How to Align Your Fitness Goals with Your Vaginal Health
By Dr. Taraneh Shirazian, OB/GYN and Monistat Ambassador
Being active is so important for living a healthy lifestyle. Many of us enjoy taking workout classes, going for walks, or hitting the gym as we navigate our wellness journey. Staying on top of our physical wellness goes far beyond what you see on the outside. The benefits of working out and being active are considerable but taking care of your internal health, including your vaginal wellness, should go hand in hand.
Can being active cause a yeast infection?
While physical fitness can leave us feeling stronger, it can also leave people with vaginal irritation if precautions aren’t taken. Wearing tight clothing, staying in sweaty leggings, and not cleansing properly post-workout can cause issues and infections.
If you find you have vaginal itching, abnormal discharge, irritation and/or discomfort, then an infection may be developing. Yeast infections typically have thick white, cottage cheese like discharge and may also be accompanied with itching both inside and outside the vaginal canal. But, by making a few changes in your workout routine, you can ensure your vaginal health will stay in check.
Nutrition is key
Aside from helping you reach your fitness goals, diet can impact your vaginal discharge and odor, so consider reducing the sugar in your diet if you’re someone who is prone to vaginal infections. A well-balanced, low-sugar/carbohydrate diet should help with minimizing vaginal and yeast infections. Plus, drinking water throughout the day and especially during physical activity can ensure your body is flushing out any toxins and staying hydrated. Putting nutrition first and choosing healthy foods can keep you feeling energized and help minimize the chance of getting a yeast infection.
When working out, it’s important to know that certain fabrics can hold onto moisture more than others. Wearing breathable materials can help wick away moisture and keep the area dry and comfortable. Additionally, all sweaty clothing should be changed immediately after working out followed by cleansing the vaginal area with a gentle wash to keep yeast infections at bay.
Wellness Tip: If you experience chafing or skin irritation on inner thighs, bikini area, under arms or breasts during physical activities, try MONISTAT® Chafing Relief Powder Gel to create a protective barrier on skin that dries silky smooth and won’t stain clothing!
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Learn about Monistat Care® Chafing Relief Powder Gel
Post workout cleanse
After completing your daily workout, it’s best to change out of clothing and shower right away to avoid keeping any moisture sitting in the vaginal area and the potential for a yeast infection or irritation/discomfort. The simplest thing to do is to use a gentle cleanser after exercise that’s made specifically for that area. Using a wash such as the MONISTAT® Maintain Feminine Cleanser can be helpful after the gym to not disrupt your vaginal pH as you wash away sweat, odor and discharge.
If you do end up feeling any irritation post-workout and think you might have a yeast infection, check out the MONISTAT® Symptom Checker to confirm. If you’ve been diagnosed with a yeast infection before and believe you have one again, you can start a course of MONISTAT®. Not sure which treatment is right for you? Check out the MONISTAT® Product Selector. If you find your infection isn’t responding to the treatment within a week or you’ve never had a yeast infection diagnosed before, please see your OBGYN for testing and advice.