No One Wants to Be Basic: The Importance of Vaginal pH and Natural Ways to Achieve Balance


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No One Wants to Be Basic: The Importance of Vaginal pH and Natural Ways to Achieve Balance

By Valarie Merced

Got a funky puss? It is probably due to a pH imbalance.


“What’s pH you say?"

PH is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a substance or environment, the vaginal environment in this case. Less than 7 is acidic, higher than 7 is basic.


A healthy pussy has a pH between 3.8-4.5, which is slightly acidic. For post-menopausal people, their pH is at about a 5.


The natural acidity of the vagina allows it to fight off bacterial infections and prevent the growth of yeast. However, this same pH that allows you to maintain healthy vaginal flora can also damage and even kill sperm.


Understanding vaginal pH is vital to sexual wellness and pleasure. Despite its importance to sexual health, there is not much information given to those with vaginas about how to obtain and maintain healthy flora. Knowing the pH of your vagina is an easy and effective way to monitor health.


How to measure pH


So, now that we know the value of our vaginal pH…how do we measure it?

Most of the time you will be able to tell if your pH is off. Symptoms of an imbalanced pH level can be quite obvious. Too high or low can result in:

  • Itching or burning
  • Foul or fishy smells
  • Grey or green cervical fluid
  • Unusual changes to the consistency of cervical fluid
  • And an overall crappy feeling

However, to be certain your pussy is always on pHleek, there are test kits you can buy to measure your own vaginal pH. It is simple! Just insert the litmus strip into your vagina, wait a few seconds, and match the color to the chart.


What disrupts the balance of pH?

    • Unprotected sex. Semen is very basic, too much exposure can increase the pH of the vagina.
    • Poor diet. Sugars, alcohol, and processed foods can make your body acidic.
  • Panty problems. Let your pussy breath! Sleep naked and switch to 100% cotton underwear.
    • Excessive douching. The vagina regulates itself through the production of cervical fluid. Balancing the bacteria and excreting anything harmful. Too much douching harms the delicate flora and disrupts the natural process of cleansing secretions.
      • Antibiotics. Antibiotics not only kicks the infection you are fighting off, but it also kills the good bacteria as well.
      • Low estrogen. Estrogen levels change as we age, lower estrogen increases pH and thins and irritates the vaginal tissues.
  • Spermicide. Nonoxynol-9 is used in lubricants to slow and kill semen. Nonoxynol-9 has been proven to damage the vaginal flora and tissues and can affect the production of lactobacillus, the healthy bacteria, in the vagina. So invest in a safe, sensitive, sperm-loving lube.

  • The natural ebb and flow


    PH levels fluctuate throughout the cycle and the lifetime of an individual. This fluctuation is an important process in the fertility of the womb.


    Throughout the menstrual cycle, there are two major increases in pH levels. The first rise is during menstruation, as blood has a neutral pH of 7. The second spike is during ovulation (the fertile phase of your cycle). During ovulation the cervical fluid becomes more alkaline, increasing to a pH of 7, the same as semen. This alkalinity allows the semen to survive in the cervical fluid for 2-7 days.

    Other hormonal events in life that naturally increase vaginal pH levels include pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause.


    Dangers of an unbalanced pH


    BASIC


    Nobody wants a basic pussy...it decreases vaginal flora and creates an environment where unhealthy bacteria can thrive. Having an elevated pH level puts you at an increased risk of infections such as:

    • Bacterial Vaginosis. (if left untreated can cause preterm labor)
    • Trichomoniasis.
    • UTI.
    • Yeast infections.
    • Studies show a high pH increases the risk of contracting STIs like chlamydia and HIV

    ACIDIC


    An acidic pH, or a sour puss as I like to call it, does not cause many infections or disease. However, it does create discomfort during sex and urination, as well as fertility problems. Having a low pH creates a hostile environment for semen to survive.


    How to fix your fanny


    Natural Home Remedies for a Basic Vagina


    When it comes to a basic pussy it is important to reintroduce good bacteria and lower the pH to fight infections.


    Insertables: Douches & Suppositories


    • YOGURT PUSSY POPS. Organic, unsweetened yogurt has lactobacillus cultures in it. This is the good, vagina-loving bacteria. To make pussy pops put plain organic yogurt into an ice tray or mold, freeze and insert before bed. Pro tip: wear a pad on to prevent a mess. Alternatively, you can dip a tampon in yogurt and insert it for a couple of hours. Repeat 1-2x per day until symptoms have disappeared.
    • APPLE CIDER VINEGAR. Incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily routine. Drink one tablespoon of ACV straight up or with some water daily to maintain a healthy pH level. For internal treatment take a sitz bath using one cup of apple cider vinegar diluted in your bath water. You can also use a solution of 2 tablespoons of ACV in 1 cup of water and douche with this solution. Pro tip: add 1-2 teaspoons of raw honey. Honey is antimicrobial and heals the tissues. Only douche with this solution if you have a basic pH and need to rebalance, other than that douche as little as possible.
    • COCONUT OIL SUPPOSITORIES. Coconut oil does wonders for the pussy. It’s antibacterial, antifungal, and helps to soften and repair tissues. To balance pH you can use coconut oil by itself or with essential oils. For easy insertion freeze the oil into molds. If you want to incorporate essential oils take 4 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil and/or lavender oil (this is a safe amount of essential oils to begin. Rule of thumb: about 5 drops per ¼ cup). You can also use thyme or eucalyptus oils as well. Break up coconut oil squares into suppository-sized pieces and insert 1-2x per day.

    Ingestabes: Herbs, supplements, and teas


    • PROBIOTICS. It is important to incorporate the good bacteria back into your body (especially if you were on antibiotics).  
    • THE GREEN STUFF. Chlorella, spirulina, or wheatgrass. These green superfoods are incredibly high alkaline. They are powerful fighters of free radicals and will kick your pH back into balance. You can ingest these as powders or pills.
    • INCREASE CONSUMPTION OF ALKALINE HERBS. A great way to make sure your vagina is in constant balance is to increase your intake of high alkaline herbs and spices.
      • Tumeric & Cayenne pepper: these two herbs are potent anti-inflammatory herbs and are very high alkaline and anti-cancer.
      • Garlic: Garlic has powerful anti-microbial effects. Incorporate this into your diet to alkalize your body. You can also use garlic internally. Insert a clove inside the vagina before bed and remove in the morning. Pro tip: sew a thread through the clove for easy removal. One treatment should be sufficient, however, you can use it again the next night if needed.
      • Dandelion: Eat the greens or drink the tea. This is an incredible herb for alkalizing your body and for optimal reproductive health.

    • PHYTO-ESTROGENS FOR HORMONAL BALANCE. If your imbalance is due to hormonal changes or low estrogen you can combat these effects by using herbs that are high in phytoestrogens. These herbs include:
      • Red clover
      • Fenugreek
      • Hops
      • Soy products
      • Royal Jelly
      • Wild yam
      • Nuts and seeds like: sesame, flax, almonds, and walnuts.

    Natural Home Remedies fo an Acidic vagina.


    • BALANCE YOUR DIET & BALANCE YOUR PH. Ingesting high acid foods causes a decrease of pH in your body. Cut out or drastically decrease the ingestion of sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.
    • BAKING SODA. You can make a solution of 1 tablespoon to 2 cups of warm water and use this as a douche a few times a week, or until you’ve achieved balance.
    • WATER! WATER! WATER! Hydrate yourself.


    Healthy Pussy = Happy Pussy


    Now we know how to attain a pussy poppin’ pH level, I will leave you with some amazing products that will be sure to keep your sexual health and pleasure in balance.


    Vaginal pH test strips

    Wipes and cleansers from The Honey Pot Company

    Organic lube by Sliquid

    Tea Tree Therapy Suppositories for vaginal hygiene

    Garden of Life's probiotic vaginal care

    And pretty much any product by Good Clean Love


    Keep your pH low and your standards high!



    *This article is merely informative and not meant to be medical advice. Always remember to always consult your physician before trying anything on this list.





    About the Author


    Valarie Merced is a sexuality and relationship coach focusing on deepening intimacy and connection with self and others. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Precipice Magazine, a print-only psychological exploration of sex, desire, and love through an academic and artistic lens. Follow Precipice to keep informed about the release of issue one.




    Resources:


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    1. Heather Watts, Lorna Rabe, Marijane A. Krohn, Jan Aura, Sharon L. Hillier; The Effects of Three Nonoxynol-9 Preparations on Vaginal Flora and Epithelium, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 180, Issue 2, 1 August 1999, Pages 426–437, https://doi.org/10.1086/314881

    Das, S., C. S., & Allan, S. (2005). Higher vaginal pH is associated with Chlamydia trachomatis infection in women: A prospective case-controlled study. International Journal of STD & AIDS,16(4), 290-293. doi:10.1258/0956462053654221


    Hemalatha, R., Ramalaxmi, B. A., Swetha, E., Balakrishna, N., & Mastromarino, P. (2013). Evaluation of vaginal pH for detection of bacterial vaginosis. The Indian journal of medical research, 138(3), 354-9.


    Suzuki, K. M., Isohama, Y., Maruyama, H., Yamada, Y., Narita, Y., Ohta, S., Araki, Y., Miyata, T., … Mishima, S. (2007). Estrogenic activities of Fatty acids and a sterol isolated from royal jelly. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 5(3), 295-302.


    Palacios S1, González SP2, & Cancelo MJ3. (2018). Is pH a vaginal health marker? Phemale Study. Minerva Ginecol, 70(2), 138-143. doi:10.23736/S0026-4784.17.04102-8


    Van de Wijgert, J. H., Morrison, C. S., & Cornelisse, P. G., et. Al. (2008). Bacterial Vaginosis and Vaginal Yeast, But Not Vaginal Cleansing, Increase HIV-1 Acquisition in African Women. JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 48(2), 203-210. doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181743936