Should I Avoid Hot Tubs, Saunas, and Pools with Vaginal Thrush?

Vaginal thrush is a fungal infection more commonly known as a yeast infection. Though fungi, bacteria, and other germs are normal on the female body, when triggered by perfect environmental conditions, they can cause various medical conditions, including vaginal thrush, which causes soreness and discomfort, making some of your favorite activities a drag.

For instance, enjoying a relaxing hot tub, sauna, or swimming pool with an active infection may create the fungi’s perfect petri dish.

Having vaginal thrush, also known as a yeast infection, is not pleasant. Females experience terrible symptoms of vaginal thrush due to the overgrowth of Candida albicans, a fungus. The condition is very common for women, especially for specific populations, and it tends to thrive in warm, moist environments.

Vaginal thrush – when going to a SPA:

If you are a woman who enjoys the warm temps of a hot tub or sauna, you might be wondering if you can still spend time basking in these communal baths when you have vaginal thrush.

The short answer is no. It's best to avoid spending time in hot tubs, pools, or saunas with an active yeast infection. Though the odds that you could infect someone else are low, these wet and steamy locations aren't going to help your bout with vaginal thrush.

Let's take a deeper look into why these pose potential problems.

Effects of saunas and hot tubs

Hot tubs and saunas are perfect places for pesky yeast infections to wreak havoc. This is because these hot, damp environments create the ideal breeding grounds for fungi to reproduce and multiply.

However, there is little chance that vaginal thrush would be transmitted in a hot tub or water. Therefore, it's unlikely that simply visiting a hot tub would cause a yeast infection. The Candida albicans fungus is opportunistic and usually lives on the human body without causing problems. In other words, if there is an open gate for it to spread or become activated, it will take advantage of the situation.

However, if you have a patch of itchy or broken skin, the hot temperatures from jumping into a hot tub or sauna, could cause that infection to intensify — but it wouldn't cause an outbreak.

Swimming in cold water pools

Getting into a nice cold pool on a hot summer day is so refreshing. Usually, if you have vaginal thrush and want to jump into the pool, it is not a huge deal. However, you want to keep some things in mind before you go in for a dip:

  1. Ensure that the pool water has been properly treated to maintain sanitary conditions.
  2. Once you have finished swimming, remove your swimsuit immediately.
  3. Avoid sunbathing in a wet suit.
  4. Do not sit in a wet suit, especially in the sun, for long periods.
  5. Dry off and put on cotton underwear that will help things down there breathe easier and dry off.

Not only does the fungus that causes vaginal thrush-like to grow in warm environments it also thrives in wet environments. So getting out of your wet clothes and avoiding the temptation to bathe in the sun (remember, the fungus thrives in damp and warm environments) is going to be the best thing you can do if you want to go swimming while you have vaginal thrush.

Risks & benefits of visiting the SPA

Most medical conditions carry risks and benefits to consider before participating in your favorite activities. Therefore, enjoying the pool, sauna, or hot tub with vaginal thrush is no exception.

Water activities with vaginal thrush – risks:

While you can't transmit vaginal thrush through the water, you can worsen things. There is always the potential to aggravate the infection and cause your symptoms to intensify.

Sometimes you think you have cleared an infection, only to realize the infection hadn't completely gone away and the fungus returned because of the perfect conditions provided by the pool or sauna.

Can water help with vaginal thrush?

Often the warm water of a hot tub, or sometimes even the cool pool water, can help to soothe symptoms like intense itching and burning.

Also worthy of consideration is the emotional toll vaginal thrush can have on a woman. So if you've had a long, hard day and need a little "me time" to unwind, taking a dip in the pool or hot tub or basking in a hot sauna may be what you need to find your emotional balance. However, when all is right in the world, remember what we discussed above — you don't want these relaxing activities to worsen things.

What does research tell us?

Unfortunately, there isn't much research on the effects of enjoying a hot tub, sauna, or pool with vaginal thrush. What research has shown us is that vaginal thrush is the result of an imbalance in our bodies where Candida albicans lives harmlessly until changes in their environment allow them to thrive and multiply.

We also know that certain situations or risk factors make some women more susceptible to developing this condition. These risk factors include antibiotic usage, contraceptive use, immunity status, and diabetes. These will all put you at greater risk of contracting or exacerbating an infection.

There is much conflicting information creating confusion regarding whether it is ok to enjoy a hot tub, sauna, or swimming pool with vaginal thrush. The main thing to remember is that this fungus thrives in warm and wet environments, and there are measures that women can take to prevent or decrease the likelihood of this condition running rampant.

Key takeaways:
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