Nothing puts a handbrake on summer sexy times like a yeast infection. Itchy, irritating and sometimes painful, it’s the last thing you want when you’re looking to have carefree fun in the sun – and under the sheets!
The bad news is that yeast infections – also known as thrush – are particularly prevalent in hotter weather because bacteria thrives in warm, moist conditions. The good news is that you can help reduce your risk of developing them by following a few easy tips and tricks.
Easy ways to avoid a yeast infection in summer
- Change out of wet clothes and swimsuits right away.
- Don’t hang out in your exercise clothes. Once you’ve finished working up a sweat, have a shower and get changed into clean, dry clothes.
- Switch to skirts. Looser, lighter clothing keeps your crotch area cooler and drier, as air is more easily able to circulate. Don’t like skirts? Any loose garments will work, particularly those made of cotton.
- Avoid using douches, sprays, wipes or anything other than clean water and, if you must, a gentle, fragrance-free soap to clean your vagina. Read more: how to keep your vagina healthy and clean.
- Change pads and tampons often.
- Treat symptoms right away. As soon as you notice that something is a little off – be it an itch, a burning sensation or discharge – chat to your doctor, clinic or pharmacist. Read more: 8 vagina health mistakes you could be making.
How do I know if I have a yeast infection?
Symptoms of a yeast infection include:
- Itching, burning or irritation of the vagina or vulva (the outer vagina area)
- Pain or discomfort in the vagina or around the vaginal opening
- Burning during sex or when urinating
- A thick, white discharge, often resembling cottage cheese in texture. It may also be watery. Read more: what is normal and what is abnormal vaginal discharge?
- Rash or redness
Identifying and treating yeast infections
Yeast infections are usually simple to diagnose and treat. Your doctor or sexual health care clinic will be able to identify the symptoms easily and will prescribe pills or creams to treat it. Most of these medications are available over-the-counter, so you can also chat to a trusted pharmacist about your symptoms.