Stay Woke: pH Balance Edition

Vagina, vagina, vaginaaaaa!!!! Nobody really likes to talk about them, but it’s totally one of those things we need to discuss…frequently! They are a natural part of life and should be respected and loved, as such. While some people—without vaginas, or experience in said area—may think that vaginas are this magical wonderland, or a mysteriously dark abyss, while it is actually neither. Vaginas are just vaginas! Trying to find an accurate comparison is a waste of time because they are so many things. Now that we got that part out of the way, let’s talk about the health of these precious vaginas. I just so happen to be a woman, with this great source of power between my legs. I am also a woman, with a delicate, needy, vagina with many layers to care for. One portion of which I am just coming to know personally—at 23 years old! I knew the bare minimum about pH levels in terms of my body, but that’s not enough when it comes to vaginal health! pH is basically your vagina’s acidity level. It sounds a little intense, but it isn't scary once you have become informed. It also isn't something to take lightly--yeah, I'm talking to you!

(Full disclosure--I compiled these tips based on my own research and experience; I am not a professional):

  1. Consider Your pH:

A lot of times, women assume that when there is a smell that differs from the regular one down there, that means that there is an STD or some kind of infection! Hold your horses, homegirl!! Soaps you use, your period (this one was a shocker to me because..bodily function), sexual activity, even the makeup of your diet.

                           *Douching can also throw you off because while you’re washing away the bad bacteria, you may wash away the good stuff too. Your vagina knows how to clean itself so it really isn’t a necessity anyway but to each its own! Just be wary.

2. Visit the Nearest CVS:

There you will find the strips that test your pH. No more guessing, there’s a reasonably priced test that you can use to confirm or rule out any suspicions you may have. The aim is for the pH level to be between 3.5 and 4.5.

3. Remedies are Real (Sometimes):

I will say, you have to use your BEST judgment when it comes to using home remedies on your vagina. If it doesn’t sound like it would do you some good, then it probably ain’t good!

*Example: Honey is a natural antibacterial, as well as an antioxidant. It’s good for the skin, but large amounts should not be directly inserted into your vaginal canal. Mostly anything should not because it could irritate your pH balance further. Educate yourself on the ingredients of the products you use on and around that area. If not, trouble will ensue.

4. You Don’t Have to Bear It:

It may not just be your vagina being a vagina. If there is too much irritation or odor for you to stand or nothing that you’re doing seems to make the situation better, go to the doctor. It’s kind of a no-brainer, but self-diagnosing isn’t always the best. pH levels are one thing, infections and diseases are another. Again, use your best judgment! You know your body best.

 

5. You Will Get Back to Feeling Awesome:

The fantastic thing about our bodies is that once we treat the not-so-tough-stuff, we can get back to normal! pH balance is on a scale so of course, it may fluctuate due to environmental factors, but if you act accordingly, it can return to its normal range. Simply looking up--or asking a doctor--about habits you could implement to keep your vagina sitting comfortably on the pH scale could help tremendously. When your pH balance is thrown out of whack, you aren't sick or gross. But you will feel a heck of a lot better and see differences when you regulate it. And don't feel alone, it happens to the best of us - even when we don't know what it is, avoid discussing it, or deny it all together :)

                *Apple cider vinegar, which seems to do a little bit of everything, added to some water or a bath worked effectively for me. 

There are simple things you can do to care for your vagina like hydrate, go commando (more often than between outfit changes or showers), eat well, be gentle when touching yourself, and use good hygiene—especially around the time of your menstrual cycle. When you combine all of that with the tips provided above, you’re sure to have a happy vag. And if you don’t know it, get to know it! That way, when something is off, you will be able to tell and troubleshoot!!

-HCXO!