Suzi’s Sexi Secrets

Suzi asks Founder Dr. Machelle Seibel about Menstruation, Infection and the pH Connection

Dr. Mache Seibel, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has written a song to help women understand that there’s a pH connection to vaginal infection. Menstrual fluids make the pH high, so the balance that protects you becomes one that infects you—abnormal pH is the reason why. The BV song explains in greater detail…

Guess what girls

You could have bacterial vaginosis


If your vagaigai makes you itch at night

With an odor that’s not right

You might think yeast is what it must be

But 2 out of 3 times you’re wrong – you’ve got BV


BV is Bacterial Vaginosis

Unbalanced pH caused the diagnosis

Restore the balance and you will be

Refreshed and stay, BV free

Restore pH and stay BV free


Changes in vaginal pH as a result of common “pH triggers” make women more susceptible to infections such as bacterial vaginosis (BV).  Understanding how the vaginal environment responds to pH fluctuation helps doctors prevent and treat these conditions.

Some of the most common pH triggers that make the vaginal environment more susceptible to infection include:

— Blood

— Tampons that absorb menstrual fluids for an extended period of time

— Sex

— Douching without balancing pH afterwards, douching with fragrances, scented soap and hot tubs

— Feminine products that contain deodorants

— Hormone fluctuations such as during menopause or pregnancy


“Consider the pH balance of a swimming pool,” says Dr. Mache.  “The right balance must be achieved between chlorine and water in order to keep fungi and other bacteria from growing.  The body is an infinitely more complicated system, but the same science applies.  Keeping the pH environment of the vagina in balance helps prevent infection.”

pH is a measure of the acidity of the vaginal environment. The healthy vaginal pH is typically 3.5 to 4.5.  This pH is ideal for beneficial bacteria and creates a hostile environment for pathogenic bacteria that cause odor and infection.  A healthy pH both helps beneficial bacteria to thrive and prevents overgrowth of yeast and pathogenic bacteria.

Blood has a pH of 7.4, so during your period your vaginal pH becomes elevated by menstrual fluids. Tampons can contribute to an elevated pH as they retain the fluids that cause pH to increase. The changing pH is part of the reason why many women who suffer from recurrent infections find that their period is often the event that sets them in motion.

Women shouldn’t avoid using tampons but Dr. Mache suggests using the lowest absorbency possible, and he adds that it is also important that the tampon is changed every 4 to 8 hours to reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome.

When pH becomes elevated, the vaginal environment shifts in favor of the pathogenic bacteria  allowing unwanted bacteria to cause odor, irritation and possibly infection.  Elevated pH is one of the key factors doctors look for when diagnosing vaginal infections.  Maintaining vaginal pH within the healthy range can help reduce risk of infections.

Symptoms of a yeast infection include itching and burning, with an odorless vaginal discharge that is sometimes thick.  Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis are often similar, although the discharge produced typically has a fishy odor, especially after sex.  Many women mistake BV for yeast infections because they are less familiar with it.

Many women who assume they have yeast infections self-treat with over-the-counter medications, but could be doing more harm than good. Less than one-third who think they have a yeast infection actually do. Two thirds instead suffer from BV, often caused by an unbalanced vaginal pH.

Untreated BV can cause premature birth, and puts women at a significantly higher risk for urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease, and even sexually transmitted diseases.  Once contracted, BV must be treated with antibiotics, making prevention more important than ever.

And you know girls that if you take antibiotics—they can lead you right to a yeast infection and the uncomfortable cycle of infections begins.

“The connection between pH and infection is extremely clear: Restore pH and stay BV free” says Dr. Mache.  “Now women can start putting that knowledge to work.”