Vaginal pH Balance – How Does the System Work?
Vaginal ph balance is very important when it comes to the health of the female reproductive system. In order to understand the importance of ph balance in the vagina, we will first clarify the anatomy. Let’s see how the natural vaginal flora works in women.
The vagina is an essential reproductive organ. This is where the sperm first comes across during its journey to the egg. The vagina is a muscular organ covered with a layer of mucous membranes that, due to its structure, is more sensitive than the skin and therefore more susceptible to external influences and the development of infection. The inside surface of the vagina is constantly moist.
A healthy vagina produces a secretion that moisturizes and keeps it clean. The secretion is the constant excretion (transudation) of fluid from her blood vessels and cervical glands. Vaginal secretion is a normal occurrence in mature women. It consists of water, mucus, discarded mucosal cells, protective bacteria, and other ingredients. Most often it is transparent or whitish, acidic PH values.
What is the normal acidity of the vagina and what affects it?
The pH value of the vagina is 4.0-5.0, and the change in acidity is affected by menstrual blood, sperm, vaginal lavage with alkaline agents, antibiotics, changes in hormonal status during pregnancy, breastfeeding or menopause, spermicide, sexual intercourse, and infection. These agents lead to low acidity in the vagina, thus creating conditions for the development of vaginal inflammation caused by banal pathogens (streptococci, staphylococci, colitis).
The pH level of a vagina that is outside the normal range may affect a woman’s fertility. In itself, infertility is a major problem in today’s society, and the reason why it is difficult to get pregnant is sometimes so small that it is overlooked by a gynecologist.
Vaginal Flora Types
The acidity of the vaginal environment is the basis for a healthy vagina as it prevents the development of most harmful microorganisms. The vaginal secretion contains a large number of microorganisms that are in balance, both with each other and with their host. This biological community is called the “vaginal flora”. In relation to the retention of microorganisms on the genital mucosa of women, the flora of the vagina may be:
• Resident – permanent, physiological flora
• Transient flora, which enters the vagina of the woman from the outside, through sexual contact, food,
water, touching dirty hands, and remains there for a short time and does not cause changes in vaginal
Our vaginas love good bacteria
We can say that the acidity of the vagina is largely determined by the amount of Lactobacilli present. Lactobacilli have the ability to produce lactic acid as the end product of their diet with sugars from the vaginal wall cells. When there are no lactobacilli, there is no natural protection for the vagina because the vaginal environment becomes alkaline.
An alkaline environment supports the development of harmful coccoid bacteria, which often leads to
infections known as bacterial vaginosis.
The natural protection of the vagina depends on several factors and include the acidity of the vagina (pH level), the thickness of the vaginal mucosa, the balance between the microorganisms in the vagina which depends on the amount of good bacteria present (Lactobacilli), and the general health of the woman.
A balance disorder in the vagina carries some consequences with it. Infection and inflammation can happen in the worst case.
How Probiotics Help Your Vaginal Ph Balance?
The new and innovative way to restoring vaginal microflora is to increase the number of lactobacilli. This is achieved by probiotics. The World Health Organization defines probiotics as living microorganisms (so-called “good” bacteria). When used in an adequate amount, probiotics have beneficial effects on host health. Thus, probiotics are also used to prevent the onset or recurrence of bacterial vaginosis or vaginal candidiasis, as the two most common forms of genital infection in women.
The concept that was discovered at the end of the 20th century was developed primarily for application to the digestive system. Thereafter, more and more attention was paid to the possibilities of application beyond the digestive system, where the application on vaginal walls proved to be great potential.
The good news is that they can be taken orally. Such probiotics must be manufactured to high WHO standards. The capsule-making technology must protect the microorganisms when passing through the digestive system, and the probiotic strains must be selected according to the ability of the target effect in the urogenital area of the woman.
All probiotics used for reconstituted vaginal flora must be used long enough, 4-6 weeks, to achieve the true effect, that is, to restore damaged vaginal mucosa.
Vaginal Secretion and Fertility
- During reproductive life, every woman immediately before or after menstruation has a normal, barely noticeable vaginal secretion. After menstruation, the secretion is scarce and clear, clear and slightly increased before and during ovulation, and slightly blurred after ovulation.
- The appearance of the secretion changes because estrogen secretion prevails before menstruation and after menstruation progesterone.
- A large number of women barely notice these changes in the appearance of their secretions, but more careful and informed ones notice changes in their vaginal secretions that can help them determine fertile days.
- A normal vaginal ph balance will contribute to the health of the reproductive system and increase the chances of conception.