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Summer is just around the corner, and we would be so happy about that if it wasn’t for the increased chance of an itchy burning vagina! It was a long winter and an unpredictable spring for many of us. Summer is normally a breath of fresh air, except for the pesky problem of yeast infections. So let’s break this issue down and solve our troubles once and for all.
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What is a Vaginal Yeast Infection?
Yeast infections are caused by a fungus called Candida. When this fungus grows, it creates an imbalance in the vagina and causes an infection. As a result, many women experience an itchy burning vagina. These symptoms can get worse the longer the infection is undiagnosed and untreated. Most women get a vaginal yeast infection at one point or another. In fact, three out of four women experience at least one in their lifetime. And many experience more than one.
Recognize the Signs of a Yeast Infection
In order to recognize a yeast infection, it is important to know your body and be tested regularly. A simple itch or irregular discharge can be the sign of an infection. Some symptoms to be aware of include:
- A thick, white vaginal discharge that looks like cottage cheese but has no odor
- Itching, burning, and/or redness and swelling in and around the vagina
- Pain during sex
- Discomfort when urinating
How Can Summer Months Cause an Itchy Burning Vagina?
It’s quite simple, actually. Since the summer is hot, these warm months cause your body to sweat. As it turns out, sweating is one thing that can cause yeast infections. Moisture is a breeding ground for fungus. This is also good to remember after you’ve been swimming. Keeping a wet bathing suit on for a long period of time can also cause Candida to grow. In fact, you should keep this in mind all year around, for instance when you go to the gym or work out. Even after you have a great sex session!
Aside from sweat, there are a number of factors that can cause an imbalance in the vagina. For instance:
- Hormonal changes. This can be due to antibiotics or having your period.
- Living with diabetes
- Douching or using scented soaps
- Wearing tight pants
Preventing a Yeast Infection
Remember that sweat can cause your vagina to get irritated and itch. If you scratch at the irritation, it can cause a burning sensation. There are some sensations that we like down there, but this is not one of them!
Wash Up: To avoid the infection altogether, first thing’s first: you should always shower or wash your vagina after you have been sweating, whether due to be outside during the summer or after working out.
Avoid Scented Soaps: Now that you know to wash up, remember: do not use scented soaps. Fragrances and douches can cause irritations or allergies in sensitive areas like the vagina. This will do more harm than good by presenting additional potential causes for infection.
Dress Accordingly: When you wear loose clothing, it makes your vaginal area less sweaty and confined. Similarly, wearing cotton underwear will allow the vagina to “breathe.” This is because the cotton absorbs some of the moisture, rather than it sitting on the surface of nonporous materials. This also prevents chafing, an irritation that occurs when damp material rubs against the skin.
How Do I Stop Itching Down There?
So the next big question that comes to mind is “how do I stop itching down there?” Well, before you can take action, you need to diagnose the issue. After all, you can’t go about fixing a problem without knowing where to begin. That’s where testing comes in.
Screen for yeast infections and other causes of abnormal vaginal discharge from the comfort of your home. Since the symptoms of a yeast infection are similar to those of bacterial vaginosis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), it may ease your worries to get tested for these infections as well. This way, you will know for sure and can treat it before it gets worse.
- An individual test kit for BV (bacterial vaginosis)
- An individual test kit for Yeast/Candida
- The V-Box– this is the most comprehensive test kit for women’s health. It is available to screen for common causes of abnormal vaginal discharge. This includes bacterial vaginosis, yeast/candida, trichomoniasis, chlamydia and gonorrhea.
How It Works
The myLAB Box “Yeast” home test uses modern genetic technology that tests for more strains of yeast than competitor panels. This means that you will receive much more accurate results. This all sounds complicated, but the process is super easy:
- Order your test online. You get free shipping and it will arrive in discreet packaging.
- Test in just five minutes. This can be done at any time and from any place!
- Get your lab-certified results online. You will log into a secure portal, so no one else will be able see your data.
As you can see, there are lots of things you can do to prevent a yeast infection. If one is detected, it is easily treatable once it is diagnosed. So be mindful of the ways to prevent an infection, get tested, and go enjoy those summer months!
No Discharge, Just Itchy?
Finally, let’s touch on one last tricky subject. What if you’re not experiencing any discharge, you’re just itchy. Beyond a yeast infection, that might mean another issue entirely. One possible answer there might be crabs! These are often passed in many similar ways to common sexually transmitted infections. To learn more about these pesky critters, be sure to check out our full blog post about crabs. There, you’ll learn some detailed information about that particular issue. Of course, crabs can strike at any time.
During the summer months, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on the vaginal issues we’ve discussed in today’s post. Taking total control of your health is the best way to keep feeling safe and sexy!
Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis: clinical manifestations, risk factors, management algorithm. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 1998. .
- Establishing the Cause of Genitourinary Symptoms in Women in a Family Practice. Journal of the American Medical Association. 1984. .
- Clinical and Microscopic Diagnosis of Vaginal Yeast Infection: A Prospective Analysis. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 1995. .
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