Did you know almost two-thirds of women in one study who had an irritation -down there' wrongly diagnosed themselves with thrush? Now that we have your attention, very few women are aware that an imbalance in vaginal pH may really be the cause of the problem.
'While most women have heard of thrush or a yeast infection, many do not know about vaginal pH", Key Pharmaceuticals' Marketing Manager, Jacqui Mace said.
The symptoms caused by an imbalanced pH are similar to thrush – but the conditions are different, and have very different treatments. Vaginal pH is a measurement of the acidity in the area, and a balanced pH level helps the growth of beneficial bacteria while reducing other -bad' bacteria.
Sexual health physician Dr Terri Foran agrees that women do get it wrong – even those that have had thrush before.
'As health professionals, I think it's important that we raise awareness as to the variety of conditions that can cause vaginal problems – all that irritates isn't thrush."
'Changes in the vaginal pH and overgrowth of various vaginal bacteria may cause an increase in vaginal discharge. Many women simply assume they have thrush – but these conditions are different and require very different treatments. Checking the vaginal pH can be a really simple way of working out whether a discharge is likely to be thrush or not," Dr Foran said.
'A 2002 US study indicated that only one-third of women who purchased over-thecounter anti-fungal products for thrush actually got the diagnosis right1. And selfdiagnosis of vaginal conditions is so common because many women aren't comfortable talking to their GP or pharmacist because the topic is such a sensitive one."
According to Key Pharmaceuticals' Jacqui Mace, this is why -starting the conversation' and educating women around the country on vaginal pH is key to making women more comfortable -down there'.
'Key Pharmaceuticals has a simple do it yourself test, available at pharmacies to help women determine their vaginal pH levels, and hence select the right treatment".
The Vagi range by Key Pharmaceuticals includes the VagiTest kit for self-testing and Vagicare, a vaginal pessary which works to regulate and maintain vaginal pH and promote growth of lactobacillus (the good bugs).
Key Pharmaceuticals is so serious about educating women on the topic, that they are also launching a new discrete Facebook page and have begun Twitter conversations around #GetBalancedOZ – to help women across the country get informed, get balanced and get comfortable.
Key Pharmaceuticals is asking women to complete a National Feminine Health Survey 2011 to help gain a better understanding of perceptions of women's health in Australia. The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/national_feminine_health_survey_2011
For more information, visit www.keypharm.com.au/products/vagicare.php