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Testing Vaginal pH at Home

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Updated April 08, 2014

Your gynecologist may have tested your vaginal pH many times. You can determine the acidity or alkalinity of your own vaginal secretions.

Why should I use the home vaginal pH test kit?

You may want to test your vaginal pH when you experience unusual vaginal symptoms (such as itching, burning, foul vaginal odor, or an abnormal vaginal discharge) to help you decide if you need medical treatment. However, you should understand that this test will not help diagnose HIV, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, or group B streptococcus.

Frequently, when women experience unusual vaginal symptoms, the first thing that comes to mind is vaginal yeast infections. If you experience vaginal symptoms that you think are a vaginal yeast infection, this test can help you rule out other types of vaginal infections before you use OTC medications for vaginal yeast infection.

How do I use the home vaginal pH test kit?

The home vaginal pH test includes a piece of pH test paper and a color chart for determining your vaginal pH results. To perform the test, hold the pH test paper against the wall of your vagina for a few seconds. Next, compare the color of your pH test paper to the color chart. While the color may not be an exact match to the chart, you should choose the color your test result most closely resembles.

What do the results of my home vaginal pH test mean?

Normal vaginal pH is 3.8 to 4.5, slightly acidic. The home vaginal pH test kit measures pH on a scale of 1 to 14. Abnormal vaginal pH may be higher or lower than normal vaginal pH. High vaginal pH numbers indicate less acidity, while lower than normal vaginal pH levels indicate high acidity. Abnormal vaginal pH frequently indicates the presence of a vaginal infection. However, you should know that not all vaginal infections cause changes to vaginal pH. This means that having a normal vaginal pH test does not mean that you do not have a vaginal infection.

If your vaginal pH is above normal, the most likely reason is that you have bacterial vaginosis (BV) and not a yeast infection. In this case, don't use OTC medications for vaginal yeast infections because the medication does not treat BV. You’ll need to see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

On the other hand, if your vaginal pH is normal or below normal and you’ve had previous vaginal yeast infection diagnosed by a doctor, you can try one of the OTC medications for vaginal yeast infections. If the OTC medication for vaginal yeast infection does not cure your vaginal symptoms or infection, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Manufacturer: GYNEX - pH Test Kit

Source:

Home Use Tests -- Vaginal pH; FDA; http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/oivd/homeuse-vaginal.html; accessed 09/29/08.

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