You may have heard that the vaginal pH value is an important part of intimate health. But what exactly is pH and why is it so important for our reproductive health? Keep reading to find out what a normal vaginal pH value is and whether your vagina should be acid or alkaline.
pH is a scale that indicates the acidity and alkalinity. The range goes from 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline. Water is pH 7, which is generally referred to as pH neutral. A healthy vaginal pH value is somewhere between 3.8 and 4.5, well into the acidic range. The cause for this are the good bacteria living in the vagina that produce lactic acid that reduces the pH value.
The acidic environment of the vagina is a natural barrier to infection and irritation, since it represses the growth of bad bacteria which prefer a less acidic environment. This means that as long as our good bacteria count is high and the vaginal pH is acidic, bad bacteria have a very slim chance of overgrowing, making the chance of infection low.
As soon as the vaginal pH value is increased above the value of 4.5, bad bacteria take the opportunity to develop and grow, eventually causing an infection. This can result in symptoms such as discharge, odor, itching and other vaginal discomforts. Changes in pH value are often connected to bacterial vaginosis.