What Are pH Balance Pills? Do They Work?

Alexis Williams
Alexis Williams
June 5, 2023
min read
Technically reviewed by: 
Julie Birgbauer
What Are pH Balance Pills? Do They Work?

The vagina is a self-cleaning organ with a slightly acidic pH, ranging between 3.8 and 4.5. Healthy vaginal pH levels help maintain a balance of naturally occurring bacteria and prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms. However, factors such as sex, menstruation, douching, and antibiotics can affect the balance and increase vaginal pH levels [1]. This can put you more at risk of vaginal infections.

To ensure a healthy vaginal pH level, some people may turn to over-the-counter products such as pH balance pills. These pills are designed to promote an acidic environment in the vagina and are touted as a way to improve vaginal health.

What Are pH Balance Pills?

A pH balance pill is a supplement that may play a role in restoring natural vaginal pH levels. If your vaginal pH level increases, you may notice a foul odor, itching, and discomfort. It may also increase your risk of yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis — caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina. Over-the-counter pH balance pills may help reduce the pH of the vagina, restore healthy bacterial levels, and keep your vagina free from infections [2].

Vaginal pH balance pills primarily contain probiotics and may include vaginal health vitamins to improve pH balance. Probiotics are live microorganisms or good bacteria naturally found in your body, including the gut and vagina. For example, the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus naturally occurs in the vagina and maintains its pH balance [2].

If you have a pH imbalance, probiotic pills may be able to replenish the microbial flora in your body. It may help prevent and treat vaginal pH imbalance. Probiotics pills containing lactobacilli, such as L. acidophilus, are available as supplements, which you can ingest, and suppositories, which you can directly insert into the vagina.

Once the probiotics enter your body, they are thought to attach to the vaginal cells. The probiotic bacteria produce substances that destroy infection-causing bacteria or yeast, which may restore the natural vaginal pH [3].

Some pH balance pills may contain vitamins for vaginal health, such as vitamin C, available as supplements or suppositories [4]. Others may include antioxidant nutrients such as cranberry proanthocyanidins in addition to probiotics [5].

Vaginal pills encompass a range of options such as pH balance pills, probiotics, and antifungal medications, which collectively work to restore vaginal health, maintain pH balance, and address conditions like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections, promoting a healthy vaginal microbiome effectively.

Who Are pH Balance Pills For?

Taking pH balance pills is not a necessity for everyone. They are ideal for those with vaginal pH levels higher than 4.5.

You may also want to use them if you frequently experience [1]:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Yeast infection in the vagina
  • General discomfort
  • Itching or burning
  • Fishy vaginal odor
  • Unusual discharge

Although pH balance pills are safe for consumption and have health benefits, talk to a healthcare professional before using them to ensure they are appropriate for your condition.

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Do pH Balance Pills Work?

Research funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that probiotics improve gut health, boost your immune response, and can help treat and prevent several health conditions [6]. However, studies regarding probiotics for vaginal odor and other signs of pH imbalance are ongoing.

Probiotics for bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis is an infection that occurs due to an overgrowth of bacteria such as Gardnerella vaginalis and Prevotella. These microorganisms outnumber lactobacilli (beneficial bacteria) and lead to a pH imbalance that causes a bacterial infection. Various independent studies suggest that vaginal probiotics can ease discomfort caused by bacterial vaginosis. [1].

A 2012 study conducted on women with a vaginal pH of more than 4.5 revealed that a mixture of probiotic lactobacilli helped reduce the vaginal pH to normal levels [7].

Normal vaginal pH (3.8-4.5) is regulated by Lactobacillus through hydrogen peroxide, lactic acid, and glycogen. However, an overgrowth of Gardnerella vaginalis can disrupt the balance of the vaginal ecosystem, leading to a condition called dysbiosis.

Another study conducted in 2014 showed that oral administration of probiotics such as L. acidophilus, L. rhamnosus, and L. fermentum at a dose of 10 colony-forming units per day for two months lowered vaginal pH levels. These results show that probiotics may help treat and prevent bacterial vaginosis and optimize vaginal health [8].

However, few studies are available to prove these effects. Further research is required to confirm the efficacy of probiotics for pH balance.

Probiotics for yeast infection

Yeast infections stem from a pH imbalance and develop when a fungus called Candida overpowers healthy bacteria in the vagina. Candida species, such as Candida albicans, naturally occur in the vagina. However, a pH imbalance can cause its overgrowth [1].

Lab studies in vaginal and cervical cells show that probiotics for yeast infection, including L. reuteri and L. rhamnosus, effectively inhibit Candida species. They also have protective effects on vaginal cells [9]. However, further research is warranted to understand the efficacy of probiotics on the human body.

The preferred treatment for vaginal pH imbalance

The effectiveness of probiotics for pH balance may vary from person to person, depending on the dose, administration, and type of probiotics. Due to the lack of sufficient data in humans, it is also unclear whether orally administered probiotics help repair pH imbalance in the vagina as effectively as suppositories.

Doctors typically use antibiotics and antifungal medications as the first line of treatment for bacterial vaginosis and yeast infection, respectively. They may prescribe probiotic pH balance pills in conjunction with antimicrobial medication, which can be a more holistic solution for vaginal pH imbalance. However, probiotics are not yet used as the primary treatment [10].

If you wish to try pH balance pills, talk to your doctor before starting the supplements. They can help you decide whether you need them, and they may increase the dose over time if required.

Consulting a doctor before starting pH balance pills is crucial, as healthcare professionals can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific health condition and potential contraindications.

How To Balance Vaginal pH Naturally

Apart from using pH balance pills such as probiotics or vaginal health vitamins, you can maintain a healthy vaginal pH by following these tips [11]:

  • Wear clean and loose cotton underwear to let your skin breathe.
  • Avoid unprotected sex, and use condoms and barrier methods.
  • Practice good hygiene to keep the vulva clean and dry.
  • Avoid douching, as it can affect the natural balance of vaginal microbes.
  • Monitor your pH balance with a vaginal pH test.
  • Visit your gynecologist for regular checkups.

Learn more about lifestyle tips to prevent vaginal yeast infections in this blog.

Test Your pH Balance With Vaginox pH Strips

Probiotics and vitamins for vaginal health may not be an effective solution for all, and you should consider taking such supplements only if you monitor your pH balance regularly and notice any imbalance. If you suspect your pH balance is not optimal, you can use vaginal pH test strips, such as the Vaginox pH test, for confirmation.

Vaginox vaginal pH test is an easy-to-use vaginal screening test you can perform at home. It helps you determine the pH level of vaginal fluid within 30 seconds. The test kit also has resources to help you interpret the results and check for vaginal infections based on your symptoms. If the test results show that the pH is not balanced, consult your doctor to check if you need to make lifestyle changes or start taking probiotics.

Measuring the acidity level of vaginal discharge through Vaginox pH kit is easy and simple. Collect a sample of vaginal discharge on the strip. Wait for the reagents to react to the discharge. Compare the the pad colors with the color chart provided by the manufacturer to determine the pH level. Consult a doctor for interpretation and advice based on the results.

Buy a Vaginox pH test kit today to start monitoring your vaginal pH and maintain a healthy vagina.

  1. Y. P. Lin, W. C. Chen, C.M. Cheng, and C. J. Shen, “Vaginal pH Value for Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Common Vaginitis,” Diagnostics(Basel), vol. 11, pp. 1996, October 2021.
  2. Harvard Health Publishing Staff, “Should you use probiotics for your vagina?” Harvard Health Publishing, Available Online here, [Accessed May 2, 2023]
  3. Z. Mei and D. Li, “The role of probiotics in vaginal health,” Front. Cell. Infect. Microbiol., vol. 12, pp. 963868. July 2022.
  4. F. Polatti, M. Rampino, P.Magnani, and P. Mascarucci, “Vaginal pH-lowering effect of locally applied vitamin C in subjects with high vaginal pH,” Gynecol. Endocrinol., vol. 22, pp. 230-4, April 2006.
  5. M. A. Polewski, C. G.Krueger, J. D. Reed, and G. Leyer, “Ability of cranberry proanthocyanidins in combination with a probiotic formulation to inhibit in vitro invasion of gut epithelial cells by extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli,” J. Funct. Foods, vol. 25, pp. 123-134,August 2016.
  6. NCCIH staff, “Probiotics: What You Need To Know,” NCCIH, Available Online here, [Accessed May 2, 2023]
  7. M. Strus, A. Chmielarczyk,P. Kochan, P. Adamski, Z. Chełmicki, A. Chełmicki, A. Pałucha, and P. B.Heczko, “Studies on the effects of probiotic Lactobacillus mixture given orallyon vaginal and rectal colonization and on parameters of vaginal health in women with intermediate vaginal flora,” Eur. J. Obstet. Gynecol. Reprod. Biol., vol.163, pp. 210-215, 2012.
  8. A. Homayouni, P. Bastani, S. Ziyadi, S. Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi, M. Ghalibaf, A. M. Mortazavian, and E. V. Mehrabany, “Effects of probiotics on the recurrence of bacterial vaginosis: a review,” J. Low. Genit. Tract Dis., vol. 18, pp. 79-86, January 2014.
  9. S. Fabiana and F. De Seta, “Warding Off Recurrent Yeast and Bacterial Vaginal Infections: Lactoferrin and Lactobacilli.” Microorganisms, vol. 8, pp. 130, January 2020.
  10. L. Webb, “Probiotics for preventing recurrent bacterial vaginosis.” JAAPA, vol. 34, pp. 19-22, February 2021. 
  11. Healthline Staff, “Everything You Need to Know About Maintaining Your Vaginal pH Balance,” Healthline, Available Online here, [Accessed May 2, 2023]

About the Author
Alexis Williams

Alexis Williams is a Georgia-based freelance content writer and lifelong learner with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. She uses that thirst combined with her experience in various fields to write about subjects valuable to individuals and businesses. Alexis has a robust catalog of experience that includes SEO content, blogging, product reviews/comparisons, research papers, and more.

About the Reviewer
This blog was
Technically reviewed by: 
Julie Birgbauer

This blog immensely benefitted from the editorial contributions of Julie Birgbauer. Her detail-oriented review and unique style have helped to make this blog informative and easy to understand.

The blog was also reviewed by the Diagnox content team. Diagnox Staff consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, content writers, and healthcare professionals with an expertise to create and review high-quality, informative, accurate, and easy-to-understand content for both professionals and everyday readers. Our staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the credibility and authenticity of the information, reviewing them independently and verifying them by various scientific and technical sources to ensure accuracy. Our review team believes in delivering knowledge free from bias to improve public health and well-being.

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