Summer is finally here, and with it comes lovely sunny weather, pool vacays, sandy beaches, saltwater bathing, and lots more fun. But to keep up with the excitement of summer, many women experience too many inconveniences of having to shave their bodies, get into bikini body shape, and some even ignore intimate area health in the process. During summers, women notice changes in their vaginal health and suffer vaginitis (vaginal infections or commonly known as yeast infection) due to various factors. It’s such a turn-off on summer plans with these infections! But honestly, many sexual experts see a spike in infections during the warmer, summer months.
Let’s understand what causes vaginal infections – The vagina has an acidic pH from 3.5 to 4.5 while sweat has a pH of 7. In the summer heat, too much sweating can impact the internal and external pH of the vagina, eventually leading to an increase in yeast and vaginitis. To avoid such occurrences, here are 5 tips you could use to keep your coochie healthy!
1. Don’t Hangout in Wet/Damp Clothing
Damp or wet briefs/underwear traps moisture around the vulva (exterior of female genitals) due to which vaginal yeast infection can occur. The wet environment or dampness creates a breeding ground for bacteria to grow and cause these unwanted yeast infections. When you get done swimming and get out of the pool, immediately rinse off the chlorine with a quick shower and change out of your wet bathing suit. If you’re working out and you get all sweaty, change out of those damp clothes and put on clean fresh underwear as soon as your stressful workout is over.
2. Wear Breathable Clothing
You’ll be sweating like crazy when it’s hot and humid outside. So, one of the best things to do to maintain summer vaginal health is to always wear light, airy, breathable clothing. Choose clothes and fabrics that won’t trap moisture and soak sweat. Avoid wearing anything tight or constricting during summers. Yes, if it’s your favorite outfit, it’s not for summer weather if it’s body-hugging. For underwear, your daily go-to underwear and lingerie should be of cotton fabric or at least have a cotton crotch. When you’re working out or sweating more than usual, look for materials that wick moisture. In case those women experience a lot of discharge and dampness during the day, consider packing extra pairs of underwear/panties/briefs in your bag so you can comfortably change during the day. This keeps you more fresh and protected from infections.
3. Try Sleeping Without Underwear
If you experience irritation down there, you might want to consider sleeping bear…without underwear. Even breathable underwear and panties can trap moisture around the vulva. And we already know what happens when the vaginal area is naturally moist, you should avoid trapping dampness and moisture because it leads to unnecessary bacterial growth. During the day, you need to wear comfortable breathable underwear, but try ditching the undies when you sleep at night to prevent moisture accumulation. However, not all women feel mentally or physically comfortable sleeping nude or without underwear. So, only try this if you wish to and are okay with it. Light cotton underwear is a perfect choice if you don’t want to forego undies completely.
4. Be Careful With Hair Removal
Many medical professionals always recommend not shaving or removing most of the pubic hair from the pubic region. After all, there’s a purpose for pubic hair but not all women are comfortable with that. If you’re one of those women who aren’t okay with pubic hair, we’d recommend trimming and cleaning up the bikini line but don’t remove more than you should be. Because then personal grooming routine becomes a daily business to manage. You have to be careful of the places you remove the pubic hair from and especially how you remove it. If you are prone to getting irritating razor bumps or ingrown hair, then probably shaving isn’t your best deal. Try using laser treatments or waxing instead. Just ensure you consult and visit a licensed professional for your safety and vaginal health maintenance. And if you’re one of the many to prefer the old school shaving, always use a clean, new razor to prevent infections before you go all out on your bikini area. Always use shaving products with clean ingredients that won’t irritate the sensitive skin down there.
5. Make Mindful Decisions About Intimate Care
Now, this applies to vaginal health not just on summer heaty days, but all year round. Ensure that the intimate care products such as hygiene items, sanitary napkins, or even shaving cream don’t contain ingredients that cause redness and irritation. And those women who use lubricants due to vaginal dryness need to make sure these products don’t contain scents, parabens, dyes, flavors, and non-natural oils. One cardinal rule in vaginal health is to avoid douching. The vagina’s natural environment has certain bacteria for a reason. These need to stay balanced to keep the vulva healthy. Douches and other cleansers kill this healthy bacteria which kicks off the balance and causes higher chances of infection. Moreover, cleansers with fragrances contain artificial scents and ingredients that cause rashes on the vagina and vulva’s sensitive tissues.
Other than what products you use, even what you eat affects your vaginal health. Just like how a more sugary diet can increase the chances of yeast infection because yeast feeds on sugar. Cut sugar from your diet as much as you can if you experience frequent infections. Include probiotics in your diet that contain healthy bacteria instead. Basically, choose yogurt over doughnuts instead.
So, in case you already show signs of an infection or irritation, please don’t try to treat it yourself. Visit a healthcare provider immediately for a better diagnosis. Dynamics can instantly tell you what infection you have and will prescribe antibiotics as treatment if necessary. All you need to do is be mindful of the above points and maintain hygienic vaginal health to avoid regrettable infections.