You’ve been warned: Fungus + bacteria love a humid environment.
If it seems like yeast infections or urinary tract infections (UTIs) are always coming around during the summer months and ruining your beach weekend, you’re not imagining it: These infections *are* more likely in the summer.
While yeast infections and UTIs can happen at any time of year, they get a little extra help in the summer thanks to the added humidity and moisture. Fungus and bacteria thrive in a humid environment, so moisture buildup “down there” can invite the overgrowth of fungus or bacteria to cause yeast infections or UTis, respectively.
Sure, you can’t help yourself from getting sweaty down there on a July hike, but there are still ways you can lower your risk of yeast infections and UTIs this summer. Here are tips to avoid a summer burn (and we’re not talking about sunburns):
1. Clean up + dry off after sweating
Whether it’s sweat from exercise or just from being outside on a hot day, try to wash up afterwards with mild soap and water, and put on fresh underwear. The longer you hang around with sweaty underwear, the more chances you give fungus and bacteria to accumulate.
2. Wear breathable underwear
Undies made of cotton are the most airy, whereas synthetic materials can trap in humidity and moisture and increase the risk for infections. (Here are more underwear mistakes that can affect your health.)
3. Change out of damp swimsuits ASAP
You know how it goes: After splashing in the water, you then spend a few hours chatting with friends by the snack table. All that moisture opens up the door to those unwanted infections, so if you’re done swimming, change into dry clothes.
4. Change your underwear every day
… But you know that, right?
The moral of the story? Keep your nethers clean and dry; otherwise, an infection could be just one pool day (or beach day) away.
Acute simple cystitis in women. Waltham, MA: UpToDate, 2020. (Accessed on May 26, 2020 at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/acute-simple-cystitis-in-women.)
How do I prevent vaginitis? Planned Parenthood. (Accessed on May 26, 2020 at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/health-and-wellness/vaginitis/how-do-i-prevent-vaginitis.)
Patient education: vaginal yeast infection (beyond the basics). Waltham, MA: UpToDate, 2020. (Accessed on May 26, 2020 at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vaginal-yeast-infection-beyond-the-basics.)