Ideal Vaginal pH
The intimate zone is the most delicate female body part. Is colonized by a variety of bacteria that form the vaginal flora. The vaginal flora creates a protective barrier that acts against the proliferation of different infections.
Among the bacteria that comprise the vaginal flora the presence of Lactobacillus is very important, beacuse it produces lactic acid and maintains an acidic vaginal pH ,creating therefore a hostile environment that prevents the growth of pathogenic microorganisms.This barrier maintains proper vaginal health. When Lactobacillus are replaced in the vaginal area the balance alters with consequent discomfort and irritation.The bacteria that make up the vaginal flora (Lactobacillus) produces lactic acid which maintains a proper vaginal pH by creating a protective barrier that prevents the growth of pathogenic microorganisms. The vaginal pH is acid, the acidity decreases as the pathogenic flora (fungi) is being established.
The vaginal pH varies between different stages of the life cycle of women. Thus, the pH until puberty is 7.0 but since then until menopause, different situations are distinguished involving changes in vaginal pH:
- Menstrual phase pH is 6.8 to 7.2, the premenstrual phase pH is 3.8 to 4.2 and for the rest of the cycle the pH varies between 4.0 and 5.0.
- During pregnancy the vagina shows a fairly acidic pH similar to the premenstrual phase (<4.2). With the advent of menopause, the vaginal pH becomes as in the early life of women with values close to 7.0.
In addition, there are other common situations that can alter the physiological pH of the intimate zone:
- Use of chemicals or fabrics that irritate or cause local allergic reactions (spermicides, latex, synthetic fiber underwear etc.)
- Thermal factors
- Trauma (chafing by the use of tight clothing)
- Use of broad spectrum antibiotics
- Birth control (condoms, IUDs, pills).
An altered vaginal pH favors the presence of discomfort such as itching, irritation and redness and the appearance of vaginal infections. The main defense against discomfort and irritation vulvovaginal proper hygiene is a daily to help maintain the proper vaginal pH.
In cases in which there is a vaginal yeast infection, vaginal pH adjustment will be beneficial in preventing and supplement the pharmacological treatment.