Are Shorts Messing With Your Vulva?

You could be ruining your health while you're covering your butt.

If you've ever worn a pair of fitted shorts without a lot of give, you know that sitting can put pressure on your crotch. This can impair circulation, pinch nerves, lead to chaffing, and leave you with an awkward frontal wedgie made even worse by walking or biking.

Some tight-shorts lovers barely notice this (or they do feel discomfort, but just suck it up). But others suffer from pain, burning, irritation, and even bruising around the vulva (the outer area of the vagina), with symptoms that can last for days.

It's extremely unlikely for tight shorts to cause permanent damage or interfere with your sexual functioning, but they can trigger yeast infections. If you're genetically prone to vulvodynia (i.e., persistent vulvar pain), wearing super-tight bottoms on the regular could eventually cause a flare-up.

Otherwise, there are some stupid-simple ways to prevent vulvar pain in the first place, Dr. Harris says. First of all, buy shorts that fit, and make sure tight bottoms (i.e., your Daisy Dukes) have a little bit of give. (Just feel out the fabric, or look for Lycra or Spandex on the label.)

When you do wear fitted bottoms, wear cotton underwear underneath - it'll provide a barrier between your crotch and any uncomfortable pant seams. You'll also want to avoid activities like biking that put extra pressure on your crotch, particularly after shaving the area, which can lead to additional irritation. If you feel any sort of discomfort while you wear a particular piece, take it off ASAP - easy! Then consider wearing looser bottoms for a few days.

If these first lines of defense fail (or if your jeans shorts are a staple that you're not willing to part with), try a painkiller like Advil, a warm bath, a cold compress (it's great for itching), or apply a gentle, unscented moisturizer for relief, Dr. Harris suggests. And as always, also avoid douching, using vaginal wipes, deodorants, scented bubble bath, or scented tampons or pads - all of them can irritate the area (and some may increase your exposure to dangerous chemicals, according to recent research). If your pain persists for more than a few days, you should definitely see your doctor, sans tight shorts, if you're expecting any sympathy.

By Elizabeth Narins

See the full story on Cosmopolitan.com

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

What do you think?

Life
Share
How This Woman Sculpted Her Saggy Work Butt Into an Ass of Steel
With insane abs, to boot!
Life
Share
18 Things Your Nose Shape Says About You
Who knew your nose had so much to say?
Life
Share
This is How You Tattoo a Penis
It involves a spoon and might make you feel uncomfortable
Life
Share
10 Things to Remember So You Don't Mess Up Your Party
Party season is upon us. Here's how to deal.
Life
Share
This is Why Sleeping in Your Underwear isn't Bad for Your Vagina
You do you, girl
Life
Share
This Grandma's Make-up Tutorials are the Best Thing You Will Watch All Week
Grandma Lill we heart you.
Life
Share
11 Easy But Healthy Food Swaps to Make This Winter
Indulging doesn't have to leave you feeling bloated and sluggish
Life
Share
10 Foods You Should NEVER Eat in The Morning
If hunger strikes way before lunchtime, blame it on your breakfast.
Life
Share
These 3 Sneaky Foods Are the Secret to Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals
Count on Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien to find the cleverest ways to cut calories.
Life
Share
Eat These Protein-Rich Foods to Lose Weight FAST
You keep being told to eat more of it...here's how.