Health News

What Causes Vaginal Sweat & Odor During a Workout?

Ever have those workouts where literally your entire body is drenched in sweat (boxing workouts and HIIT circuits may do it)? Yes, that includes your vagina and vulva too. First of all, this is totally normal and is just physiology. No one wants a giant wet stain on their leggings in the gym, but the reality is, most people are so focused on whatever show they’re watching on the treadmill or what they’re going to eat after the workout that they’re not paying any attention. 

There are certain workouts that tend to cause more sweat in the groin and vaginal area, especially legs-together workouts that cause a lot of friction, like running. While no one wants to feel damp and sweaty post-workout, it’s important that you take care of your vulva so that you don’t break out in that area (trust us, it can happen and it’s not comfortable).  It can be helpful to understand why your vulvar skin might sweat and what you can do to make sure you’re clean, comfortable, and healthy down there. Read more for some post-gym tips. 

Why does the vagina sweat? 

According to the Mayo Clinic, your skin has two main types of sweat glands: eccrine glands and apocrine glands. Eccrine glands appear over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands, on the other hand, develop in areas abundant in hair follicles, such as your armpits and groin, and they empty into the hair follicle just before it opens onto the skin surface.

And while the eccrine glands produce the most moisture, it’s the apocrine glands (prominent in the groin area) that produce the odor you detect after a strenuous exercise session.

Dealing with and preventing odor is one thing, but making sure your groin area stays dry is essential to avoid yeast infections or any other infections. When the sweat does not get a chance to breathe, as is the case when you wear poor-quality workout clothes or remaining in them for too long after exercising, the skin stays wet and traps in the moisture. And this is a perfect breeding ground for yeast to grow.

In addition to yeast infections, you should also be aware of developing a urinary tract infection. Wiping yourself from front to back prevents bacteria from spreading from the anal region to the vagina or urethra, which increases your risk for contracting an uncomfortable UTI, something we all want to avoid, thank you very much.

Related story

Danica McKellar’s Mother-Son Bonding Activity With Draco Is Much More Intense Than We Would’ve Thought