Types of Bacterial Infections: Summer Health Tips for Women
July in Florida means a lot of things: swarms of tourists, afternoon storms and heavy humidity that ruins all hairstyles. However, the sunshine, heat, and humidity also bring along a wealth of health hazards which include types of bacterial infections. While you probably take steps to protect your skin health, are you looking out for your gynecological health, too?
Florida weather can increase your risk for women’s health conditions such as:
Hot temperatures and tight shorts can leave your vagina prone to types of bacterial infections. This damp, warm environment is perfectly suited for bacteria to grow and thrive, increasing your risk for bacterial vaginosis or vaginitis.
To help protect against bacterial infection, wear loosely fitted clothing made of natural, breathable materials like cotton or linen. During hot, humid nights, you may also consider sleeping without underwear.
Whether you are in an air-conditioned office or out on the beach, you should also get up and move around frequently. Sitting too long can contribute to too-warm temperatures in your vagina.
The hot Florida weather also increases your risk for yeast infections. You can reduce your risk for these itchy, uncomfortable infections with similar strategies to bacterial vaginosis: wear loose cotton clothing and move frequently.
It’s also important that you avoid douching products. Though you may not feel very fresh down there during the summer, douching products can get rid of the bacteria you need, throwing your vagina’s pH levels out of balance. When your pH is out of whack, it can encourage yeast to grow and thrive.
If you feel like you need to freshen up between showers, carry gentle, unscented feminine wipes with you. Only use these wipes the same way you would use toilet paper: wipe from front to back with a gentle motion.
Urinary Tract Infections
One of the top causes of urinary tract infections (UTI) is dehydration. It can happen fast in Florida summers. Without enough fluid intake, bacteria that you would normally get rid of when you use the bathroom ends up staying in your urinary tract, multiplying, and causing bacterial infections.
To lower your risk for a UTI, be sure to drink plenty of water all day long. You will know you are getting enough fluids if your urine is a pale yellow or clear whenever you use the bathroom.
Many women make extra grooming efforts before putting on a bikini in the summer. However, if you shave immediately before heading to the pool or into the ocean, you may be increasing your risk for a skin infection. Right after you shave or wax, your skin is sensitive and your follicles are wide open. This makes it easier for bacteria and other germs to irritate your skin.
Instead, take care of any grooming 24 to 48 hours before you plan to go swimming. Keep the area moisturized to help skin heal quickly.
Want more advice about great summer health? Click here to reach out to an OB/GYN at Women’s Care to make sure you’re in tip-top shape for summer.