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Are Your Lady-parts PH Balanced?

When patients talk about restoring vaginal balance, what they generally mean is, “I have this funky vaginal smell. What can I do about it?” The normal vagina should have no smell whatsoever. Commonly, vaginal odor can be caused poor hygiene, menses, foreign bodies (like a forgotten tampon) or vaginal infections and/or discharges. A bad smell is an indication to see your healthcare provider. But after the problem is resolved, many patients wonder if they can somehow restore and maintain their“vaginal balance”by eating certain foods of food supplements.

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These oral fixes usually center around eating eating acidic foods, an acidic diet, or consuming probiotics like those in yogurt. Here’s what happens when you eat these foods: they get into your GI tract, where they’re broken down into essential nutrients. Any acid they contain is largely broken down, but some travels through your intestines—where they may be helpful for intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, irregularity, etc. A tiny amount of foodstuff acid may wind up in the bloodstream, where it is immediately buffered into the blood’s pH of 7.4. None of it reaches the vagina.

Bottom line: Acidic diets or probiotics may help your tummy, but they’ll have no impact on your twiddle.

That being said, probiotics or acidic creams and gel products might be of benefit if inserted directly into the vagina via applicators, but clear evidence for this is still being debated. My best advice is not to become preoccupied about vaginal balance. Instead, if you’re worried about odor, discharge, or infection, skip the food truck and call your healthcare provider instead.

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