When your vaginal pH levels are off sync – particularly when they rise to 4.5 or higher, being less acidic – your vagina becomes a more appealing habitat for bad bacteria and parasites. Then odour, irritation, and infections in the vaginal area may develop.
Unbalanced vaginal pH causes
- Unprotected sex: Since sperm is alkaline, it may promote the growth of some bacteria.
- Antibiotics: These drugs destroy not only the disease-causing bacteria, but also the good bacteria that are necessary for maintaining a stable, acidic vaginal pH.
- Douching: About 20% of women wash their vagina with a mixture of water and vinegar, baking soda, or iodine on a regular basis. Douching not only improves the pH of the vaginal fluid, but it also facilitates the growth of harmful bacteria in general.
- Menstrual cycles: Menstrual blood is slightly basic, which causes the pH in the vaginal area to rise.
- Using Public Toilets, excessive soap / water usage also raises the vaginal pH.
Symptoms of an unbalanced vaginal pH:
- A foul or fishy smell
- Unusual white discharge, grey, or green discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Burning when you urinate