My Sports Bra Gave Me a Yeast Infection

My Sports Bra Gave Me a Yeast InfectionYou’re getting dinner ready, or maybe you just got home from work or picking up the kids. You are just about to dive into that crazy evening routine of mealtime, bath time and bedtime, trying to get it all done by a decent hour so you can actually spend time with your spouse. By some miracle you have just enough time to get in a 30-minute workout at the gym, a yoga or zumba class, or maybe you’re ready to hit a trail for a quick run before the circus begins. Getting those 30 minutes to an hour to yourself each day is a big deal! But when you get home, you have to hit the floor running. You just got a workout in, and that’s a major victory. Who has time to shower afterward?

Not only is it not an indulgence to shower after a workout, it’s really necessary if you want to avoid a nasty yeast infection or even mastitis. The idea of contracting a yeast infection from your sports bra is something most women never even consider. If you are routinely active and wear a sports bra, you might want to take note.

Although some women experience thrush while nursing, many nursing and non-nursing women are shocked to learn that these types of infections can be fairly common as well as difficult to eliminate once they have started. It is important to get a diagnosis as soon as possible if you suspect yeast might be a culprit. Delaying treatment will only prolong the pain, especially when nursing.

Sports bras are warm and damp places, especially right after a great sweat session, and they can easily trap fungi, bacteria, and viral infections.  This can be especially problematic if you are also nursing. Think you might have an infection? Some symptoms include red and itchy skin, sudden breast pain, as well as a burning sensation. Sometimes you may even think your nursling is biting you because the pain is so intense.

Common treatment involves the use of a topical anti-fungal cream that is applied externally as well as an oral medication that can be taken by your baby if you are nursing. Some homeopathic remedies include cleansing the nipples and then air drying in sunlight to dry out the skin. If you are nursing, frequently change your nursing pads and wash all pumping parts in a bleach solution to avoid spreading the infection or making it worse.

The best method for protecting yourself against these types of yeast infections is to remove and wash your sports bra immediately after exercising. It is also important to only purchase sports bras that are made of a cotton or dryfit material that allows your skin to breathe. The longer you leave your sports bra on, the better chance that it becomes a breeding ground for infections, especially if you live in humid conditions where moisture can become trapped all day. Using baby powder in your bra, or a combination of witch hazel and baby powder can help reduce the odds of attracting an infection.

Lastly, make sure your skin is completely dry before you get dressed to tackle the kiddos for bedtime. Showering isn’t a luxury, even thought it may feel like one sometimes. It’s a necessity for good health!

Tessa Wesnitzer is personal trainer and active mom of two boys who loves helping other mamas meet their personal fitness goals during and after baby!

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