How to Have a Healthy Hoo-Hoo
Everyone wants a healthy hoo-hoo. When it comes to vaginal health, there is something of a buzz-word that has been circulating the conversation. It seems to always be a factor, a concern, and a topic of interest when learning about the well-being of your vajayjay. I’m talking about (drumroll, please…)
The omnipresent component to keeping your clam happy. The thing that every women’s magazine, feminine product, and girl-part girl talk session alludes to. If your vaginal pH is thrown off balance, you may be rendering yourself victim to odor, irritation, infections and at the very least, bruised ego. So let’s break it down, piece by piece and finally crack this pH code.
Let’s talk science…
- What does pH mean?
So what exactly is pH after all? Well, firstly, it stands for “power of Hydrogen.” The number of Hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution determines its place on the pH scale. This pH scale is a 0-14 scale that measures the acidity or basicity. Substances on the low end of the pH scale (0-6) are more acidic substances, whereas substances on the high end (8-14) are more basic or alkaline substances. To put it into context, lemon juice has a pH of about 2, black coffee is at 5, bleach is very basic at 13, while pure water has a pH of 7. It is neither acidic nor basic.
- pH in the Vagina
Our bodies are comprised of a plethora of different aqueous solutions. Each of these has a different pH level. The pH of a healthy vagina is roughly 3.8-4.5. This is mildly acidic, about the same pH level as that of a tomato. So how does your vagina become acidic? Well, believe it or not your vagina is chock-full of bacteria. The microbiological combination of all these little bacterial organisms is called your vaginal flora. of But don’t worry! It’s the good bacteria, and it’s called lactobacilli. When your estrogen levels increase, throughout your life or throughout your month, a substance called glycogen is deposited into the vaginal walls. Your lactobacilli love this stuff. They take it and metabolize it into lactic acid, which is what keeps your vaginal pH at a slightly acidic, healthy level.
Let’s talk tips…
Alright, now that we’ve got all the boring technical stuff out of the way, how can YOU keep your hoo-hoo happy on a daily basis? What are some things you can practically apply to your life that keep your pink fortress from becoming a stench trench. Your vagina is a very sensitive delicate flower. There are so many factors that when introduced to the vagina’s delicate microbiota, cause its pH level to rise to a basic level, resulting in yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, vaginitis, and all sorts of other undesirable vaginal conditions. How do you keep your tomato at it’s desired 3.8-4.5? Well, here are some good habits and things to avoid that can keep you in good pH standing:
This probably isn’t news, but douching is dated, and all-around bad for your vagina. It was used as a medical treatment until the mid 20th century when it was found to actually be bad for your health. Your front bum is a fine-tuned self-cleaning organ, as evidenced by the natural discharge that it produces. The vagina is coated in a protective mucous that carries out old cells, menstrual fluid, and anything else we don’t want up there. Douching washes out the good lactobacilli bacteria and vaginal mucous that operate the self-cleaning mechanism. Even soap that you use to clean the rest of your body can have a pH of up to 10 that will disrupt the pH of your vagina. The best thing to use for you to wash your vagina is warm water. It really doesn’t need anything else! If you aren’t ready to go with the only H2O method, make sure that you avoid fragrances, perfumes and try a mild pH balanced cleanser. If you’re douching, please stop now!
MIND YOUR PANTIES
Your naughty bits need to breathe. Bad bacteria love moisture, and if your vagina can’t get a breath of fresh air, this bad bacteria can thrive and result in infection. Tight underwear and materials like lycra and nylon keep moisture in. Thongs (for obvious reasons) can spread rectal bacteria to the vagina. The best possible underwear scenario for you and your vagina are full-coverage cotton panties. Cotton breathes and absorbs moisture. These aren’t the sexiest option and I’m not saying your vagina will turn into a yeast farm if you don’t wear granny panties on the daily, but it’s a good idea to keep the tight underwear to a minimum. And hey, who doesn’t think white cotton panties are sexy?
WHEN HAVING SEX…
There are so many ways that sex can disrupt your flora down there. The average pH of semen is between 7.2 and 8.0. The average pH of saliva is is roughly 6.5-7.5. If you’ve been paying attention so far, you know that both of these fluids, which often make their way into your vagina during sex are too basic for your vagina and can throw off its ever-so delicate balance. It is always a good idea to void (pee) after sex, and make sure to clean up after the act. Delight Wipes are a great post-intimacy wipe to keep you clean and fresh after sex. Also, keep in mind the order of your sex acts. It’s never a good idea to go from the back entrance to the front entrance, and make sure you change your condom appropriately. If your vagina is sensitive to latex as many womens are, Skyn Condoms offer an amazing non-latex polyisoprene alternative.
PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION DURING YOUR PERIOD
Just like semen and saliva, menstrual blood has a different pH from your vagina’s natural level. It sits around 7.4, too alkaline for your special love hole. There’s obviously no way to keep menstrual blood out of your vagina, but there are things you can do to keep your pH in check and your beaver happy. When using sanitary pads and especially tampons, make sure to change them AT LEAST every 4-6 hours. pads and tampons retain fluids that elevate your pH, so it’s a good idea to get rid of them promptly, and to avoid feminine products that contain deodorant or fragrance.
WHAT ABOUT FOOD?
Believe it or not, what you eat does affect what’s going on inside your pants. Eating yogurt or other probiotics with live cultures promotes your body’s population of lactobacilli, our favorite bacterial friend. Cranberry juice, with a pH of 2.3, helps to calm urinary tract infections and encourages an acidic vaginal environment. Avocados promote healthy vaginal walls and libido, and garlic is known to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties. If you are in the middle of or have a yeast infection, it is best to stay away from sugar, and for all you kinky lovers out there, always avoid introducing sugars or oils directly to your vagina, because yeast loves sugar, and you DON’T want to feed yeast.
Diddling yourself is actually good for your lady parts! Thank the solo-sex gods for this one. During orgasms, the cervix releases stagnant fluid, old cells, flushes out vaginal fluids and promotes good bacterial growth in the vagina. So play with yourself often, and come as much as possible! If you use toys, make sure you keep all your toys clean and dry. LELO makes a wonderful antifungal, antibacterial pH balanced sex toy cleaner to keep your fun good and clean.