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A top gynae reveals how swimming can wreck your vaginal health

Published on:28 March 2021, 11:00am IST
Did you know using a tampon during a swim can help you prevent some lethal vaginal infections?
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Swimming and vaginal health doesn’t go hand in hand. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Don’t we all LOVE swimming? After all, there’s no other exercise that’s fun and helps you stay in shape! But have you ever experienced anything weird in your vagina after a swim? If your answer is yes, then it’s most likely that you may have achieved itching or dryness. Unfortunately, that’s what makes swimming a complete mismatch for your vaginal health.

According to Dr Aruna Kalra, senior gynaecologist and obstetrician at CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram, chemicals that are present in the swimming pool can disturb the pH balance of your vagina.

A chemical called chlorine is often used to clean swimming pools, because the water in the pools is a breeding ground for bacteria. This chemical is helpful ,as it kills the bacteria present in the water. However, all bacteria are not bad. Our vagina has good bacteria that helps in keeping it healthy. But when we enter a pool, the chlorine present in it kills the good bacteria and hence, disturbs the pH balance of the vagina,” she explains.

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Here’s a list of vaginal infections that can be caused due to swimming 

Unfortunately, the chlorine may affect the vagina in certain ways, and cause the following infections:

1. Yeast infections

Chlorine affects the pH balance of the vagina, and as a result, increases the chances of fungus to grow, thereby leading to yeast infections.

2. Inflammation

Chlorine can also cause inflammation, as it disturbs the pH balance of the vagina. It may also cause allergic reactions in the vagina that makes it swollen or itchy.

3.Bacterial vaginosis

This infection makes the vaginal area super itchy, and is accompanied by smelly vaginal discharge. This may cause a lot of discomfort and pain. Plus, the discharge coming out of your vagina can also cause other skin problems down there.

4. Vulvitis

Chlorine affects the external area of the vagina as well. You can feel a burning or itching sensation on the skin of your vulva, if it becomes too sensitive to chlorine.

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Dr Kalra recommends some pre and post vaginal care tips to avoid infection
  • You may use a swimming tampon, which prevents chlorinated water from entering the vagina while swimming.
  • Always remove your wet swimsuit right after swimming, and wear clean and dry underwear.
  • Dry out your vaginal area with a towel after swimming. Do not rub it vigorously.
  • Never use a damp towel to clean your vagina after swimming.
Here’s when you need to see a doctor

“If there’s itchiness or you feel a burning sensation in your vagina or on the skin of the vulva after swimming, you should immediately see a doctor. Do not start any medication without the recommendation of a doctor,” concludes Dr Kalra.

So ladies, if you wish to go for a swim, make sure to remember these tips or else you will regret it later.

Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.