Your body’s potential hydrogen (pH or “acid-base balance”) level directly impacts your overall health and even a woman’s fertility. The pH scale ranges from zero (highly acidic) to 14 (very basic). A pH of seven is considered neutral, so pH regulation for pregnant women is extremely important.
Blood or urine tests determine your body’s pH level, which hovers between 7.3 to 7.4 in healthy individuals. Just about everything can change your blood’s pH level-breathing fresh or polluted air, eating certain foods, stress and illness.
Conditions Caused by an Acidic pH Level
Most people suffering imbalanced pH levels (zero to five) are too acidic. An overly acidic pH forces your body to “borrow” potassium, sodium, calcium, and other minerals from bones and organs to help neutralize acid and eliminate it from the body through sweat and urine.
Mild to moderate acidosis may promote high blood pressure, heart problems, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, and kidney stones. Hormone production in both men and women can be affected by mild acidosis since the ovaries and testes are losing minerals due to acidic pH.
Alternately, a low pH level (alkalosis) is less common than acidosis. Symptoms of alkalosis include nausea, numbness in your fingers, hands, feet, hand tremors, muscle twitching, and muscle spasms.
Treatment for High or Low pH Levels
Treatment for an imbalanced pH involves making changes to your diet, increasing physical activity, drinking more water, and more intensive treatments to improve seriously low or high pH levels. These treatments include raising pH with intravenously administered sodium bicarbonate, taking sodium citrate to improve kidney functioning, and restoring electrolyte imbalance with special fluids.
How Does pH Affect Fertility?
Sperm must travel through the vagina and the cervical canal before reaching the fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg. An imbalanced pH level in the cervix or vagina can damage sperm enough to prevent it from fertilizing an egg. The most ideal vaginal pH level for a woman to have who wants to get pregnant is between 3.8 and 4.5. outside the days she is ovulating. During ovulating, surges in luteinizing hormone are meant to maintain a pH level optimal to increase the chance that sperm reaches the egg. In fact, when the vaginal pH level is between seven and 12, sperm can survive as long as 48 hours within the female reproductive system.
What Affects The Acidity Of Cervical And Vaginal Fluids?
In addition to stress, diet, or being overweight, the pH of a woman’s vagina and cervix may be imbalanced due to age, dehydration, taking certain prescription drugs, living in urban areas where air quality is regularly poor, and using lubricants harmful to sperm.
At Viera Fertility Clinic in Melbourne, we typically discover the reason for imbalanced pH in women trying to conceive is her diet. Processed food, sugary drinks, burgers and anything containing white flour or white sugar are considered highly acidic foods. In addition, a diet consisting primarily of junk food may cause hormonal problems that negatively impact female fertility.
Finding Out If Your pH Levels Are Interfering with Fertility
Viera Fertility Clinic provides comprehensive fertility testing for women and men who are having difficulty conceiving. In addition to semen analysis, hormone and ovulation tests, and pelvic ultrasounds, we also perform pH testing of vaginal and cervical fluids. If we find imbalanced pH levels, we typically recommend eating more foods to help reduce acidity (apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, yogurt, almonds, sunflower seeds) or possibly taking nutritional supplements to restore a healthy pH balance to the vagina and cervix.
High estrogen-low progesterone levels, a condition called “estrogen dominance, can also make pH levels toxic to sperm. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are at risk of suffering from estrogen dominance and might have difficulty conceiving. At our Melbourne fertility clinic, we test serum hormone levels and provide treatment for women with estrogen dominance or PCOS to help increase their chances of getting pregnant.
When pH Regulation isn’t Causing Your Infertility
Assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF and IUI are just a few options for women wanting to have a baby but cannot conceive naturally. Our fertility clinic in Melbourne can help you and your partner achieve pregnancy using advanced testing, technologies, and minimally invasive procedures. Contact us today to schedule a consultation appointment.