The monsoon season brings with it both positives and negatives into our lives, which includes wider scope for infections and bacteria to grow and infest with that humidity in the air. We see people falling ill one after the other, that is because infections tend to stay alive for much longer than usual in an environment that is much better for them to grow in. The rainy season also has a greater number of patients with vaginal infection (or vaginal yeast infection) on its case.
Bharathi Ramesh, doctor and Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospitals, says: "Women need to be extra careful during the rainy season as the chances of viral, fungal, and bacterial diseases increases. Hence, it is important for women to pay attention to their vaginal hygiene during monsoon season. If you do not take timely action, you might have to spend the monsoon in a lot of pain and discomfort."
Why are there a higher number of vaginal infections during monsoon?
"As we know that with the rain comes humidity and with that comes a lot of infections. The privates of women are already very moist and the added moisture and humidity in the environment only adds to that and causes accelerated infection in the vaginal area. It is also said that the pH levels of the vaginal during monsoons (humidity) drop which in turn increases the chances of a female getting a vaginal infection. With the monsoon, getting caught in a situation where you might get drenched is high and wearing clothes that are wet and are touching your privates for a long time becomes an invitation for bacteria and infection to infest and there is a higher percentage of catching an infection."
Here are some common symptoms of vaginal infection:
- Rashes near the private parts
- Continuous itching
- Redness around the private parts
- Mild swelling around private parts
- Burning sensation while having sexual intercourse or urinating
- Vaginal soreness
- Vaginal discharge, which is thick, curdy white or greenish yellow or discharge with bad odour
How can women prevent themselves from infection during monsoon season? The doctor suggests:
- One should make sure to keep their vagina always dry during the monsoon. It is necessary to wipe after you urinate. Dry private parts during monsoon can be a preventative measure.
- Avoid wearing clothes, that are drenched in the water, for a long period of time. Wet clothes help accelerate the growth of the infection of bacteria.
- One should maintain proper vaginal hygiene. Clean your private parts with lukewarm water (make sure it is not too hot) and avoid any kind of soap. Clean your privates at least two times a day to be on the safer side.
- Maintaining good menstrual hygiene is also important as the sanitary napkin or the tampon is storing blood and the bacteria in the blood can generate very quickly in an environment that is humid and moist. So, changing the pad or tampons every 2 to 3 hours is a good idea, better still use a menstrual cup instead of using sanitary napkins or tampons. They are better for avoiding any kind of infection and environmentally friendly as well.
- Some doctors recommend that avoiding spicy foods during monsoon can help in reducing the chances of you getting an infection, however tempting it might be with all the street vendors all around you.
- Wear cotton underwear as it is very mild to the skin and has good breathability as well. It will keep the privates more at ease.
- It is recommended to keep a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Staying hydrated is very important.
- Wear airy clothes and avoid wearing tight denim jeans or shorts which restricts the breathability of the private parts. Tight clothes increase the risk of retaining sweat in the vaginal area which can lead to rashes and redness in the privates. (Puja Gupta)
Read More ► How to maintain good sexual hygiene