Vaginal Health Overview
The vagina is a fascinating organ that has self-cleaning properties and offers women many moments of incredible pleasure. At the same time, it can be a source of pain and discomfort, especially when you make a few fitness-related mistakes. Most women do not think of their vaginas while working out. What matters is keeping good hygiene before and after sex, correct? Well, exercise could negatively impact your vaginal health in more ways than you know.
In fact, some fitness mistakes could precipitate a vaginal infection, which is the last thing you want to start a new year. Before we detail this idea, it’s important to remember that some patients have recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and inflammation of the bladder (i.e., cystitis). In these cases, working out may not be the source of your vaginal infection. Putting that aside, you need to ensure that your vaginal pH is regulated before, during, and after a workout.
If you ever experienced pain or discomfort after working out, this information will help you make sense of things.
For starters, a lot of women wear sweat-proof leggings since they are comfy and don’t smell. However, this could backfire. Just think of all the sweat that your body produces; if it’s not coming out, it will remain on your skin, creating a hub for bacteria and fungi.
Trapping moisture and heat is a recipe for bacterial and fungal overgrowth. Examples of synthetic fibers that are responsible for this issue include nylon and lycra. Ideally, opt for cotton underwear since it’s very efficient at absorbing sweat. You should also consider wearing something a bit baggy. Leggings might seem stretchy and comfortable; however, they may not be airy enough.
Another possible solution is vaginal probiotics, which could help your vaginal health and prevent infections. Remember that the vaginal flora also contains good and bad bacteria. Ensuring that this composition is balanced and has the right pH is vital for good vaginal health. A shift of composition toward bad bacteria will lead to all sorts of vaginal problems, including vaginosis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
For this reason, you should consume a few fermented, vaginal healthy foods with high content of probiotics. You should also consume prebiotics to feed those microorganisms. Examples of fermented foods include kimchi, yogurt, and a few types of cheese.
If you don’t think you are getting enough probiotics through your diet, consider taking dietary supplements. For instance, the brand Pro-Fem is praised for offering premium probiotics supplements that aid with maintaining good vaginal health.
Another fitness mistake is spinning, which increases exposure to vaginal pressure, moisture, and heat. Consequently, you may be at risk of recurrent vaginosis. However, we understand that spinning could be an integral part of your workout. Therefore, just make sure to wear cotton underwear and wash shortly after finishing the workout. You should also choose the height and type of seat carefully. Remember that the pressure needs to be transferred to the fit bones, not the labia.
One helpful tip that will reduce the risk of vaginal infections is mixing up your workouts. This will provide benefits for your muscles and vagina. Individuals who are prone to recurrent vaginal infections will benefit most from mixing up their workout routines.
While spinning, switch things up between cycling and running instead of sitting throughout the workout. If this is still a problem, you can always opt for less intense workouts, such as Pilates and yoga. These workouts produce less sweat and don’t expose your vagina to a lot of pressure. With that said, you still need to change your underwear as soon as you finish working out.