Question About Using Baking Soda for Feminine Odor

Posted by Letitia (Perth, Australia) on 07/23/2008

Please advise if it is safe to use Bicarbonate of Soda on a woman's intimate area. Because of the amazing ressults when applied underarm I dusted it there too after showering and thoroughly drying. I was amazed at the results. However, within a week I developed cystitis and wondered if it was connected to me using Bicarbonate of Soda. My doctor said that I may have altered the acidity level in my vagina by using the Bicarb. I am otherwise healthy and hadn't had a bout of cystitis for over 20yrs. I practise good hygiene, but have always suffered with this problem. I would like readers views and Ted's too please. Thank you!

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
386 posts

Since the common location of a cystitis is in the bladder the cause could be either drinking water with low salinity or the fact that the area is less acidity than the optimum level could either be one of the cause.

For example, uterus pH is about 7, while vaginal pH is about 4, and the bladder pH can vary anywhere from 5.5-7.5, where ideal pH are quite often 6.5-7. A powdered baking soda has a pH of about 8. So this may throw the pH off in this area, killing certain fungal type infections leading to less problematic odors, which results in itching. Most fungus type infection in these areas lead to an odor problem, and hence baking soda or alkaline solutions are used. but this in itself creates problems too.

A body's resistance to bacteria in the bladder area be one of the causes where urinary salinity is low, and this may make the body more vulnerable despite hygenic observances were done. In my own opinion, I believe achieving normal pH for various parts of location of the body over the long run is a more reasonable option.

Therefore, under natural conditions achieving a normal vaginal pH of 4 is more idea. The product that has lactic acid, or lactates come from yogurt to apply as a wash is one way to introducing normal bacterial flora.

A vinegar has a pH is slightly lower than vaginal pH of 4 and its pH is 3.5, and therefore it is often used as an external wash to prevent cystitis. The ones I prefer is a white distilled vinegar as a wash, after a couple of minutes before rinsing with water. However, pH under taking a bath has a pH of 7 and this could lead to cystitis itself, as you will later see. Therefore the most common bacteria flora will usually correct itself sometimes to achieve a pH of 4 under normal conditions.

Therefore either a yogurt or vinegar over the long run makes more sense in which we want to achieve normal vaginal pH. However, it should be noted that other areas such as uterus, for example, its pH are much closer to 7, but also if salinity of the urine is low, the vulnerability of the bladder to cystitis are quite high and therefore, drinking water with some sea salt will raise the urine to a more normal salinity offering natural protection.

The remedy therefore requires between 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in per one liter of drinking water, depending on whether the diet are low or high in salt.

As to whether e. coli is killed or supported by the baking soda as a cause of cystitis, this very much depends on what pH e.coli grows under. The e. coli survivability is between pH of 5-9.

The pH of baking soda has a pH of 8, so it is within the survivability range of the e. coli. However, a pH of 3.5 or 4.0 for normal vaginal pH would have killed the e.coli and prevented the cystitis and therefore, vaginal pH should be maintained preferably 4 which would well be the normal range that protects e. coli from infecting the bladder causing the cystitis.

While it is indeed true that baking soda may prevent odors that are due to fungus problems, it is the alkalinity itself that is supporting the e.coli that leads to cystitis if a baking soda is applied. Therefore the use of vinegar or yogurt wash is a better option to prevent cystitis, while baking soda is only used briefly to rid of fungus problem, but in the long run maintaining a vaginal pH of 4 or even 3.5 makes more sense because e. coli can only survive between pH of 5 to 9, which is well within the pH of the baking soda of 8, that supports e. coli growth leading to cystitis. Mother nature has planned vaginal pH of 4 and I think I can never beat her wisdom!