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5 Tips To Help You Avoid Those Summer Vaginal Infections

5 Tips To Help You Avoid Those Summer Vaginal Infections

During the summer, you might experience changes in your vaginal health including infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast. Let’s face it, the heat can create a moist (yuck) environment that bacteria and yeast love to thrive in. So, here are simple tips to reduce the risk of infections and keep the vagina healthy and happy.
  1. I recommend underwear made of breathable fabric like cotton and bamboo. They are breathable and absorbent. Bamboo also keeps the vulva cool when it’s hot and sweaty down below. Synthetic materials like nylon and satin are not breathable and can trap moisture and heat. Many people who have vaginal discharge will be tempted to wear pads or panty liners. I recommend changing your underwear more frequently than using pads or liners for extended periods of time. The vulva is sensitive and the prolonged exposure to moisture leads to rashes, irritation, itching, and infections.
  2. Wash your underwear with fragrance-free, hypoallergenic detergent.  Using fragrant detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets have chemicals, dyes, and perfumes.  The most sensitive skin is exposed to these chemicals for long periods of time which can lead to irritation, itching, and allergic reactions.  
  3. Change your underwear every day. This seems like a pretty obvious daily task but according to one survey, 45 percent of Americans don’t change their underwear every day. Activities like working out, swimming, and personal hygiene will increase the population of bacteria. The risk of wearing dirty underwear increases the risk of skin irritation, vulvar dermatitis, odors, yeast infections, and bacterial infections. 
  4. Throw out some of that old battered underwear that you’re holding onto. This seems a bit excessive, but for those who experience recurrent infections, it is something to consider.  Studies found that clean underwear contains 10,000 living bacteria.  Underwear can also have small traces of feces even when it appears clean.  Everyone has a couple pair of underwear they are holding onto, but it’s time to part ways!
  5. Go without underwear. Going without underwear at night allows the vagina to breathe and keeps moisture from building up or creating an environment for bacteria to thrive. If you don’t like the idea of sleeping in the buff, wear clean loose-fitting pajama bottoms.

- Dr. Jodie Horton, Board-Certified OB/GYN and Love Wellness Advisor

 

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