What To Do If You Get Sand In The Most Intimate Places At The Beach

Going on a tropical vacation or sunbathing on the beach are activities meant to be fun and enjoyable. Who doesn't want to relax as they lay out in the sun, showing off a new swimsuit? And while the beach does have its perk, beach time brings sand. And sand . . . isn't as fun — neither is shaving your bikini line, but that's another story. Not to quote Anakin Skywalker, but he did have a point when he said sand is "coarse and rough and irritating. And it gets everywhere." Plus, when you have a vagina, it can be even worse when there's the possibility of sand getting caught up in your most intimate area.


Even the most avid beach-goers can tell you that getting sand in your vagina isn't a common occurrence or even a big issue. Unless you're rolling around naked or really sitting in that sand (or partaking in some sultry activities on the beach), you're not really going to get sand in your intimate folds. But, the possibility is still there. So what do you do if you get sand in your bikini bottoms? And is it really harmful? It's really not as bad as you might think.

Sand can lead to infections in your vagina

Like you'd treat any foreign object that shouldn't be in your vagina, sand isn't pleasant when it accidentally gets in there. Worse, it can also bring a lot of germs that mess with your vagina's pH balance and can lead to UTIs or other infections. Health reported on a 2015 study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology that said sand found on the beach "can contain 100 times the levels of fecal bacteria as seawater." There are animals, bugs, people's feet, and a lot more poop than you probably thought out in the sand. So yeah, it makes sense that it's extremely dirty.


Basically, there are a lot of bacteria in the sand, which is why having sex on the beach is particularly risky. Similar to any caution against having sex in water, having sex on a beach and in the sand comes with some bacterial worries. "You've got to use common sense when it comes to where you have sex," Dr. Leah Millheiser, MD, Director of the Female Sexual Medicine Program at Stanford University told Health. "Bacteria and viruses are everywhere in our environment. That doesn't mean everyone who has sex at the pool or on the beach will get an infection, but it is possible to get infections from what's on the sand and in the water. Be smart."

Sand can really hurt you down there

Aside from the potential infections or UTIs you can get from sand in your vagina, the grainy texture can also hurt you. As mentioned, sand is rough and vaginas are really delicate when it comes to having harsh things down there. "Sand acts as an abrasive, so if you get it around the genitals, on the vulva, or even in the vagina, it can actually lead to irritation and chafing," Dr. Leah Millheiser explained to Health.


While exfoliation is great for your face and skin (if done gently), you don't want that to happen on your most sensitive parts. Gynecologist Dr. Ashley Bartolot told Scary Mommy that it can be very irritating if anything. With such sensitive skin and organs down there, you don't want to exfoliate that much. She also mentioned that sand can get inside, which is why she recommends gently scrubbing the sand off your body.

But it's not a big deal

Despite the health risks that could come with getting sand in your vagina, it's actually not a huge deal. Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, MD, a practicing OB/GYN and professor at Yale School of Medicine told Refinery29 that you'll be just fine when sand inevitably ends up in your intimate area. "I wouldn't be too worried about it, it's uncomfortable and irritating more than anything else," she said.


And while you should try to remove the sand in there for your own comfort, Karen Duncan, MD, OB/GYN, an assistant professor at New York University Langone Health expressed that the vagina is a "self-cleaning oven" that produces a lot of natural lubrication. Dr. Millheiser told Health that you don't have to go running out to get douches or special products. "Women's bodies are constantly producing vaginal lubricant, which cleans out the vagina — that sand will eventually make its way out," she said.

If you feel like your pH was messed up, Dr. Minkin suggested an over-the-counter drug like Rephresh Pro-B Probiotic. If you do have sex on the beach, make sure you pee afterward. That should be a good habit to adopt after any and all sex, but especially after sand might have gotten in. It washes away anything that might have gotten up in there. However, in the case of a UTI, or suspected UTI, or constant irritation that doesn't go away, you want to contact your doctor for proper treatment and medication.