Can Sex Throw Off Your pH Balance?

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The vagina is home to a delicate ecosystem and lots of bacteria. That bacteria help to keep the area healthy, including preventing bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.

A person’s pH level is measured on a scale of 0 to 14, with battery acid having a low number and drain cleaner having a high one. A normal female pH is slightly acidic at around 3.8-4.5.

Semen

The male reproductive system produces semen, a fluid that contains sperm cells and liquids that mix to form seminal plasma. Semen can fertilize an egg in the female’s fallopian tubes and lead to pregnancy. It also contains a mixture of hormones and other substances that help to regulate a woman’s menstrual cycle.

The pH of a normal vaginal environment is acidic, which helps to reduce the growth of harmful bacteria. However, this acidity can also harm the sperm that swim through the vaginal canal and prevent them from reaching an egg to fertilize it. To compensate, sperm swim in an alkaline environment that is similar to the pH of the body.

Unprotected sex can temporarily alter the pH of the body due to the alkaline nature of the semen. This may lead to an overgrowth of the bacteria that cause bacterial vaginosis (BV) and yeast infections.

Other factors that can throw off the body’s natural pH balance include taking antibiotics and using harsh soaps to clean the vulva. These things can kill the good bacteria that are needed to maintain a healthy pH level. In addition, the use of tampons that aren’t changed regularly can increase the pH level. The best way to protect against a change in the vaginal pH level is to always use a condom during sex. This will not only prevent STIs and pregnancy, but it will also stop the alkaline semen from disrupting the body’s pH levels.

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Condoms

In addition to protecting against STIs and STDs, condoms can help prevent yeast infections because they reduce the amount of alkaline semen entering the vagina. However, some types of condoms, especially scented and flavoured ones, contain chemicals that can alter the acidic pH level of the vagina, leading to a yeast infection. These types of condoms also contain glycerin, which is a sugar that can feed the yeast and lead to an overgrowth.

The best way to avoid this is to always use unscented, plain lubricant with a condom. It’s important to change the lubricant frequently, particularly after anal sex and sexual intercourse because the pH of the anus can alter. It’s also a good idea to use dental dams (latex or polyurethane sheets placed between the mouth and vagina or anus during oral sex) to decrease the risk of bacterial contamination.

Douching is another habit that can throw off a woman’s vaginal pH balance, as it increases the growth of harmful bacteria. It’s best to skip douching and instead wash the female intimate area with warm water and a mild, unscented soap after each bathroom visit. Avoid using vaginal wipes, as they can irritate the vulva and cause an imbalance in the pH levels. Lastly, when using sex toys, make sure to wash them with hot water and gentle, unscented soap after each use.

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Sex Toys

Regardless of whether you’re straight, gay, bisexual or pansexual, there are plenty of sex toys on the market designed to please any sexual appetite. But not all sex toys are created equal. Some may be made with phthalates, and while phthalate is considered safe in small amounts, some people are sensitive to it. The best way to avoid phthalate is by choosing sex toys that are made without it.

Most sex toys come with instructions for cleaning and storage, so be sure to follow those carefully. In addition, make sure your toy is not made from latex if you are allergic to it. Finally, always use a lube that is compatible with the material your toy is made from.

It’s also a good idea to clean your sex toys regularly, especially if you share them with someone else. Doing so can decrease your risk of infection from STIs or infections passed through blood. It’s also a good idea to get tested for STIs at least twice a year, or after every time you have sex.

For those who prefer the pleasure of a hard, firm sex toy, there are several types available that provide this sensation while remaining safe for your pH balance. For instance, there are vibrators that are suitable for internal masturbation and pegging. To find the perfect toy for you, consider your personal preferences as well as your partner’s.

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Water

You may be more accustomed to hearing about pH levels in a chemistry class than you are to knowing they apply to your vagina, but the fact is that your vaginal environment has its own delicate ecosystem. It is acidic and maintains a balance of bacteria and natural lubrication to keep it clean and prevent infections.

Unprotected sex causes a change in this balance by raising the pH level due to the alkaline nature of semen, which can also introduce new bacteria to your microbiome. This can lead to a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, or urinary tract infections.

The pH scale measures the level of acidity versus alkaline in liquids from 0 to 14. A glass of water has a neutral pH of 7, while battery acid has a pH of 0.

You can test your own vaginal pH with a home kit purchased at some pharmacies or online. The strips work by absorbing a small amount of fluid for a specified period of time. They are reusable and simple to use. However, you should always consult with your doctor if you notice signs of an imbalance, such as itching, burning sensation during urination or a chunky yellow or green discharge that is unpleasant to touch. They will perform tests and prescribe the appropriate treatment. A gynecologist can help you understand what is happening with your pH balance and how to keep it in check.

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