Summer is here and it brought the heat with it. With a hot environment comes fun in the sun, bronze tans and summer activities. However, it does bring the need to use proper precautions as well. Proper SPF coverage to protect from harmful UV rays and hydration are necessary to keep in top shape as well.
The importance of hydration
During the hotter months, we lose more water. It makes up more than 60% of our body mass and helps our bodies carry out its functions. In addition, it gives your skin a dewy glow and keeps the body properly flushed of toxins.
Did you know that dehydration can take a big toll on our vaginal health as well?
If you’re not drinking enough water, your skin is prone to dryness- this doesn’t exclude your vaginal skin. However, whatever’s going on the outside of your body is a direct reflection of the inside of your body. If your vaginal skin is dry, then it’s likely that the inside is too. Other than itching and being dried out, it can lead to or exaggerate yeast infections.
The vagina is a delicate ecosystem and if something as serious as dehydration throws it off, the PH balance can be thrown off and a domino effect of complications can be set into motion.
The complications include bacterial vaginosis, an increase in contracting STIs and post-hysterectomy infection.
How much water does a woman need to drink?
On average, a woman needs to drink about 2.75 Liters of water throughout her day. The amount may increase depending on her level of activity and personal needs.
How do I know if I’m dehydrated?
Ideally, you should be drinking enough water throughout the day and not show signs of dehydration- by the time that you show signs such as thirst, your body has been in need of hydration for too long. However, nobody’s perfect and sometimes we need a reminder.
Here are 5 signs that you’re dehydrated:
1. Your pee is yellow- the more dehydrated you are, the more yellow it is. So, if you go to the bathroom and find a bright yellow hue- reach for a glass of water and drink up.
2. You feel tired- If you don’t have health conditions that could be causing this, unexplained fatigue could be tied to not filling up your cup enough throughout the day.
3. You have bad breath- your body is a self-cleaning machine and when you don’t have enough water in your system, your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva to clean itself therefore leaving you with a not so pleasant odor.
4. You’re hungry too often- when you’re not getting enough water in your system, your body can be sending you signals that you may be misreading as hunger. Both hunger and thirst are regulated by the same parts of the brain, the hypothalamus, and the signals feel similar. So, before you prepare to grab a snack, drink some water and wait 15-20 minutes to see if the signal you interpreted was indeed thirst.
5. Your skin is dry and flaky- When there’s not enough water in your body, your skin will sacrifice its own hydration to support the rest of the organs in your body. The next time you notice your skin is dry, in addition to lathering up, drink up!
If you have any questions regarding your vaginal health, schedule an appointment with us today by calling South Bay OB/GYN at (631) 587-2500.