Preventive Methods to Avoid Vaginal Infections During Summer

The peak summer is around the corner, which comes with heat, sweat, summer vacations,
beach vacations, sand and with the chances of vaginal infections. Vaginal infections can restrict
one from all the vacation modes.

Bacterial infections, yeast infections, and trichomoniasis are some

of the common vaginal infections.
A vagina’s pH value is between 3.5 to 4.5 and the pH value of sweat is 7. Over sweat can cause
an imbalance of vaginal pH value, leading to an increase in vaginal infections.
The reason for the itchiness in the intimate area during summer:
This season just brings too much moisture. The heatwaves hit hard, individuals might feel
sticky just by stepping out to the sun. Wearing tight or dark-colored clothes would trap the
moisture in the body for the whole day. If one doesn’t change the clothes promptly or dry the
area properly, it traps the moisture which could lead to infection.
One of the most common vaginal infections during summer is a yeast infection. The symptoms
of this infection include the itchy, red, or irritated vulva, which comes with an odor and a white
discharge. The other infection which is prominently found is a bacterial infection, where the
symptoms are a grayish discharge and a fishy odor.
Preventive methods to avoid vaginal infections in summer:
● Avoid damp clothes:
If the moisture is trapped around the vulva, there are higher
chances of vaginal yeast infections. A wet environment can increase the chances of
bacterial breeding that causes yeast infection. Even if the individual goes swimming, it is
advised to change the wet clothes as soon as possible. And after working out, change
the sweaty clothes and put on clean underwear.
● Sleep without underwear:
If there is any irritation in the intimate area, it is advised to
sleep without underwear. Even wearing breathable underwear can hold moisture and
can cause infections. Skipping the underwear during sleep can prevent the accumulation
of moisture. Cotton underwear can be a good option too.
● Know the ingredients used in the products:
One needs to keep a keen check on the
ingredients used in the products, especially for the intimate area. Products like hygiene
items and lubricants should be checked to know if they contain any ingredients that
cause any irritation or infection. Double-check the lubricant that one uses for vaginal
dryness if the ingredients are safe and do not contain scents, flavors, dyes, paraben,
and non-natural ingredients.
● Consider breathable clothing:
Wear light-colored, and fabrics that do not trap moisture during summer as one would sweat a lot during the summer. Choosing tight and dark-colored clothing is not advisable. Wear cotton underwear. If the individual exercises a lot, it is advisable to choose fabrics that don’t hold back the moisture in the body.
Carrying an extra pair of underwear is advised if the individual sweats a lot. This would
help in being more comfortable and keeps one protected from infections.
Summer is considered to be the worry-free period of the whole year, and no one would want to
worry about vaginal infections at this time. But most of the time it is something that cannot be
avoided. Avoiding too much sugar intake, intake of a good healthy diet, avoiding douching,
taking probiotics, and having a hygienic vaginal routine can help in reducing the chances of
vaginal infections. And if there are any signs of irritation or infection, it is advised to go visit a
doctor and get it checked at the earliest. This would help in avoiding any kind of infection and if
necessary the doctors would prescribe antibiotics and treatments.
Spokesperson: Dr Meera, Apollo
Dr. Meera Raghavan,
Senior Consultant Urogynaecologist and
Robotic Surgeon and Lifestyle Medicine Physician,
Apollo Spectra Hospital, Chennai

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