Summer time is all about my favorite combinations — ice cream and the beach, shorts and flips, and, most importantly, ass-chafing and vagina sweat! Seriously, so much sweat. It's like a tsunami down there. It looks like you peed your pants. It can feel like the most embarrassing thing ever, when you sit down after walking around enjoying the summer sun and you realize you've got those dark, wet marks in the crotch of your shorts. Aren't I supposed to feel sexy in the summer? The important thing to remember is that it's not just you. I know it can certainly feel that way.
When I run laps around the local park in South London it seems like all the girls are super trendy in their work out gear and— is that, is that makeup? Make up while working out? What is wrong with you people? Anyway, the point is they always seem to look on point while running, and I'm there panting in gray leggings and a crotch sweat circle that goes down to my knees. Sexy times. So what is exactly is going on with the sweat down there? And is there anything to worry about? Here's a look at why your vagina is so damn sweaty.
It's All About The Glands
So the first problem is just basic... that's where a lot of sweat glands are. Orange Is the New Black was on to something with this "pits, tits, and naughty pits". According to the Mayo Clinic there are two types of sweat glands, and though we have one pretty much everywhere, the other shows up only in certain places: "Eccrine glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands 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".
So because your vagina has lots of fun hair follicles, it has lots of fancy apocrine sweat glands, even if you get Brazilians. And while eccrine glands cause sweat when your body temperature rises, which is why you can sweat all over during exercise, apocrine sweat glands also go into action when you're under emotional stress. Which means you can end up with a sweaty vagina when you're hot or when you're stressed, which in the summer is probably the majority of the time.
Sweat vs. Smell
Sweat itself isn't a real issue, and I've learned to get over the stains and stop being embarrassed And the smell shouldn't be that bad, because sweat is actually odorless, until it mixes with bacteria you find on your skin. But this is where those apocrine glands get in you in trouble. As Women's Health says "Eccrine ones produce the most moisture, whereas the apocrine glands produce the most stank—and your groin has a higher density of them than just about any part of your body, save your armpits... A sweaty crotch it going to be a smelly one".
Keeping It Cean
Now fresh sweat and regular vagina smell is fine. The problem is, unlike your underarms, you vagina doesn't get a chance to air out, so the sweat down there is way more trapped than is healthy. And old sweat smells way worse than new sweat— just take of a whiff of your gym clothes that weren't that bad when you took them off, but three days later have turned your bedroom into a teenage boys' locker room. So what can you do?
First of all, regular cleaning with water is important (nothing that's going to mess up those PH levels!). Also ignore this wearing workout clothes around town trend. Maybe before a workout, but if you've worked up a sweat don't stay in them all day, no matter how great they make your ass look. Or in my case, how damn lazy you are. And stick to fabrics that are as breathable as possible. But don't get too fussed — unless there's some sign of infection or irritation—sweat down there is totally normal! It's summer, after all.
Images: Esra Erben/Flickr; Giphy (3)