Can wearing a wet bathing suit cause a yeast infection? The answer, it turns out, isn’t so clear cut.
Vaginal yeast infections are fungal infections that most women will experience at some point in their lifetime. Though uncomfortable, they’re not dangerous. All vaginas have some yeast in them; infections happen when this naturally occurring yeast grows out of control. This can happen either when the bacteria in the vagina that usually control yeast populations fail to do so, or when an external, aggressive strain of yeast colonizes the vagina, said Dr. Jen Gunter, a San Francisco-area OB-GYN.
But can a wet bathing suit trigger either of those things?
Dr. Yvonne Butler Tobah, an OB-GYN at the Mayo Clinic, said that wearing a wet bathing suit for an extended period of time may increase a woman’s risk of a yeast infection, though it isn’t a direct cause. “If the question is, ‘Will a wet bathing suit cause a yeast infection?’ the answer is ‘no,'” Butler Tobah told Live Science. “But it can increase the risk, depending on how long you’re sitting in it.”