How to use a vaginal pH test for vaginal infections

How to use vaginal pH test

If you're taking a Vaginal pH Test or just want more info on how they work, here's our comprehensive guide to vaginal pH tests for detecting potential vaginal infections, including yeast infections.

What's in a Vaginal pH Test kit

Vaginal pH Tests come with 2 pH test strips, 2 cotton swabs, and 2 color comparison charts located on the pH test wrapper to interpret your results.

How vaginal pH tests work

Vaginal pH test

Vaginal pH tests measure how acidic or alkaline your vagina is on the pH scale. A healthy vagina is moderately acidic so that it can actively fight bacteria. If it’s unbalanced you’re at a higher risk for infection.

Shop vaginal pH tests

When should you take a vaginal pH test? 

Use a vaginal pH test if you're experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Itching
  • Pain or burning during urination or sex

This test detects your vaginal pH levels to help you make confident decisions about your health. Contact your primary care provider if you continue to experience symptoms or if your test result is above 5.

What to know before using a vaginal pH test

Here are a few things to know before taking a vaginal pH test.

This test relies on color matching. If you experience color blindness, have someone check your results with you!

Also, please note that this test is a starting point to help detect vaginal infections. Talk to your primary care provider about any questions or concerns.

Do not touch the test area of the testing strip or the cotton swab.

This pH test is intended for vaginal pH testing only. It does not detect STDs such as HIV, chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, or syphilis. Our test is for over-the-counter, home use only. And remember that our cotton swabs and pH test strips should be discarded after use.

How to take a vaginal pH test

Read all of the instructions before taking the pH test — trust us, we've been there. Take your time and wash your hands before starting.

Step 1: Remove the pH test strip and the cotton swab from their pouches, taking care not to touch the test area or the cotton tip. Set them on a flat surface in a well-lit area, like your bathroom counter.

Step 2: Stand up and place one foot on the toilet seat or another firm surface.

Step 3: Hold the base of the cotton swab in one hand, and with your other hand, gently spread apart your labia (the folds of skin that cover the opening of the vagina).

Step 4: Gently insert the cotton end of the swab about halfway into your vagina, then tilt it so the tip touches the wall of your vagina. Hold it there for 5 seconds.

Step 5: Carefully remove the cotton swab from your vagina. Be sure not to touch the tip of the cotton swab against anything so the sample stays clean.

Step 6: Gently wipe the cotton swab across the test area on the pH test strip. The color on the test area should start changing right away.

Step 7: Match the color on the test area to the closest color block on the test pouch’s color chart. For the most accurate results, compare the test area to the color chart immediately.

Step 8: Record your results (we recommend taking a picture on your phone) and compare them to the table on the pouch for next steps.

How to read vaginal pH test results

Understanding your vaginal pH test results

Match your test strip to the closest color block on the test wrapper’s color chart. The color of the strip indicates your vaginal pH. The pH scale ranges from 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline). A healthy vaginal pH is between 3.8-4.5 and is moderately acidic so that it can actively fight bacteria. When your vaginal pH is 4.5 or above, it’s less acidic, making it easy for bacteria and yeast to thrive.

If your vaginal pH is below 5 and you're not experiencing any uncomfortable or painful symptoms

Your vaginal pH is in balanced range, and there are no signs of infection at this time.

If your vaginal pH is below 5 and you're experiencing symptoms 

If you're experiencing unusual discharge itching, pain, or burning during sex or urination, you may be experiencing a yeast infection.

If your vaginal pH is 5 or above 

You likely do not have a yeast infection. You may be experiencing a more serious infection that requires treatment from your primary care provider. Contact them about your symptoms and the results of this test.

Keep in mind

While this screening kit can identify likely infections, talk with your primary care provider about your specific symptoms and potential causes of vaginal infection. Your primary care provider can perform further testing and identify the causes of your symptoms.

Need help?

We’re here for you, every step of the way. Reach out to us!

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