Q&A: What Should I Do About Water Getting Into My Vagina?

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QUESTION: Hi. I have a problem with water getting into my vagina when I swim and bathe. I was wondering if there is such a thing as a vagina plug to help women prevent water from entering their vaginas. If not, that would be a great idea. I can't swim or take a bath without getting an infection.

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Bathtub

Photo: howzey

It would be very unusual for a woman to develop vaginal infections simply from exposure to water during swimming or bathing.

There is no real way to close off the vagina to the outside world. Although tampons can be inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood during a woman’s period, it would not adequately keep water out of the vagina during swimming or bathing. Nor would sex toys, such as dildos, or medical devices, such as vaginal dilators.

Consider Visiting  A Doctor

It would be very unusual for a woman to develop vaginal infections simply from exposure to water during swimming or bathing. If you have concerns about a vaginal infection, I would encourage you to check in with a healthcare provider who can examine you.

It’s also possible that you are experiencing a urinary tract infection rather than a vaginal infection. Although the urethral opening is near the vaginal opening, they are separate openings. Because they are so close, sometimes irritation of one feels like irritation of the other.

Be Careful With Soap

Also, because women’s genitals are sensitive, many healthcare providers recommend that women avoid using soap directly on their genitals. The vagina cleans itself through vaginal discharge.

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Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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