This is health! Intimate health needs an acidic environmentIn all parts of the body there is an ideal pH-value, thus also present in the vagina. This value is critical for the healthy status of the private parts. When everything is okay, pH is between 3,8 and 4,5.
Lactic acid bacteria are essential for the acidity – and between them particulary the Lactobacilli. When they are present in sufficient quantity and quality, the vagina environment becomes acidic. These bacteria are the guarantee for intimate health. Not only do they secure the acidic environment, but by doing that, they also form an effective barrier against virus as these do not transfer in such environment. Also, other and harmful bacteria could form part of the vaginal microbiota. Most significant are the Gardnerella-bacteria, which are often found in large numbers when vaginal imbalances occur. They can also be found in healthy women, but in low numbers.
Among other harmful bacteria which can also be mentioned are Prevotella spp, Peptostreptococcus spp and Mobiluncus.
Maintaining the balance: What is significant?It is therefore important that the right balance between the micro-organisms is present in the vagina. This is closely related to the amount of lactic acid present. How do you obtain this favorable well-balanced system?
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the vaginal microbiome (collection of micro-organisms) become unbalanced. The root cause for this is not entirely clear. A number of risk factors are known, e.g. the variations in hormone level experienced during the menstrual cycle, during menopause and pregnancy, synthetic underwear, stress, antibiotika, fungicides and the IUD with hormones can also push the vaginal microbiome out of balance.
It is often underlined that foreign bacteria transferred through unprotected sex can have a negative influence. This opinion is often presented, though it is not supported by the present objective evidence, it is however true that semen has a high pH and thereby affect the vaginal pH in a negative direction.
Excessive hygiene is a challenge for the natural pH value in the vagina: Preferably, save the soap and similar products (including douching), whereas, a cleaning with pure water is more applicable.
Among the positive factors a healthy diet and wearing no underwear can be mentioned.
Keep the balance! You are in control of your equilibriumA vaginal biome in balance is the key for intimate health. To investigate whether the balance is adequate, you can perform a pH test . pH strips shows on a colour scale if action is needed or the vaginal area is in balance. When there are sufficient lactic acid bacteria and acid, the pH-value is between 3,8 and 4,5. A higher value shows a deficiency in lactic acid, that should be remedied. There are different options. You can supply acid or a buffer – or you can supply foreign lactic acid bacteria. These methods may have an effect but not as effective as when you exploit the body‘s own lactic acid bacteria. By a simple trick one can lure the body itself to increase the acid production: You “feed“ the lactic acid bacteria present on the spot by supplying lactose . LadyBalance® vaginal tablet is the only product on the market working after this principle.
According to an investigation, a specific strain of the lactic acid bacterium Lactobacillus gasseri produce an antibiotic-like substance called Lactocillin – which also inhibits the harmful Gardnerella vaginalis, an excellent reason to take good care of one’s well-balanced vaginal biome.
Folk remedies, and other OTC products?You often hear a recommendation to administer fermented milk products more ... into the vagina. Obviously these contain lactic acid bacteria. But it also has adverse effects, as the protein content worsen bacterial vaginosis. The reason is that protein can be degraded to amines– these have an unpleasant smell and are alkaline, thereby counteract the produced acid.
There are products on the market containing suitable lactic acid bacteria. But these will not support the bacteria harbored in the actual vagina, and thereby the unique balance in that specific woman. Even these bacteria are isolated from a healthy woman there is no guarantee that they will grow in another woman. There are numerous different strains of lactic acid bacteria.
If there are continued symptoms of illness one should always consult the physician
Fungi & infection
If the balance in your vaginal biome is destroyed, characteristic unpleasant symptoms occur. Very often it manifests as bacterial vaginosis (BV), and action is needed, as BV is a risk factor for cervical dysplasia, bladder infection and even preterm labor.
Typical symptoms with vaginal imbalance:
Fishy smell (characteristic for bacterial vaginosis)
Stinging and pain in the private parts (characteristic for thrush/candidiasis)
Smelly clear or grey-green discharge (characteristic for bacterial vaginosis or yellow-green discharge – Trichomoniasis)
A dry reddish vagina (symptom for atrophy).
Pain with intercourse (symptom for atrophy).
Vaginal problems and discharge can roughly be characterized by the pH-measurement. If pH is above 4.5 – 5.0, a bacterial vaginosis would normally be present, while a normal acidic pH and itching/pain would indicate thrush/candidiasis.