Healthy vaginal flora has a slightly acidic pH value between 3.8 and 4.5. If the acidic pH value of the vaginal flora is higher than 4.5, there is an imbalance of the microbial environment. This environment is ideal for certain fungi and bacteria, which can cause an infection like bacterial vaginosis or vaginal mycosis with symptoms such as burning, dryness, itching, fishy smell or discharge. Body fluids such as vaginal secretions are aqueous solutions, so their pH value can be determined quite simply, for example, with a self-test.
Here are some tips on vaginal infection prevention.
Appropriate foods for a healthy vaginal flora
The vagina needs healthy bacteria to stabilize the pH value to help fight infections. Probiotic foods, mainly contained in fresh yogurt, curd cheese and kefir, are particularly important because they contain valuable lactic acid bacteria. Vegan alternatives are Japanese miso soup and Korean kimchi.
Nuts, olive oil and avocado contain healthy fats, which are important for a constant oestrogen level in the vagina. At the same time, they provide energy for metabolic processes in the vagina and are needed to build up cell walls and produce hormones.
Consumption of sugar increases the risk of developing a mycosis of the intestine. From time to time, this infection migrates to the vagina and also triggers a mycosis there. The avoidance of sugar helps prevent this.
Intimate hygiene tips for a healthy vaginal flora
Comfortable cotton underwear
Synthetic fibres promote sweating and lead to heat and moisture – the ideal medium for fungi. Also, underwear which is too tight increases the risk of infection. Therefore, the advice is to choose, breathable, not too tight, cotton underwear – even if it’s not that attractive.
Better not: special cleaners
Intimate sprays and vaginal washes, for example, are not recommended because they damage the acid mantle of the skin, thus doing more damage than good as bacteria and fungi can enter more easily and cause infection.
pH neutral gels
In general, shower gels and shampoos usually have a pH of 9 to 11, which is far too alkaline for the sensitive intimate area. The use of pH neutral gels or soaps, which have a pH value of 5.5, is better for this area because they stabilize the natural protective acid mantle of the skin.