We have good news for you: you can stop buying products in the name of trying to perfectly balance your pH levels. Actually, you can pretty much stop thinking about your pH altogether. According to an OBGYN interviewed for Teen Vogue, if you don’t have recurring vaginal issues (like yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis,) your vaginal pH will be normal. In fact, vaginal issues like these are usually what throw your pH off in the first place. It’s pretty much a “normal until proven otherwise” situation.
So don’t let these brands convince you that there is something inherently wrong with your pH levels, the way your vagina smells or that you could be doing something more to keep it cleaner. We’ve talked before about what you truly need to stay fresh “down there.” Other than warm water, a mild soap and an optional feminine wipe for staying fresh on the go, you don’t need much of anything.
In fact, even if your pH is thrown off balance, health experts have some recommendations for getting it back on track and none of them involve buying a new, fancy product. First and foremost, if you notice the signs of an unbalanced pH (itchiness, burning, strong odor, change in discharge,) you should see your healthcare provider. In the meantime, there are some steps you can take for naturally restoring balance.
Natural Remedies to Restore pH Balance
- Eat your yogurt and fermented foods! The probiotics found in these foods promote the growth of the good kind of bacteria that balance your pH. You can also get your probiotics in supplement form.
- It’s amazing the way stress can affect our bodies. Who knew it could potentially throw off your vaginal pH levels?! We love this tip because it’s a risk-free method and helps improve your overall health. No purchase required. Here are some easy ways to reduce stress.
- Keep your cleansing routine simple
- The science says it best. The less products you’re using down there, the better. The more you introduce to that environment, the more likely it is to be disturbed. If you find your pH balance is off, you definitely don’t want to reach for any new products to correct it, especially not without your doctor’s approval – no matter how much they claim to be effective.
- Wear breathable undies
- This isn’t the time for lace or spandex. You want to wear cotton undies or other loose, breathable materials and change your underwear as needed. If you use period underwear, try opting for a disposable option that’s more hygienic than the reusables made of tighter materials.
- Use condoms
- While you probably won’t want to have sex with these symptoms, it’s important to be aware that semen can throw off your vaginal pH levels. This change is only temporary, but you may want to use a condom if you’re experiencing mild symptoms or are prone to these infections.
As we’ve noted before, this doesn’t mean feminine washes/cleansing products are all evil. We love a good organic wipe in a pinch! Some people feel cleaner using a mild feminine wash (externally only, of course,) and if it doesn’t irritate you, there’s nothing wrong with that.
So what’s with the pH balance talk? Many feminine washes are pH-balanced. But this means that the soap is actually balanced so that it doesn’t mess up your already-balanced pH. This does not mean the soap is going to balance your pH levels. It’s actually just trying not to mess it up in the first place. So, use the products that help you feel fresh, and just remember that less is more and to watch out for those trying to convince you a certain product is necessary to balance your pH. Your vagina has that covered.