Fun fact: a healthy vagina is acidic. This is thanks to good bacteria, which make their home in the vagina and produce lactic acid. The good bacteria help maintain a healthy vagina.
Acidity is measured on a pH scale like this:
A diagram of the pH scale, and the acidity/alkalinity of everyday items
Problems may start when external factors (like semen and washing the vagina with perfumed body products) cause a change in pH of the vagina, leaving the vagina vulnerable to infections.
An increased vaginal pH can affect the vagina’s taste, smell and discharge. Ever wondered how discharge can sometimes bleach underwear? That’s a reaction to the discharge.
Like any ecosystem, the vagina needs balance to stay healthy. There’s no need for people to measure their vagina’s pH level but it’s important to be aware of what causes it to change, and to learn how to keep it balanced and help avoid infections.
Factors that may increase the likelihood of recurring BV:
Using perfumed soap, shower or bath products
Cleaning the vagina by douching or using a wash product
Applying vaginal deodorant
Putting antiseptic liquids in the bath
Washing underwear with strong detergents
Factors that may increase the likelihood of thrush:
Being on your period
If the person is taking antibiotics
Using deodorants and douches in and around the vaginal area