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Minerva Ginecologica 2018 April;70(2):138-43

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4784.17.04102-8

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

lingua: Inglese

Is pH a vaginal health marker? Phemale Study

Santiago PALACIOS 1 , Silvia P. GONZÁLEZ 2, Maria J. CANCELO 3

1 Palacios Institute for Women’s Health and Medicine, Madrid, Spain; 2 Gabinete Velázquez Polyclinic, Madrid, Spain; 3 Guadalajara General Hospital, Guadalajara, Spain


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BACKGROUND: Epidemiological data regarding vaginal pH in Spain are scarce. An epidemiological study was therefore undertaken to confirm the physiological pattern of vaginal pH in Spanish women. The primary outcome measure was vaginal pH. Secondary outcomes included the relationship between vaginal pH and BMI, physical activity, working status, contraceptive use, sexual intercourse in the two days prior to the visit and clinical vaginal symptoms.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study in which 2136 healthy women over 18 years of age who requested a check-up were recruited. Vaginal pH was determined using specific for pH testing. Results were compared using Spearman’s correlation test and ANOVA.
RESULTS: The mean vaginal pH observed in the different age groups was 4.82 in women aged under 30, 5.10 in those aged between 30 and 35, 5.11 in those aged 36 to 40, and 6.48 in those aged over 55. No association was found between vaginal pH and BMI or sexual intercourse in the two previous days. Lower vaginal pH values were observed in women with some degree of physical activity and in contraceptive users, with higher vaginal pH values observed in women who presented clinical symptoms (P<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the physiological patterns of vaginal pH changes in Spanish women. Any degree of physical activity and the use of contraceptives were associated with lower pH values. The presence of vulvo-vaginal symptoms was related with higher vaginal pH values. Vaginal pH is a marker of vaginal health.


KEY WORDS: Hydrogen-ion concentration - Physiology - Pathophysiology - Age factors

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