The truth is, our vaginas are really fucking smart, and they cleanse themselves. There are good bacteria in the vagina that help to maintain the pH level, and when it is absolutely stripped through douching, it creates an environment perfect for infection. Not to mention, it also increases your chances of contracting an STI if exposed to one, and is also associated with pregnancy difficulties and cervical cancer.
Overall message? Just skip the douching products! It’s best to love up on our (external) lady parts with just water.
Unprotected sex with men can also throw off our pH balance. Sperm is alkaline in nature, which means when it is deposited in our acidic vaginas, it can make our environment more alkaline. Along with preventing pregnancy and STIs, keeping our vaginas healthy is a top reason why it’s important to practice safe sex.
Similar to sperm, our menstrual blood is more alkaline than the ideal pH of our vaginas, which makes us more likely to get a yeast infection when we’re bleeding—especially because, right before we menstruate, our oestrogen levels go up, which can also cause Candida growth.
A lot of standard period products can also contribute to infections. Scented products are riddled with harsh chemicals, which can upset our pH balances and cause Candida overgrowth and yeast infections. Also, products like tampons strip our vaginas of all our natural lubrication, which not only causes dryness and chafing, but also takes away the good bacteria that maintain a healthy environment. And, sadly, there really is no such thing as ph-balancing tampons. If you need to use tampons—or pads—make sure you change them regularly.
One key to maintaining a healthy pH is also to change tampons and pads regularly if you use them. Menstrual cups are a better option in terms of maintaining a healthy pH while you’re bleeding.
The antibiotics you take when you’re sick actually kill good bacteria in the gut, and can create an overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Therefore, when you are on antibiotics, it is absolutely crucial to also take probiotics!
Probiotics are a way to maintain a balance and prevent yeast infections. There are different strains of probiotics that work differently with the body, but they all combat the overgrowth of Candida.
Those skinny jeans you love wearing? Yeah, those might be the culprit behind your vaginal problems. When our clothing is too tight or is made of synthetic fabric that holds in moisture, it can help bad bacteria breed. Especially in sweaty situations, like exercise or hot weather, make sure you’re wearing natural, breathable fabrics—especially for undies.
There are certain foods and drinks that will trigger Candida overgrowth—namely, ones that are high in sugars, alcohol, starches, and simple carbohydrates.
However, there are also diets that help to reduce Candida and help maintain a healthy pH balance—like the Candida Diet, which promotes gut health by balancing bacteria and yeast through a diet that “includes non-starchy vegetables, low sugar fruits, non-glutinous grains, some dairy products, and fermented foods”.
Maintaining a healthy pH balance is crucial to vaginal health. Here at Busy Co, we make sure that all of our feminine wipes are pH-balanced, and will help balance rather than disrupt your girl. Our Glow Feminine Wipe is a perfect option for after exercising, or sex, or just as a general freshen-up. It has coconut oil which helps soothe and hydrate delicate skin, but also balances bacteria and maintains pH.