Our sacred yoni can sometimes be uncomfortable to talk about. And if you're one of the many women who suffer from recurrent vaginal infections, talking about your vagina can be even harder.
A woman's vagina is the outermost part of the reproductive system, so if anything is off with it, it is very hard to miss or ignore. What many of us don't realize is that some issues like yeast infections and BV have everything to do with our pH. Just to take us back to Chemistry 101, pH aka (potential of hydrogen) is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution.
pH, in this case, refers to the vagina's acidity level:
"A vaginal pH of 3.5 - 4.5 indicates that there is a perfect amount of good bacteria (lactobacilli), and no overgrowth of the bad bacteria that can cause odor, irritation, and sometimes infection. At its extreme, the result of too much bad bacteria is bacterial vaginosis."
Often times, some women confuse a simple imbalance of pH with BV or an STI. There is nothing worse than walking around feeling like people can smell your nether regions, or feeling "off" in your private parts. In many cases, it is likely in your head, but that doesn't mean that you can't sense that your pH is imbalanced. If you are a woman who privately deals with fluctuating vaginal pH levels, this read will be an oasis for how to solve your kitty cat issue once In for all.
For cases that are not BV or STIs, the following natural at-home remedies are methods I researched and personally use that can keep your acidity in check, as well as the overall health of your vagina. (Be sure to consult your gynecologist if you have any concerns about natural remedies.)
Correct Your pH With A Baking Soda Solution:
Take a squeeze bottle and fill it with 2/3 purified water and 1/3 baking soda. Shake it up and insert it into your vagina while your pelvis is raised to a 30 degree angle. Let the solution sit inside you for about a minute, then get up and let it out. Clean yourself with water only and finish by adding unrefined coconut oil to the outside and a small amount to the inside of your vagina. This is good after having your period, or when you're just feeling a little "off," but not for everyday use.
Soak In An Apple Cider Vinegar Bath:
Pick up an organic, unpasteurized, and unfiltered brand of apple cider vinegar that has the "Mother" in it, which is similar to a Kombucha SCOBY, that helps create vinegar through a secondary fermentation process. When diluted, its pH is within the levels of a balanced vagina.
Draw a warm bath, making sure that the water reaches above your pelvis. Pour in 1 1/2 cups of vinegar. Make sure you are sitting at a 90 degree angle and intermittently perform kegel exercises to create a suction effect. This will ensure that you coat the walls of your vagina efficiently. Soak in this solution for at least 20 to 30 minutes. You can also soak a tampon in an apple cider vinegar solution and leave it inserted for up to 60 mins. You should feel immediate relief afterwards. Use this method whenever you feel off.
Use Yogurt/Probiotic Capsules To Balance Your pH:
Probiotics help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria to promote a good pH and promote the healthy growth of lactobacillus. Routinely taking probiotic capsules on a full stomach can maintain the necessary amount of healthy bacteria in your body. Capsules can be a bit on the pricey side, so another way to get your dose of healthy bacteria is to eat yogurt everyday! Make sure that the yogurt is sugar free and with no additives or flavors. Natural Greek yogurt is the best way to go.
Another way to boost the effectiveness of ingesting yogurt is by inserting it vaginally. Put a tablespoon of yogurt onto a tampon and insert it into your vagina. This might get messy, so make sure that you have a liner handy, and a good book to read as you relax for about 45 minutes. Afterwards, flush your vagina with water until all the yogurt has been washed out.
Use pH Balanced Vaginal Washes Daily:
Using a gynecologist-tested and approved feminine wash on a daily basis can help maintain a healthy pH balance within the vagina. These washes are designed with women completely in mind, and can be used everyday without irritation. Research has proven that using other soaps, or body washes with perfumes and other chemicals can be the culprit for an imbalanced pH. Brands such as Summer's Eve and Vagisil are the most popular on the market. Washes are great, but stay clear of sprays! They have added chemicals that could be harmful to your vagina.
Are Summer's Eve and Vagisil brands still too intense for you? Try all-natural alternatives like the brand linked here.
Use a Whole Garlic Clove:
Garlic is a great holistic way to get your vagina back in order, as it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that make it very hard for unhealthy bacteria to exist in any environment. It acts as a natural antibiotic that is a remedy for vaginal infections and vaginal odor as well. Take a large clove of garlic and cut a couple slices through it to release its oils.
If you are worried about the garlic getting stuck up there, feel free to string a piece of thread through with a sterilized needle. Place the clove up into your vagina right before bedtime. It is believed by some that the garlic will suck up any toxins and impurities, both physical and energetically. Remove the clove in the morning, and flush your vagina with water.
Eat Fresh Fruits and Green Leafy Vegetables:
Eating food stocked with an abundance of vitamin C, B6, and potassium is not only good to generally boost your immune system, but it also helps to cultivate and maintain a healthy vagina by providing an overall balance and blood circulation, which in turn helps prevent vaginal dryness and supports healthy vaginal walls.
Stay away from overly sugary and processed foods, as this only adds to the amount of unhealthy sugar in your body, which increases the likelihood of overgrowths in yeast and bacteria.
Don't wear panties when you don't absolutely need to. As women, we naturally have vaginal discharge that can get on our underwear throughout the day. Just like our periods, our discharge goes through changes in amount and consistency. Even with liners, depending on how your discharge is flowing, our panties can become an environment that is likely to trap odor and bacteria that will most definitely affect pH. Try going without underwear around the house, or overnight, to allow your vagina to get some air and space.
If you are not a Commando kind of girl, at least stick with 100% cotton underwear. If your discharge is heavy, have some extra liners ready to swap out. This might also mean you should pump the breaks on the sexy thongs, and give your cotton granny panties a run whenever you're feeling "off."