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Side effects of shapewear: Wearing it for too long can lead to UTIs, yeast infections and more

Wearing shapewear for a long time can lead to vaginal infections. From urinary tract infections to yeast infections, here are the side effects of wearing shapewear on your vaginal health.
Shapewear side effects
Shapewear can have side effects for your intimate health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Team Health Shots Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 17:15 pm IST
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Beauty standards are as dynamic as the changing season, and the latest obsession is shapewear. With corsets making a comeback and new shapewear that squeeze the flab, the current trend has swept the social media world. But there can be long-term side effects of wearing shapewear for too long!

Side effects of wearing shapewear on vaginal health

While shapewear has gained immense popularity for its ability to provide instant slimming effects, you can’t ignore the side effects on your intimate health. Prolonged and frequent use of shapewear can lead to problems such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) and yeast infections. Prasad Kuvalekar, Consultant Physician, DPU Private Super Specialty Hospital, Pimpri, Pune told Health Shots all about it.

urinary tract infections
Wearing shapewear for too long can lead to infections. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Wearing shapewear for extended periods can trap moisture and heat in the genital area, creating an environment conducive to bacterial growth. Shapewear is generally tight around the abdomen, which can constrict the airflow in the vaginal area, due to which the risk of a yeast infection increases. Yeast infection is a common fungal infection of the genitals, which causes inflammation, itching, irritation and vaginal discharge. A study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, wearing tight-fitting clothing, including shapewear can contribute to the development of yeast infections.

On the other hand, wearing shapewear for extended periods can trap moisture and heat in the genital area, which can lead to UTI. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Diseases found a correlation between tight clothing and an increased risk of UTIs, particularly in women. To avoid the risk of yeast infection and UTI, it is most important that you avoid wearing shapewear undies for a long time. Check whether you can easily remove it to go to the toilet or not.

Plus, wearing a corset or any type of shapewear is uncomfortable while going to the restroom. It may even increase the pressure on the bladder, which can spike the risk of infection and leakage.

Other side effects of shapewear

Here are the side effects of shapewear you should know:

1. Increases risk of nerve compression

Wearing shapewear regularly for long periods of time can cause nerve compression. When this happens, you may feel numbness or tingling in the area around the shaper. In such a situation, you should adjust your shapewear and see its putting too much pressure on a certain nerve. Remove it immediately if you are not feeling that it does not get better.

2. Decreased blood circulation

If you wear shapers that are too tight for you or ones that can constrict the blood vessels, it can be dangerous. A decreased blood circulation can cause blood clots to form, especially if you have underlying conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Some of the common symptoms of this condition include pale or blotchy skin, dizziness, brain fog or confusion, or pain while walking.

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3. Digestive problems

Wearing tight-fitting shapers around your stomach for a long time can lead to stomach and digestive issues. The constant pressure on the stomach reduces the space between your internal organs, which can slow down digestion and lead to problems such as gas and bloating. Wearing shapewear may also lead to frequent urination and create strong pressure on the bladder, which can lead to digestive issues. People with acid reflux should also avoid wearing shapewear as it can worsen the condition.

shapewear side effects
Wearing shapewear for too long can lead to digestive issues. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

If you are going out somewhere, avoid eating too much food while wearing shapewear. It causes the digestive system to remain compressed and not be fully activated. In such a situation, one may have to face digestive problems.

4. May cause skin problems

Shapewear sits right above your skin. Plus wearing it can cause you to sweat more, so there’s a risk of skin problems. At the same time, wearing it for a long time can cause skin irritation for long. It could also lead to skin infections or itching problems. Avoid wearing it completely if you have been facing these issues.

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