The Vagina’s Acid Reign - How pH levels are responsible for abnormal discharge

Your vaginal health is of utmost importance. You should treat it accordingly, and be aware of the changes that affect it. For instance, a standard factor in the vagina’s welfare is its pH balance, which is a measurement of acidity. The vagina’s pH is measured in relation to the constant secretions of the vaginal walls. Values of pH range from 0 to 14, generally, with 7 being of neutral acidity. Anything above a 7 is an increase of alkalinity (the ‘basic’ form of pH), while below reflects the levels of acidity (for example, 7 equals neutral acidity, 0 equals maximum acidity. 7 also equals neutral alkalinity, while 14 is the max). A healthy vagina usually lies within the 4 to 5 range.
It should be understood that a vaginal pH varies widely and often, sometimes resulting in an imbalance. Such reactions occur naturally before and after a woman’s period. During sex, a male’s ejaculation – which has it’s own pH – can have an adverse affect. Other potential contributors to vaginal pH disorders include particular medications, dirty tampons, contraceptive devices… even soaps with pH balances above 7 can have an impact on the vaginas pH stability.
The purpose of the vagina’s acidic nature is to serve as active protection against infection. It is the result of the presence of lactobacillus, bacteria inherent to the vagina that produces a form of lactic acid. This defense system can be hindered if the pH acidity balance is lowered, making the vagina susceptible to other forms of bacteria. Yeast infections are the most common result of this, as is vaginitis and vaginosis. Symptoms of such infections include inflammation, irregular odor, and discharge.
Since the vaginas pH is at its lowest level before and during a woman’s period, an increase of discharge will occur. Clear discharge is normal, a sign of ovulation. However, if the pH levels have been compromised (lowered to allow invading bacteria) the discharge can appear yellow, gray-ish or of another confounding color. It will also be accompanied by a foul smell. Commonly, as related to yeast infections, the discharge will have the consistency of cottage cheese. Such bacterial infections can occur anytime, even when a woman is not menstruating. When the optimal pH balance of the vagina is compromised, the resulting invading germs will be responsible for abnormal excretions.
So what’s to be done about abnormal discharge associated with a lowered pH? First, there are standard methods of maintaining a proper acidic level in the vagina. Sanitary measures are possibly the most effective. Keeping the vagina, labia and clitoris clean will help prevent infection. Regular douching is helpful. The area between the anus and the vulva should especially be hygienic and kept dry, as this is where bacteria are most often spread. Also, natural herbal formulas have proven to be effective. They often utilize Phellodendron to combat the infections and fungal transmissions associated with the discharge. Dong Quai, a unique and powerful tonic that is often used to treat irregular menstruation, abdominal pain, constipation, and anemia, is also usually included in the herbal remedies.
All women experience abnormal discharge at least once in their lives. It’s even common to endure the unpleasantness multiple times. But if it’s a chronic problem even after you have addressed the issues properly, check in with your gynecologist. It’s up to you. After all, no one else going to care about treating your vaginal discharge – except for maybe your boyfriend or husband!

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Addyson's picture
Addyson posted on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:48
So the vagina also has a pH balance? I thought that was just my fish tank to keep the water at a safe zone. I guess this makes sense so the vagina can always be at a healthy level since it is sort of in the open unlike a penis with foreskin which is protected.
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