With all this talk about balancing your vaginal pH, you would think women are circus jugglers. You can get everything you need to know about the importance of vaginal pH balance here, but what about all of the products we keep telling you not to use? With so many products inundating the shelves claiming they are good for your vaginal health, how do you know if it's true? From down there sprays that keep odors away, scented pads, feminine body wash, refreshing wipes, and many, many more, why would they be a bad thing? And if they are bad for your vag, then why do big and little companies keep making products for the vagina? These are all great questions with different answers. Vaginal health is important at any age, so let's chat about why some are good, why some are bad, and how to pick the one right for you.
Why is Vaginal pH So Important?
A woman's vagina is complex, agreed? It is also very simple. Vaginas actually clean themselves (yes, you still have to shower), but they don't require any special products or washes to do the job. Every part in the human body has its own pH level to keep it optimized to do its job. pH stands for potential hydrogen and runs on a scale from 0 to 14. The number indicates how acidic, neutral, or alkaline it is. pH levels do vary with age, but a healthy vaginal pH range for women 15-49 is between 3.8 and 4.5. With that said, vaginas are designed to be slightly acidic to encourage the growth of healthy bacteria and kill the harmful kind. Many factors can throw off vaginal pH levels, which can cause UTIs, bacterial infections, or yeast infections. But did you know that your favorite "downstairs" products can be the culprit? You may want to ditch the douche and scented pads to keep your vagina on the up and up.
What to Look For When Choosing Feminine Care Products
If you want to treat your vagina with some extra-special attention, you must choose products that won't disrupt your body's pH. Feminine products that tout the word "scented" are a number one no-no. The chemicals used to scent these products can throw your pH balance out of whack. This means that your vagina may smell like roses, but then it could smell like fish due to fungi or bacterial infection. Gross, I know. The good news is if you really want to cleanse or freshen up down there, there are plenty of pH-balanced feminine care products that are safe, gentle, and effective.
Look for products that say that they are formulated with mild ingredients on the label. Look for those that say it is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, and fragrance-free. Skip any kind of scented soaps or body wash, as they can alter the pH balance and irritate the vagina. Note: Some unscented products can be not-so-great. Look at the label to make sure it is paraben and phthalate-free. We promise your vagina will still be fresh and clean without them.