Did you know semen can change your vaginal ph which can lead to odor, yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis.
Lets take a look at steps to keep you PH balanced
What is vaginal ph?
pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline (basic) a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline) with seven being neutral. A healthy vagina is slightly acidic, in the range of 3.8 to 4.5, your vaginal pH should be below or equal to 4.5. This acidity is maintained by a delicate balance of organisms, notably the bacteria lactobacillus is dominant, this produces lactic acid, keeping good and bad bacteria in balance. This slightly acid environment helps to ward off infection. A pH imbalance often results in itching, irritation, odor, and/or discharge. A high vaginal pH level — above 4.5 — provides the perfect environment for unhealthy bacteria to grow. Having a high vaginal pH puts you at risk for infections.
Unprotected penetrative sex with a man changes the pH of your vagina because semen has a pH of between 7.1 and 8, semen exposure can potentially disrupt your vaginal pH and cause bacterial vaginosis. During sex, the pH of your vagina rises in order to create a more alkaline environment to protect the sperm and encourage fertilization. This can also encourage the growth of certain bacteria. Empress Organics Plant Based Feminine Care Products are specially formulated to keep your ph balanced.
Make sure you use the bathroom before and after you have sex. This is due to the fact that when you use the toilet you flush out bacteria which could have been pushed into your urethra during sex which could develop into a urinary tract infection (UTI.) Being mindful of your vaginal health is important. Unprotected penetrative sex isn’t the only thing that can throw off your vagina’s pH. Some medications may affect the pH and hormones throughout your menstrual cycle will affect it. Blood has a pH of 7.4 so when you’re on your period the pH of your vagina may rise. Similarly, water’s pH is seven so infusing the vagina with water can irritate it.
The loss of estrogen with menopause reduces circulation and lubrication, which can throw off our pH, which means our vaginas may become more alkaline and invite infection by being a friendly place for unfriendly bacteria. The two most common causes of itching, irritation, and heavy discharge are bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections. Bacterial vaginosis is by far the most common cause of discomfort and strong odor for women. It’s especially common after intercourse, when semen, which is quite alkaline, throws the vagina's pH off balance very quickly. When the vaginal bacterial flora is not balanced, it creates a favorable environment for the development of other types of bacteria that can lead to an infection called bacterial vaginosis. BV is a very common in women and it causes itching, strong odor and discharge. Yeast infections result from an imbalance between the healthy bacteria and the few yeast cells that normally reside in a vagina. The yeast cells multiply, which can cause itching, irritation, and even swelling. We can get yeast infections whether or not we have intercourse, and once we’ve had one, we’re more susceptible in the future (Dr. Depree).
What causes an unbalanced vaginal pH?
1. Period – The pH of blood is 7.4, which is much more alkaline than normal vaginal pH (3.5 - 4.5). This can lead to elevated pH, especially during a heavy or lengthy period. When that blood flows through the vagina and is absorbed into a tampon or pad and sits in place, it can raise the pH level of the vagina.
2. Sex – Intercourse can also change vaginal pH. Semen has a pH of 7.1 to 8 and can elevate pH. Semen is alkaline, which can encourage growth of certain bacteria.
3. Douching – Any vaginal infusion of water or other fluids can affect vaginal pH, as the pH of water is 7 and douching can disrupt vaginal flora. Douching not only increases the vaginal pH level, but also encourages the growth of harmful bacterial overall. Fragrances and perfumes can also irritate the vagina.
4. Medication – Many different kinds of medications, from birth control pills to antihistamines, can alter hormone levels, dry out the vagina and affect pH. Antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria that cause disease, but also the good bacteria you need to maintain a healthy, more acidic vaginal pH level.
5. Hormones – Pregnancy, menopause and your normal monthly cycle can cause hormone changes that alter vaginal pH.
To maintain a healthy vaginal pH balance, your best bet is to use condoms during intercourse, and to avoid both douching and medications that contain estrogen, if possible.
How to Protect your vaginal pH:
- Use Empress Organics plant based feminine care products regularly.
- Wearing natural fiber clothing next to your skin, and avoid wearing clothing that is damp.
- Paying attention to personal hygiene, but don’t overdo. Douches and feminine care products with fragrance work against your body’s own regulation of pH levels. Empress Organics Extra Strength Feminine Wash is specially formulated to help balance your pH; you might consider using one of them after intercourse to help the vagina regain its acidity.
- Avoiding extra-sugary or high carb foods, especially if you’re prescribed antibiotics, which can affect your healthy bacteria.
- If you notice itching, irritation, an unusually strong odor, or greyish-white discharge, increasing your attention to the steps above, and look for Empress Organics Yoni Steam or Yeast Killing Suppositories.