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PREVENT

Best summer tip for your lady bits

Summer means swimsuits, and with 10,000 lakes, there's no better place to take a refreshing dip than in Minnesota. Whether you're poolside, at the lake or at the beach, water can mean mayhem for our lady bits. 

Our bodies, and in this case, our vaginas, do a great job of balancing themselves out; however, when you're lounging in a wet swimsuit, that balance can go out of whack. Chemicals from a pool and bacteria from the ocean and lakes get absorbed into your swimsuit's fabric. This creates a damp, warm place for budding germs to turn into a urinary tract infection (UTI), a bacterial overgrowth in the vagina known as bacterial vaginosis, or a yeast infection. 

All of these infections are treatable, but best of all, easily preventable. How? After jumping out of the lake, change into dry clothes or a dry swimsuit quickly, and wash your swimwear when you get home. Some people are more prone to vaginal infections than others, so be particularly mindful if you: 

  • are pregnant
  • have diabetes or a weak immune system
  • take medications or antibiotics

Back from the beach and think you have a down-there issue?
If you're noticing changes in vaginal discharge or are itching, swelling or sore, you could have a yeast infection. Increased grayish discharge and/or a pungent, fishy odor may be signs of bacterial vaginosis. Some symptoms of a UTI are feeling like you have to pee frequently, and when you do, it burns or your urine appears cloudy.

Talk with your primary care provider or do an online visit if you're experiencing symptoms, and next time, pack a few extra suits in your beach bag.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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