Women who exercise need to be aware of health issues relating to hygiene

Nearly 80 percent of women exercise on a regular basis, yet as much as one-third of these women mistakenly wear their sweat-soaked clothes for as long as an hour following a workout, according to a new survey by Harris Interactive for the Vagisil Women's Health Center(R) (VWHC).

"Not only does that sound unseemly, but it may also create a potentially serious situation that can lead to vaginal irritation, itch and infection," says Mari Winsor, celebrity Pilates trainer and feminine fitness consultant to the VWHC. "Every day I work out with women and watch them walk out of the studio without a stop at the locker room. Even if they are only in the car for 15 minutes, for me that is still 15 minutes too long when it comes to proper feminine hygiene." Avid runner and board-certified gynecologist in Providence, Rhode Island, Adelaide Nardone, M.D., says that wearing the appropriate attire when working out is crucial to a woman's feminine health.

According to the VWHC survey, 56 percent of women are not wearing the right attire when working out. "Appropriate workout attire, along with physical activity and proper hygiene, all play a big part in creating that healthy lifestyle that women nowadays are looking for," says Dr. Nardone. Winsor and Dr. Nardone have developed some tips to get healthy and stay "feminine fit": --

Exercise steps to prevent excess perspiration: Eighty-one percent of women do not know that the armpit is not the part of the woman's body with the most sweat glands, (the vulvar area actually has more sweat glands).

Only 14 percent of women take steps to prevent excess moisture or perspiration. Sprinkle a cornstarch-based powder, such as Vagisil(R) Deodorant Powder, onto panties or panty-liners on a regular basis, especially during a workout to help absorb excess moisture and odor.

  • Gear up: When working out, don't wear tight clothes or clothing that traps moisture, such as spandex, jeans or wind pants/shorts. Wearing tight pants or underwear can restrict ventilation and lead to vaginal infection, a fact that one-quarter of women surveyed don't realize. Dr. Nardone says be careful when wearing thongs as they may irritate delicate skin of the vulva and transfer bacteria to the vaginal area.
  • Don't overlook good hygiene:

Sixty-eight percent of women are unaware of the connection between physical activity and its effect on vaginal health. With the excess perspiration and moisture generated from a workout routine, women should cleanse the vaginal area immediately, either with a shower, or, more conveniently, with Vagisil(TM) Foaming Wash, a soap-free, easy-to-use feminine wash that requires no rinsing with water. For more information about the Vagisil brand of feminine products, visit the Vagisil Women's Health Center(R) at http://www.vagisil.com.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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