Sweat is normal, even in places that are less than ideal — such as your vagina. However, it can be hard to tell what's considered an average of amount of sweat or what is excessive, especially if you're not discussing the topic with your friends. Instead, you can look out for some signs you're sweating too much down there, and if you find that you're perspiring more than you like, you can then make an appointment with your doctor to find out what's really going on below the belt.
"Excessive vaginal sweating, or 'truncal hyperhidrosis,' can be an inconvenient and oftentimes embarrassing condition," says Katherine Cornforth, M.D., an OB/GYN with the Institute for Women’s Health over email. "Your vagina contains apocrine glands, which grow in areas on your body where there is a lot of hair. Sweating results when the glands empty into the hair follicle, whether the hair is present or not. While everyone’s nervous system is different, most women will experience vaginal sweating at some point in their life. When it starts to interfere with your daily life, however, you may want to take steps to address it."
If you're wondering how much sweat is normal, consider these eight signs that indicate you're sweating too much down there.
1You Have Sweat Stains Around The Groin
Excess sweat will often leave sweat stains that can feel embarassing or make social situations uncomfortable. "Some women opt to wear pantyliners as a way to control some of the sweating, but the extra material may actually work to their detriment by causing more friction and glandular inflammation," says Cornforth. "Putting baby powder — not talcum powder — around your vagina may help to minimize sweat stains. Just be sure not to get any in your vagina, which can lead to infection."
2You Get Recurrent Yeast Infections
If you find yourself getting repeated yeast infections, this may be due to excessive vaginal sweat. "Sweat in your nether regions typically doesn’t get the exposure it needs to 'breathe,' which can create a breeding ground for bacteria and foul odors," says Cornforth.
3You Get Recurrent Bacterial Vaginosis
Bacterial vaginosis, or a distinct vaginal odor and discharge, can also occur due to excessive sweat and subsequent bacteria growth. "While bacterial vaginosis is extremely common, recurrent episodes of it are not," says Cornforth.
4It's Accompanied By Excessive Sweat In Other Places
"People affected by hyperhidrosis typically don’t sweat from just one localized area," says Cornforth. "If you find that vaginal sweating is accompanied by damp palms, feet and underarms, you may want to talk to your doctor about testing and treatments."
5There Is Suddenly More Sweat Than Normal
"If vaginal sweating has never been a problem for you until recently, this could indicate a change in your nervous system," says Cornforth. "Thyroid problems and the onset of menopause can both be triggers of excessive vaginal sweat as your body undergoes hormonal changes."
6You Sweat When It's Not Hot
It's normal to sweat all over when you're hot, but if you have excessive sweating when you're not warm, it can be a sign of a bigger issue. "You could have certain systemic diseases or it could be because of medication," says gynecologist Christine Greves, MD over email. If the sweating is also accompanied by other symptoms, it's definitely worth checking out for systemic disease.
7There's A Strong Smell
Excess sweating can cause a strong odor. "his occurs because of the different types of sweat glands in this area that produce thick, oily type of sweat," says Dr. Althea O'Shaughnessy, Vagisil's Intimate Health Gynecologist over email.
8Your Vulva Becomes Irritated
Irritation to the vulvar area can occur as a result of constant moisture, says O'Shaughnessy. This can cause friction and inflammation, and it can be painful. This can also lead to current vulvitis and or vaginitis — infections that can affect the vulva and vagina.