Anyone with a vagina knows it makes a lot of liquid. This discharge keeps it from drying out and regulates vaginal pH to prevent infections. But what about outside of the vagina? Just like the hair follicle-filled armpit and scalp, the vulva has sweat glands that secrete moisture to help keep your skin cool. While wet underwear can be annoying, a little genital sweat on a hot day or during an intense home workout session is totally normal. However, there are some reasons why you might be sweating too much.
If you’re soaking through your clothes while you’re just sitting around, you could have hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes you to sweat more than necessary. While it’s obvious why you’re sweating bullets when it’s summer, medications can cause the body to sweat more too. But whether or not your vulva is sweating excessively or just like it’s supposed to, here are some tips to stay dry.
Pick the right underwear
Cotton underwear is the most vagina friendly. Synthetic, silk, or elastic material can prevent airflow, which can increase sweating. If you’re prone to yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis, definitely opt for 100 percent cotton.
But if you’re doing a lot of cardio, choose a moisture-wicking material like polyester or nylon. Technical fabrics are made to pull wetness away from your body. Just make sure you get out of your wet clothes as soon as you’re done with your workout. Since some workout materials hold moisture, it can promote the growth of bacteria and trigger an infection.
Use water-based cleansing wipes
If you want a vagina-friendly way to get rid of sweat and odors, opt for cleansing wipes or wash with perfume-free soap and consider blow drying your crotch, writes Dr. Lissa Rankin in “What’s Up Down There?” If you do use cleansing wipes, be sure they’re unscented, meaning stripped free of irritating and unnecessary additives. Such ingredients can throw of your vaginal pH and lead to infections.
Trim or shave pubic hair
If you have a lot of pubic hair, it can make you sweat more and the hair traps moisture, which can lead to some unpleasant smells. While everyone’s grooming habits are a personal choice, trimming or getting rid of pubic hair automatically cuts down on the hair that’s holding the sweat.
When to see a doctor
Certain conditions — like diabetes, menopause, or anxiety disorders — can trigger perspiration. If you’re on a new medication and you notice more sweat, your prescription may also be to blame. Certain medications, such as beta blockers or antidepressants, can also induce excessive sweating.
While clothing and lifestyle changes should help keep you comfortable, prescription medications are available if your sweating is severe. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of solutions to stay dry. And if your perspiring is persistent and bothersome, don’t be embarrassed. Just check with your general practitioner or dermatologist.