It’s not unusual to experience some sweating between the legs, especially during exercise and hot weather. We have plenty of sweat glands located in our nether regions. Sweat stains on the crotch of your yoga pants, however, can be potentially embarrassing.

Sweating, or perspiring, helps our body cool itself off. The sweating process involves our metabolism, nervous system, hormones, blood flow, and even our emotions.

Sweat that accumulates on your thighs and pools between your legs could indicate a problem, especially if it interferes with your daily life. Here are some possible symptoms of excessive sweating:

  • itching
  • chaffing
  • irritation
  • pungent odor

The medical term for excessive sweating not caused by temperature or exercise is hyperhidrosis. But it can be hard to tell what’s considered a normal amount of sweat and what is considered excessive, especially if you’re too embarrassed to talk about it with others.

There are certain signs to watch for if you think you may be sweating too much between the legs. You can then make an appointment with a doctor to help pinpoint the cause of your excessive sweating and possibly even treat it.

The vaginal area contains the apocrine glands. Most women will experience some degree of vaginal sweating at some point in their life due to the presence of these glands. For some women, excessive sweating can indicate a problem.

The causes of sweating between the legs in women are varied, which is why you might need to schedule an appointment with a doctor for further evaluation.

Some reasons why a woman might have excessive sweating in the groin area and inner thighs include:

  • menopause, due to changing hormone levels
  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • diabetes; some people with diabetes have night sweats (nocturnal hyperhidrosis) caused by low blood sugar during the night
  • pregnancy, due to shifting hormones
  • hormone imbalances
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism); other symptoms include rapid weight loss, jitteriness, fatigue, and a fast heartbeat
  • medications, including some blood pressure medications, chemotherapy, hormone treatments, and certain antidepressants; medications that cause increased sweating are known as diaphoretics
  • anxiety disorders or stress
  • a family history of hyperhidrosis
  • obesity

Men generally sweat more than women, so what’s considered “excessive” for a woman may actually be the norm for men.

However, certain conditions can result in excessive sweating that interferes with everyday life. These include:

  • low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • diabetes
  • overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism); other symptoms include rapid weight loss, jitteriness, fatigue, and a fast heartbeat
  • certain medications (diaphoretics)
  • hormone imbalance
  • anxiety disorders or stress
  • obesity
  • family history of hyperhidrosis

Excessive sweating in the groin area can be managed with a combination of lifestyle changes and medical treatments.

Males

Things you can try at home:

  • Wear underwear made of natural materials, such as cotton, or moisture-wicking fabrics.
  • Wear loose-fitting boxers.
  • Shower twice daily.
  • Use antiperspirant (not deodorant) between the legs.
  • Apply cornstarchto help control moisture and odor.
  • Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Try relaxation strategies, like yoga or meditation, to reduce stress levels.
  • If you’re obese, exercise to lose some weight.

Depending on the cause, a doctor may also recommend medical treatments for treating excessive sweating, including:

  • nerve-blocking medications
  • prescription antiperspirant containing aluminum chloride
  • Botox injections to block the nerves that stimulate your sweat glands
  • anticholinergic drugs such as glycopyrrolate (Robinul)
  • tricyclic antidepressants

Since a sweaty groin is prone to fungal infections (called jock itch), ask your doctor for a prescription anti-fungal powder to reduce your risk of infections.

Females

Things to try at home for reducing sweat in the groin area include:

  • Avoid tight-fitting synthetic underwear, pantyhose, tights, and yoga pants.
  • Wear underwear made from materials that breathe, like cotton or moisture-wicking fabrics.
  • Use cornstarch to help control moisture and odor.
  • Bathe twice daily.
  • Trim back the pubic hair.
  • Use an antiperspirant on the thighs between the legs, but avoid sensitive skin on the vulva and mucous membranes.
  • Reduce stress with yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation.
  • Avoid spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • If you’re obese, exercise to lose some weight.

Medical options for excessive sweating include:

It’s important to seek medical diagnosis, because other disease processes must be ruled out. If you’re a woman, you may want to seek medical attention for sweating in the groin area and inner thighs if you:

  • get repeated yeast infections
  • have repeated cases of bacterial vaginosis
  • notice a strong vaginal odor (fishy, yeast, or musty smell) and thick discharge
  • see sweating causing inflammation, swelling, and pain in the vulva
  • have sweating that suddenly increases
  • think you sweat excessively in other parts of the body
  • have sweating alongside other symptoms
  • experience emotional issues, like anxiety in social settings, because of your sweating

Men naturally tend to sweat more than women, but there are still a few signs that the sweating could be a cause for concern. If you’re a man, you may want to see a doctor for sweating if you:

  • have a flaky and scaly rash on the genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks
  • feel a burning sensation around your scrotum and penis
  • have testicles that are excessively itchy
  • sweat excessively in other parts of the body
  • have sweating alongside other symptoms
  • have sweating that increases suddenly
  • notice a change in body odor
  • are experiencing emotional issues, like anxiety in social settings, because of your sweating

Most people sweat between the legs when they’re exercising or on a hot day. For some, the moist, sticky feeling in the groin persists all day long. Extra showers, careful drying, and natural fabrics in underclothes are only some of the ways to deal with this.

If the recommended treatments don’t work, it’s time to get help. Many people, however, don’t seek medical treatment for excessive sweating between the legs because they’d rather not talk about it.

If sweating interferes with your daily life, including work or your relationship, see a doctor. During your appointment, make sure to let the doctor know if you’re having any other unusual symptoms along with sweating.