It has been well-established by health experts that exercise is non-negotiable to maintain good fitness levels. Apart from that, it also helps to boost your mood, and increases your energy! What’s more, it is also said to serve as a defense mechanism against various types of cancers. But guess what? There are certain women who face the side-effects of exercising, and struggle with vaginal discomfort or a sports vagina. So, what is it and why does it happen?
Let’s just say that this isn’t a specific medical condition; instead, it is a term that denotes vaginal discomfort associated with exercise. That’s because when you work out, your vulva and vaginal area produces sweat, which then leads to vaginal discomfort, especially if you do not wear proper clothing.
The symptoms associated with sports vagina vary—in some women, it could be mild to moderate, while in others, quite severe. It also depends on the type of exercise you engage in. Some of the most common symptoms include vaginal itching, redness, irritation, chafing and a strong vaginal odour.
Sports vagina can cause a yeast infection. Make note that yeast thrives in moist environments, especially such as an unclean and sweaty vagina. There are certain symptoms that are characteristic of yeast infections. These includes a thick, white discharge, vaginal burning during urination, painful sex, and more. If you think these infections will disappear on their own, then that’s not true. You could consult a doctor, who is then likely to prescribe over-the-counter antifungal creams and medications. Consuming probiotic foods also helps a lot.
The other common infection that happens is bacterial vaginosis. It mainly happens when there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your vagina. In most cases, it is accompanied by vaginal odour and grey discharge. This infection might disappear without treatment, but not necessarily.
Vestibulodynia is an infection in which there is persistent pain in the vestibule. There could be no other visible signs, such as redness and inflammation.
Clean up: Take a shower post your workout, and change your panties.
Wear proper workout clothes: You might love tight yoga pants, but a lot of them aren’t breathable. Make sure to wear cotton underwear, and workout clothes that are made from natural materials.
Apply protectant: It is no longer recommended to use talcum powder on your genitals. Instead, it is better to apply Vaseline before exercise.
Last but not the least, if there is an issue, see a doctor. Do not ignore these signs at all!