The vaginal pH should be between 3.8 and 4.5. This is an acidic environment which helps protect the vagina from infection and microbial imbalance. When pH is out of range, symptoms can occur. Lactobacilli bacteria helps to keep everything in your vagina in balance by producing 2 different acids- lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide. These help to maintain the acidic environment that is needed. If women are in a non-lactobacillus dominated state, it increases our pH and leads to an increased risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, specific probiotics are very important.
Some things that negatively impact our vaginal microbiome: alcohol, excessive coffee, smoking, and processed sugary foods. Other risk factors for infections: diabetes, antibiotic use, digestive imbalance, immune dysfunction, other infections, stress, menopause and menstruation.
Ways to look after the vagina:
– Good hygiene
– Wear natural fibre underwear
– Avoid soaps and washes
– Choose natural organic cotton sanitary items
– Speak to your health practitioner about pessaries containing vitamin C, probiotics or boric acid
– Practice safe sex as unprotected safe sex can disrupt pH levels
– Eat a daily source of fermented foods such as yoghurt, kimchi or sauerkraut to provide the needed beneficial bacteria.
– POLYPHENOLS- they encourage growth of beneficial microbes, help with hormone clearance and balance
Other things we need to focus on:
– Balance hormonal influences
– Address detoxification
– Optimise gut health
– Improve nutrient status
– Supporting the immune system
– Regulate blood glucose levels
– Optimise fertility outcomes
– Support the nervous system
– Relieve symptoms