The pH of the vagina may be a good indicator of complications to come. During a model project spanning from 2004 to 2006, pregnant patients were asked to use test gloves to measure the pH of the vagina twice a week for 20 weeks. Glove use started in the 12th week of gestation and lasted until the 32nd week of gestation. Of the 19,000 women requesting kits, only 7,500 returned data on vaginal pH.
Researchers involved in the study believed vaginal pH would indicate increased potential for premature birth. Unfortunately, doctors involved in the study believe the test started too late in pregnancy and thus results were not as beneficial as they once thought they would be. In an attempt to retest the link between vaginal pH and premature delivery, researchers are requesting another model project that would start before the 12th week of gestation.
If a home pH test could reveal an increased risk for premature delivery, doctors would have time to plan for an early birth or enact measures that could extend pregnancy long enough for the lungs to develop for a better pregnancy outcome.
Source: Deutsches Aerzteblatt International via AlphaGalileo Foundation. 25 February, 2011.