There’s nothing quite as relaxing than soaking in a Jacuzzi or spa tub when you’re feeling less-than-best. Especially when you’re dealing with bloating or cramping during your cycle or leading up to it. But, does bathing in these mean we are treading in (literal) dangerous waters?
We scoured the web for multiple references and even shockingly transparent testimonials about how taking a dip proved to be drastic down below. Here, we share some insights into what could happen and how to best prevent issues when taking the plunge.
First and foremost, it is important to note that bacteria grows faster in warm water. That said, hot tubs can be breeding grounds for bacterial growth and spreading. For this reason, hot tubs are chlorinated, however, if they aren't properly maintained, the chemicals won't kill off all the crawling critters that call the hot tub “home”. The heat alone is not strong enough to destroy them either.
If you’ve ever noticed any itching with bright red bumps when exiting after a escapade, it could very well be the soaking side effect that manifests as a skin infection from pseudomonas folliculitis. It usually clears up on its own in 10 days or less, but this is certainly a sign of exposure to an invasive and uninvited guest. This can be on your entire body but particularly in the crotch region as water pools there when you stay in your swim suit long after your wading.
While it is extremely rare, there are documented cases of women getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS) from previous occupants who had the life-threatening infection. If anyone who has this harmful bacteria soaks before you, they can enter your body through any open sores or cuts – not just your vagina. As this is mostly connected to tampon users, you can read more about What Toxic Shock is and How to Avoid It.
Now, you’re probably less inclined now to fully submerge your body and think “I’ll just dip my feet in.” While this can seem less risky, the truth is that there are still risks from sitting along the rim of the hot tub. Especially because your vagina is so closely resting near an area where hands and harmful bacteria rest – like herpes. Yes, herpes. While the risks are far less alarming than having unprotected sex, it is certainly a possibility that If someone with herpes recently sat on the edge and you take their place, you possibly could contract the virus, even through your swim wear.
So, how does one soak safely? Consider investing in either your own hot tub or frequenting a hot tub that is not used daily by large, varying groups of people. Think gyms, hotels, etc. The more the visitors, the higher the risk and likelihood of infection. After your dip, shower and cleanse thoroughly and change into dry clothing.