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Feminine Hygiene

Medical References

Bahamondes, M.V., Portugal, P.M., Brolazo E.M., et al. 2011. Use of a lactic acid plus lactoserum intimate liquid soap for external hygiene in the prevention of bacterial vaginosis recurrence after metronidazole oral treatment. Revista da Associacao Medica Brasileria, 57 (4), 415-420. Maloney, C. And Oliver, M.L. 2001. Effect of local Conjugated Estrogens on Vaginal pH in Elderly Women, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, 2(2), 51-55 Sharma, B., Preston, J. And Greenwood P. 2004. Management of vulvovaginitis and vaginal discharge in prepubertal girls. Reviews in Gynaecological Practice, 4 (2), 111-120 Linhares, I.M., Summers, P.R., Larsen, B., et al. 2011. Contemporary perspectives on vaginal pH and lactobacilli. America Jounral of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 204 (120), 1-5 Hauth, J.C., MacPherson, C., Carey, J.C., et al. 2003. Early pregnancy threshold vaginal pH and Gram stain scores predictive of subsequent preterm birth in asymptomatic women. America Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 188 (3), 831-835 Neerja, J., Aruna, A. And Paramjeet G. 2006. Significance of candida culture in women with vulvovaginal symptoms. Journal of obstetrics and Gynecology, 56 92) 139-141.

If your vaginal pH is above normal, you are probably experiencing some of the following symptoms.

There are a surprising number of triggers that can upset the vaginal ecosystem:

Menstruation: Blood has a pH of 7.4, so during your period, vaginal pH becomes elevated.
Tampons: Since they retain the fluids that cause the pH to increase, tampons can contribute to the problem
Intercourse: The pH of semen is 7.2 to 8
Douching and cleansers: Any vaginal infusion of water or other fluids can affect vaginal pH
Normal soap has a pH of 9 or more. The pH of water is 7, and fragrances and perfumes can also irritate the vagina.
Menopause and pregnancy: These are times hwere hormones fluctuate, which is associated with elevated pH.
Stress, tight clothing, lingerie and lack of sleep.
Other risk factors include a new sexual partner or multiple partners, use of antibiotics among others.

Practicing some of these prevention techniques may help or reduce your risk:

Always wear cotton underwear; avoid nylon and Lycra as much as possible, as they trap air creating a breeding ground for yeast; never wear pantyhose without wearing cotton panties underneath.
Always use water-based lubricants when vaginal dryness is an issue, during sexual intercourse.
Always wipe from front to back to prevent the yeast which normally inhabits the intestinal tract from being transferred to the vaginal area.
Don’t use perfumed bath products or powders in the vaginal area, these can cause irritations which can lead to infection.
Don’t use douches! Douches wash away the natural protective mucous of the vagina leaving the vagina more susceptible to yeast and other vaginal infections.
Use a pH balanced feminine wash for your genital area on a daily basis

If your vaginal pH is above normal, you are probably experiencing some of the following symptoms:

Itching
Excess discharge, and
Painful urination