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What is the “Right” Vaginal pH?

What is the “Right” Vaginal pH?

Vaginal fluids are made up of special chemicals or buffers that keep the vagina at a healthy, acidic pH (pH 3.8-4.6). This low pH protects women from genital inflammation and disease. When vaginal pH rises and stays over pH levels of 5 - unwanted fishy odors occur as a byproduct from harmful bacteria and infections like bacterial vaginosis become more likely. 

However, there isn’t ONE correct vaginal pH for women of reproductive-age.

In fact, the genital ecosystem of women is always swinging in its pH levels, as a beneficial part of our biology. Vaginal pH levels naturally increase to over 5 during our periods and after sex when semen is ejaculated into the vagina. These short-term pH changes benefit women as they trigger increased growth of healthy vaginal bacteria (e.g. Lactobacillus). The good bacteria in our bodies increase the production of acids and antioxidants in vaginal fluids, returning the vagina to a low pH without over acidifying. Women whose bodies do not have enough healthy bacteria in the vagina may not be able to adequately recover to a low vaginal pH after their periods or intimacy, making them prone to infections, including sexually transmitted diseases.

The figure below shows the normal changes in one woman’s vaginal pH during sexual activity. These pH changes protect sperm cells on their journey to the egg and also preserves the protective vaginal environment.

Published studies have shown that overuse of some acidic vaginal products and probiotics can actually push the vaginal environment to an overly low pH which can interfere with the growth of healthy, natural bacteria. Our patent-pending, prebiotic Wild and Pure EcoBalance Cleansers and Serum are designed to support healthy genital bacteria without overwhelming our natural biology. They have the healthy pH and salt levels for optimal genital biology, and are free from ingredients shown to harm the vaginal lining.

Our company is also developing a cervical cancer prevention gel through National Cancer Institute funding using similar technology to prevent genital infections that associate with infections and cancer.

vaginal pH chart

Natural vaginal pH changes in a healthy woman prior to and after intercourse. Each blue dot represents vaginal pH levels in real time. This shows the vaginal pH swings over time from the “normal” acidic level of about 4 to the immediate postcoital pH of 7 (Days 2, 5 and 8) to the recovery stage for an acidic vaginal environment over the 12 hours following sex. This rise and fall of vaginal pH fosters the growth of the good protective bacteria for women. 

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