As the temperature rises and the sun shines brighter, you could become more susceptible to health issues. As it happens, this season might be challenging for your vaginal health too. You may end up feeling itchier down there. According to experts, excessive sweating during the summer can throw the pH balance of the vagina off balance, leading to infections.
Vaginal health issues in summer
Health Shots spoke to Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj – Gynecologist, Obstetrician, and IVF Expert, Director- Nurture Clinic, New Delhi, to understand how summer weather can wreak havoc on your vaginal health.
Dr Dhawan says, “The heat and humidity of the season can lead to several side effects on the body, including the vagina. The vagina is a sensitive and delicate part of the body, and it is essential to keep it healthy during this time.”
Here we’ll discuss how summer heat can affect vaginal health, and tips to avoid infections and keep the vagina healthy.
How can summer heat affect vaginal health?
Here’s how summer season can make your vaginal health poor:
1. Sweating: Sweating in the genital area can create a warm, moist environment that promotes the growth of bacteria and yeast, leading to infections.
2. Dehydration: Dehydration can cause vaginal dryness, making it easier for bacteria to enter the vagina and cause infections.
3. Swimming: Swimming in pools or lakes can increase the risk of vaginal infections due to exposure to bacteria and other microorganisms.
5 vaginal health problems that are common in summer
Heat, sweat, and dehydration can make your vagina prone to several issues such as:
1. Yeast infections
Yeast infections are a common side effect of summer on the vagina. The hot and humid weather can create an ideal environment for yeast to thrive, leading to vaginal itching, burning, and discharge.
2. Bacterial vaginosis
The heat and humidity of summer can also lead to bacterial vaginosis, a condition caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the vagina. Symptoms of bacterial vaginosis include vaginal discharge, itching, and a foul odour.
3. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
UTIs are more common in the summer due to dehydration and sweating, which can irritate the urinary tract and lead to infection.
4. Vaginal dryness
The summer heat can cause dehydration, which can lead to vaginal dryness. This can cause discomfort during sex and increase the risk of infections.
5. Irregular menstrual cycle
Hot weather may not directly disrupt your menstrual cycle but might worsen period-related symptoms by upsetting the balance of your hormones. As a result, you may experience period acne, infection, and even headache.
Tips to avoid infections and keep the vagina healthy
1. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent vaginal dryness.
2. Wear breathable clothing: Choose lightweight, breathable clothing made from natural fibres like cotton to allow air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup.
3. Avoid tight clothing: Tight clothing can trap moisture and promote the growth of bacteria and yeast. Wear loose-fitting clothing instead.
4. Practice good hygiene: Keep the genital area clean and dry, and avoid using scented products that can irritate the vagina.
5. Change out of wet clothing: If you sweat heavily or swim, change out of wet clothing as soon as possible to prevent the growth of bacteria.
6. Use protection during sex: Use condoms to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can cause vaginal infections.
7. Avoid douching: Douching can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the vagina and increase the risk of infections.
Summer can have several side effects on the vagina, including yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, UTIs, and vaginal dryness. So, it is essential to take steps to prevent these side effects. Following the above mentioned tips can keep your vagina healthy and comfortable throughout the summer months!