Sweaty Vagina: Why It Happens and What You Can Do

Medically reviewed by Elaine K. Luo, MD on January 16, 2018Written by Corinne O’Keefe Osborn on January 16, 2018

What causes this?

For many, sweat is an uncomfortable fact of life — especially when it happens in the land down under.

Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down. It’s normal to sweat whenever you’re hot. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out, sitting in a hot car, or just wearing too many layers.

Certain areas of your body, such as your armpits, are more prone to sweating than others. This is usually due to a high concentration of sweat glands and hair follicles in one place. The groin is an area of the body that behaves much like the armpits: it’s hairy, warm, and full of sweat glands and bacteria.

It’s true that some people sweat more than others, but no one should be forced to leave the gym wet and uncomfortable every day. Here are a few tips for keeping your vaginal area cool and dry.

1. Try sweat-wicking underwear

Moisture-wicking technology, which has been a staple of athletic wear for years, is now available in the place you may need it most — your underwear.

Sweat-wicking fabric pulls moisture away from the skin and out to the exterior of the fabric. This helps keep the fabric dry on the inside.

Some sweat-wicking underwear, like these smart panties from Knockout, contain odor-absorbing molecules that can help keep you smelling fresh all day.

Patagonia, a veteran of the athletic wear industry, also makes moisture-wicking bikini briefs with odor control technology.

For a more budget-friendly option, check out Hanes Comfort X-Temps. These soft and stretchy panties are said to act as your own personal thermostat.

2. Say ‘yes!’ to cotton

Synthetic materials like polyester don’t breathe as well as natural fabrics. Instead of allowing sweat to evaporate out, the material holds the sweat in and traps it against your skin.

Natural fabrics like cotton and linen allow sweat to evaporate like it’s supposed to. They’re basically organic sweat-wickers!

The downside? Cotton retains moisture longer than synthetic sweat-wicking fabrics. This means you’ll deal with a little bit of wetness before things dry out.

If you’re OK with that, check out this eight-pack of 100 percent cotton undies from Hanes.

The rule of cotton can also be applied to the rest of your wardrobe. If you struggle with vaginal sweat, consider cotton fabrics for workouts and bedtime. Check out these pure cotton yoga pants from In Touch and these soft and breathable plaid PJs from Just Love.

3. Opt for loose, flowing fabrics

You may love those skinny jeans, but are they loving you back? Probably not. Anything tight in the crotch area is going to raise the temperature down there.

When your skin rubs up against fabric, it causes friction, and friction builds heat. When that heat gets trapped under tight clothes, you’re going to get sweaty.

Loose, flowing pants — like these cotton joggers from Mossimo Supply Company — will prevent friction and allow air to flow through.

Need something for the workday? Not all joggers are for lounging. Check out these pleated crepe joggers from The Gap. Or try a pair of wide-leg palazzo pants, like these lightweight floral ones from Charlotte Russe.

4. Change your clothes after every sweat sesh

Yeast is a type of opportunistic fungus that thrives in warm, moist environments. Spending the day in wet underwear gives yeast the opportunity to grow out of control, leading to vaginal itching, burning, and other signs of yeast infection.

You can reduce your risk of yeast infection by changing out of sweaty clothes as soon as possible. Bring a change of clothes to the gym.

If your underwear is getting wet during an average day, carry an extra pair or two in your purse.

And if that doesn’t work? You may find that going commando lets your vagina breathe more than cotton underwear does!

5. Consider hair removal

Pubic hair serves a purpose. It reduces friction from tight clothing and works to wick sweat away from your skin.

Hair also traps bacteria against your skin. In the vaginal area, that is both a good thing and a bad thing. You need your good vaginal bacteria to prevent an overgrowth of yeast, but when bacteria mix with the sweat and oil on your pubic hair, it can produce a smell.

If you sweat a lot in the vaginal area, try going for a healthy medium. Gynecologists often recommend a nice trim.

Minimize your risk of cuts with a pair of dog grooming scissors, which feature a rounded safety tip. Or go for a specialized electric trimmer like this one from Phillips Norelco. If you have the money, waxing and laser treatments are also an option.

6. Don’t use deodorant

The area around your vaginal opening (vulva) is made of very delicate and sensitive tissue. Antiperspirants and deodorants may work for your pits, but they can do more than a little damage below the belt.

Instead of reaching for your usual stick or spray, try something made specifically for this area. Anthony No Sweat Body Defense is a popular option.

For most people, bathing 1­–2 times per day with soap and water is enough to wash away the sweat and oils that cause odor. Just be sure to use a gentle, moisturizing body wash, like this one from Cetaphil.

7. Look into sweat-wicking powders

Targeted powders — like Lush Silky Underwear dusting powder — are designed specifically for the vaginal area. This means they shouldn’t contain any talc. Talcum powder has been associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer.

You can also try a gentle, talc-free powder like this dusting powder from Burt’s Bees.

8. Or opt for tried-and-true baby powder

Any powders that are 100 percent cornstarch will help absorb moisture without increasing your risk of cancer. Johnson’s now has a pure cornstarch baby powder, but they still make the talc version, so be sure to check the ingredients.

To be safe, stick with this dusting powder from Burt’s Bees or Gold Bond’s Cornstarch Plus Baby Powder.

9. Skip the panty liner unless you’re spotting

If you have nothing to change into, panty liners and pads can provide a quick fix for wet underwear. But they can also make you sweat more. Most panty liners aren’t breathable and trap heat in your crotch area.

Stock up on these 100 percent cotton panty liners from Rael to help you out when you’re in a pinch. And if you want to upgrade your usual period protection, try a pair of breathable cotton period panties from Thinx.

10. Clean up with a feminine hygiene wipe

Moist toilet paper wipes are a convenient way to clean off sweat in the middle of the day.

If you want something that’s ready to go, check out these flushable Dude Wipes. They’re gentle and unscented.

Good Wipes are another great option. They’re PH-balanced and individually wrapped, so they’re perfect for sticking in your purse.

Avoid antibacterial wipes, which can kill your good vaginal bacteria.

The bottom line

Excessive vaginal sweating can usually be managed with a combination of home remedies and lifestyle changes. If these measures aren’t working, you could have a condition called hyperhidrosis. See your doctor if the sweating is persistent or you notice an unusual odor.Bottom of Form

CMS Id: 142171