Much like how your feet cop a beating after a 10k run, and how your ta-tas get bounced around in Body Attack, workouts can be rough on your vagina and the surrounding areas. Most women have experienced discomfort down south after exercise at some point in their lives, but don’t know what to do about it, or are too embarrassed to ask for help. We’re not shy – so here are some of the common vajayjay issues that don’t get discussed in the change room.
1. Saddle soreness
Spin class – it's demanding and exhilarating and nothing works your legs quite like it. But it can be hell for your lady bits. Every woman knows this ache, caused by pressure from the outside of the bike saddle, which can cause soreness post-ride.
How to prevent it: Check your bike set up with the instructor. Improper seat and handlebar positioning can throw off your posture and cause ongoing pain. The pain should ease off as you become a cycle regular.
2. Post workout discomfort
Gym clothes are designed to hug the body so they don’t get in the way of your workout and are usually made from synthetic fabrics that soak up sweat and salt on your skin. This keeps you dry but can rub you the wrong way. Ouch.
How to soothe it: Use Canesten Cool Cream Gel externally on your lady bits, post-shower after your run or workout to soothe and calm any discomfort caused by tight clothing and sweat. And look for seam-free shorts and underwear to exercise in, which will minimise the risk of friction rub.
3. Bumps and ingrown hairs
The friction of a workout combined with tight clothing can irritate hair follicles and ingrown hairs downstairs. Annoying. If you have curly or naturally coarse hair you’re more prone to them, and sometimes even a little pimple can swell after a sweat sesh.
How to avoid them: Always shower after your workout, as sitting in damp and sweaty undies can exacerbate the problem. Make sure you gently exfoliate after hair removal and consider trimming instead of waxing if this is a recurrent problem.
4. Sweat and wetness
Let’s be real: we all get a little extra sweaty down there when working out, as every woman who has ever exercised in a pair of cheap see-through leggings knows. When your legs rub together during running or cycling you may find it to be extra sweaty down there, it’s normal but can feel embarrassing.
How to prevent it: Don’t be tempted to exercise with a panty liner on to mop up excess moisture, as this can increase the odds of vaginal odours, and trap moisture. Wear quality underwear and workout clothes and jump in the shower immediately post sweat session.