Vaginal sweat and how to control it
Sweaty pits, sweaty back, sweaty forehead—you’ve probably experienced all of these after a great workout or a day out in the sun. While sweating in general is less than glamorous, it’s normal. But to be sweaty—down there? Is that normal, too?
Yep, it is.
But it’s definitely uncomfortable and can be embarrassing. While we have towels for our face and deodorant for our pits, is there anything to be done about sweaty underwear? Yes!
Is It Normal For Your Vagina To Be Sweaty?
First of all, we need to be clear: your vagina is internal and does not have sweat glands. So do vaginas sweat? Nope! It’s actually your vulva that is sweating! Basically, wherever you have hair, you’ll sweat. And that sweat is important—believe it or not. Sweat is your body’s first wave of defense when you need to cool down and clear out bacteria.
So, while you might hate dealing with sweaty underwear--not to mention painful sweat rash on your vulva--remember to be grateful that your body is doing its job keeping you free from bacteria.
Now that you said thank you—let’s figure out what else we can do about it.
Our Tips On How To Control Vaginal Sweat
There are a lot of things you can do to keep your underwear dry or at least drier.
Sweat-wicking underwear. Here at Proof, we believe in getting the right underwear for the job. If you’re struggling with a really sweaty groin, sweat-wicking underwear might be just what you’re looking for. It helps pull the moisture away from your skin and onto the edges of the fabric, so you and the underwear stay dry. Bonus: it also helps keep you smelling fresh.
Cotton. Look for underwear made of 100% cotton. The natural fibers in cotton help sweat evaporate quickly. It’s not as fast drying as sweat-wicking underwear, so you’ll deal with wetness for a bit before it dries, but it’s better than a polyester that doesn’t breathe and holds the wet in. Ugh.
Also—if you find your vagina is sweating at night, try taking a bath, then putting on clean, cotton underwear right before going to bed. There’s also a lot to be said for a light cotton nightgown to allow your skin a chance to breathe.
Loose fabric. If you love showing off your legs with a pair of skinny jeans or leggings, it might just be biting you in the bum when you’re trying to stay dry. Choose loose, flowy fabrics that allow your thighs to breathe. While skirts are a great option when you’re out and about, there are also plenty of gorgeous, loose pants if that’s more your style.
- Change your clothes after a workout. As soon as you can change your clothes after a workout, do it! Change your underwear and your clothes, if possible. Wet underwear is, unfortunately, a favorite place for yeast and bacteria and can give you an infection.
If you find you’re sweating a lot during the day, carry a pair of cotton or sweat-wicking undies in your purse to change throughout the day.
What If My Vagina Smells Like Sweat?
Sweat is often accompanied by an odor. If you feel like you can smell yourself all day, there are things you can do to help.
Shave or wax. Your pubic hair is there for a reason; it helps reduce friction and helps wick sweat away from your skin. But if you’re sweating so much that it doesn’t make much of a difference, then you might consider removing some of it. Hair traps bacteria and can make you smelly (the worst!).
You don't need to jump right into a full Brazilian wax, though. Take it easy with a good trim or wax around the edges.
Say no to deodorant. If your vagina smells like sweat, it’s natural to want to do something about it. The tissues around your vaginal opening are the most delicate on your body. If you try to use deodorant or antiperspirant down there, you’re likely to end up with a horrible rash and damage to your delicate skin.
To help with odor, bathe once or twice a day with a gentle, unscented, moisturizing body wash.
Choose the right female hygiene products. If you’re on your period, using a pad can increase the sweat and smell. There are 100% cotton panty liners if that is your thing, but proof® has period underwear that are also sweat-wicking—double duty!
- Clean often. Even beyond a shower a day, having feminine hygiene wipes can also help. You can use them to clean sweat and help with odor any time you want. Just be careful—antibacterial wipes can kill you good vaginal bacteria, which brings on a whole new host of problems.
Excessive Vaginal Sweating
If you’re experiencing excessive vaginal sweating—like you need to change your undies 5 times a day to stay dry—it’s probably time to visit your OBGYN or a dermatologist. For people who sweat so much it’s hard to function, you might have hyperhidrosis. Most dermatologists agree that if you’re sweating through your clothes even though it’s not hot or you haven’t been working out, it’s a good time to make an appointment.
The most important thing to remember about vaginal sweating is that it is normal. You are not alone, and you’re not disgusting! It’s just your body’s way to help keep bacteria and yeast out of your body. But if it’s making it difficult for you to enjoy life, take control and do what you need to do to have a fantastic, dry day. You’ve got this.