As the monsoon season graces us with its refreshing raindrops and cool breeze, it also brings along a lesser-known problem: the potential impact on vaginal health. All thanks to the monsoon season’s humid and damp conditions, which create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to infections such as yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Excessive sweating and inadequate drying can cause discomfort and irritation down there. Additionally, poor hygiene practices can further exacerbate the problem. However, paying attention to vaginal health can help mitigate any potential toll the monsoon season may have on your vagina.
How to prevent vaginal infection in the monsoon?
By now, you know that during the monsoon season, vaginal health can be affected by various issues. From unwelcoming bacterial guests due to increased moisture and warmth in the vagina to fungi and poor hygiene practices, such as wearing wet clothes for prolonged periods, all of it gives rise to an array of challenges for vaginal health.
Health Shots got in touch with Dr Sushruta Mokadam, consultant obstetrician at Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune, to know how to prevent vaginal infections during the rainy season.
Dr Mokadam says, “Monsoon can cause rashes, inflammation, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and vaginitis. If the vagina remains wet for a longer time, the increased moisture during this season disturbs the vaginal pH levels, making one more susceptible to vaginal infections, mainly fungus. Candida is an opportunistic infection that causes thick, curdy discharge and itching.” Hence, maintaining proper hygiene becomes crucial during this time.
Tips to prevent vaginal infections during monsoon
Here are 9 tips to reduce the risk of vaginal infections in monsoon:
1. Cleanse with a mild, pH-balanced wash
Cleanse the vaginal area regularly with mild, pH-balanced cleansers and warm water. Avoid using harsh soaps or douches that can disrupt the natural pH balance of the vagina.
2. Wear breathable cotton underwear
Choose cotton underwear that allows air circulation, preventing excessive moisture buildup and reducing the risk of infections. Avoid synthetic fabrics that can trap moisture. Apart from it, avoid tight-fitting clothes and opt for loose-fitting clothing that allows your skin to breathe, preventing sweat and moisture accumulation.
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3. Maintain menstrual hygiene
Poor menstrual hygiene can increase your risk of infection, especially during monsoon season. To keep your vaginal area healthy, change sanitary pads and tampons every 4-5 hours, clean the area properly and keep it dry, avoid scented products, and make sure to wash your hands to prevent the spread of bacteria.
4. Change out of wet clothes promptly
Staying in wet underwear or clothes for a longer period of time increases the risk of infections. Hence, after getting wet in the rain or sweating, change into dry clothes as soon as possible to prevent prolonged dampness that can promote infections.
5. Pat dry after washing
After bathing or washing, ensure the vaginal area is thoroughly dried using a clean towel. Pay attention to the folds and crevices to prevent moisture retention. Avoid rubbing vigorously, as it can cause irritation. Also, it is advisable not to shave too often during monsoon.
6. Avoid public washrooms
Public restrooms may not always be hygienic, so try to use clean and private facilities to minimize the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria and fungi. If you have to use one, ensure it is clean and try to use disposable seat covers or toilet paper.
7. Stay hydrated
Drinking an adequate amount of water helps maintain overall vaginal health by flushing out toxins and supporting a healthy vaginal environment.
8. Practice safe sex
Use condoms or other barrier methods during sexual intercourse to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and maintain a healthy vaginal flora.
9. Boost your immune system
Maintain a healthy diet, get regular exercise, manage stress, and get enough sleep to strengthen your immune system, which can help protect against infections.
In case, you experience any unusual symptoms or persistent discomfort, it’s essential to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.