A fitness routine doesn’t always align with whole body wellness. In fact, so many women have told Violet about the pain & itch between their legs is not worth the workout sometimes. The old gym adage “No Pain, No Gain” doesn’t apply here. “Sports Vagina” is not a medical term but an everyday label for an everyday problem women experience with their vagina and vulva. (If you aren’t sure about the difference, see the Vi!bes article that defines the terms of our precious parts).
Sports Vagina is when you have itching, burning, dryness, or actual pain either externally (vulva) or internally (vagina). Externally, it’s caused by excessive sweat kept in place by tighter clothing and no barrier to the skin. With cycling, spin classes, horseback riding, motorsports, and gymnastics, there is the added pressure on our crotch from the apparatus or animal used. Internally, when that pressure is persistent there is strain on the muscular wall of the vagina.
Additionally, hormone levels impact natural lubrication of our vagina. If our hormones are not supporting moisture production, like with any muscle that is dehydrated, it begins to feel crampy. This lack of moisture leaves the vaginal wall a bit raw for irritation. Unless you have other symptoms of discharge or odor, etc, there is nothing medically wrong with you. This condition is so common that it earned its own commonly used name!
What to do about it? Well let’s start with the external issues:
- Properly cleaning up after exercising. Take a shower, or at least change your pants and panties if they are dampened with sweat from your workout. Dry clothing is always best.
- Apply some sort of protective layer before exercise, such as Vaseline or A+D ointment, in order to prevent chafing and rubbing.
- Wear properly fitting clothing. This is an incredibly important rule when working out. While you might be tempted to purchase some tighter fitting workout clothing to look great while you are at the gym, it is vital to wear clothing that fits you well and won’t cause any uncomfortable rubbing.
- Stay hydrated.
- See a doctor at the first sign of severe itching, redness, or burning. This can rule out any infections.
- Rule out whether your concerns may be related to an elongated or large labia.
So let’s start with a simple Stress Self-Assessment:
For the internal discomforts of Sports Vagina:
- Switch up your workout routines to change the kind of pressure on your vaginal wall.
- Be sure to feed your body well with hydrating and hormone-supporting foods & natural supplements (see Vi!bes articles on a “happy vagina diet”, hormones, and natural supplements to support vaginal wellness)
- Develop a regular vaginal wellness routine (much like how we care for our gums these days!) to protect and preserve the integrity of your vaginal wall. Violet has something in store for you!