A good workout regime is essential to maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle. However, we never really consider how a workout can affect our feminine health. Certain workouts aren’t always easy on our vagina. Women who exercise frequently are more prone to vaginal infections and discomfort compared to their counterparts who don’t work out.
So, what is really going on down there? Well, sweat – which is going on everywhere during a workout! If you have been following our REJU(CATION) blogs you know the vagina is a ‘self-sufficient ecosystem,’ capable of self-cleansing and defending against infections! When we workout, friction, heat, and moisture down there make for the perfect catalyst for a yeast infection – especially if we tend to linger in our workout gear! Read our blog on Vaginal Odor where we discuss yeast infections.
Let’s delve into detail on the how and why exercise affects our vagina – it’s more than just sweat! These are the little details that we tend to overlook in our daily routines already.
img credit: (eBike Shed Ltd)
According to Aaptiv’s article, Keeping Your Lady Parts Healthy During and After Exercise, workout gear can also be a serious contributory factor when maintaining vaginal health during and post-workout. Gone are the days of baggy heavy cotton sweats, to be replaced by some seriously fashionable, high-tech swag, which allows skin to breath and absorb moisture, controlling the amount you sweat during a workout. However, cotton is the preferred fabric of choice for your vagina – where materials like lycra and nylon trap heat and moisture, cotton absorbs moisture from your skin. While frumpy rumples and panty lines are not flattering under exercise wear, thongs are a serious no-no! Thongs create a fine highway for bacteria from your rectum to move across to your vagina, not to mention severe chafing! Also, try not to re-wear unwashed workout clothes.
Your vaginal grooming regimen affects your workout! Particularly, if you are a ‘waxer’ or ‘shaver.’ Runners, cyclists and spinners know the pain of chafing, irritation, and ingrown hair. Repeated friction causes irritation to the skin and pubic hair follicles – causing at best irritation or in severe cases folliculitis and abscesses. If you choose to groom, make sure you do it right! Read our blog on the best practices of Vaginal Grooming.
The type of exercise you subscribe to also has a bearing on your vagina. Cycling or spinning for instance could cause ‘saddle sore.’ Which is “Intense pressure on certain parts of the vagina, tailbone, lower back and groin, creating restriction of blood flow, skin irritation and ultimately numbness of the area, especially the clitoris” – says Dr Ross in the article, 5 Things Your OB-GYN Wants You to Know About Working Out featured in The Warm Up.
We need to be mindful that we should invest in the correct workout gear and anti-chafe creams, minimize the impact of exercise on our vagina, and perhaps also incorporate workout routines that exert less stress on our vagina’s as a break!
Attention Required! Post-workout Vaginal Care:
Clean Up! It looks really fun on TV, when girlfriends go to a coffee shop after a serious sweat sesh. This, however, is a really bad idea... no matter the workout clothes you’re in! Whenever possible – take a shower and wash the inner folds of the vulva well. Ideally, wash your vaginal area and change into clean cotton underwear! The bare minimum? – use vaginal hygiene wipes, wipe front to back and remove excess moisture with toilet paper.
Some other helpful tips:
- Stay hydrated – before, during and after exercise
- Avoid scented fem care products and douching
- If you have a rash or discomfort get it attended to
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Get enough sleep
- Schedule time to go commando – your lady bits will thank you
- Get into a healthy intimate care routine: a daily moisturizer packed with peptides, probiotics and miracle berry stem cell extracts as found in Rejuvenate– reverse the stress of everyday life on your intimate area, while nourishing and protecting your most intimate area.