The type of underwear you wear daily says a lot about you. Boy shorts say you’re carefree and easy-going, while thongs scream adventure and confidence. If you’re a granny panty kinda gyal, you value comfort over sex appeal but G-strings say you’re always down for a good time.
Some women wear thongs to avoid panty lines while others wear high wasted panties to not show their butt cracks when they stoop or to smooth to things out under their clothing.
But have you ever wondered if there was a “right” kind of underwear? You know the kind that protects your coochie from infections.
Sure, the blogs and your grandmother may have told you white cotton underwear is the best way to go, but does the kind of underwear you wear even matter? Let’s find out.
Wearing White Cotton Underwear Won’t Prevent Yeast Infections
Aside from wanting to be “modest”, one of the main arguments for advising white cotton underwear is to prevent yeast infection .
Yeast infections aren’t caused by wearing lace panties or sexy boy shorts. They’re caused by an overgrowth of yeast caused by changes in the vagina’s pH. Underwear cannot change the vagina’s pH because it goes over the vulva, and not inside of the vagina.
The reasoning behind wearing white cotton underwear is that cotton is breathable, and this ensures moisture doesn’t get trapped which could encourage the overgrowth of bacteria or yeast on the skin. White cotton underwear is also typically free from dyes, roomier, and won’t cause as much friction.
When friction and excess moisture combine, the yeast on the skin can cause an infection if there is microtrauma. White cotton isn’t the only underwear that can prevent this. Plus, you can still get a yeast infection if you wear them religiously.
Lace isn’t bad, as long as it fits right
Lace underwear is known to be sexy, and maybe that’s why so many people think it’s bad for the vagina.
But as long as it fits properly, meaning you won’t have to constantly readjust your underwear to prevent it from digging into your groin or butt, then you should be good to go.
If you can bend and stretch in your lace underwear, then it’s fine. It shouldn’t be tight or uncomfortable to wear all day. If it is, you’ll have ingrowns to tend with along with possible irritation.
Your lace undies should preferably have a cotton crotch since lace doesn’t dry out as easy. You can also wear pantyliners to your romantic romp and take them off before you get into bed. This way you can reduce the friction and keep your lace panties dry.
Thongs aren’t that bad either.
Thongs won’t give you a yeast infection, but if they are too tight, they can create friction and cause microtrauma to the vulva.
Thongs can sometimes cause rashes when the material moves from your anus to your vaginal entrance as you move since it can transfer colonic bacteria. If you are prone to UTIs, then this can be a problem for you.
You can ditch the cotton when exercising.
When working out or training, cotton underwear might not be the best thing since it will feel wet and uncomfortable afterward as cotton doesn’t dry fast enough. This is a bigger problem when your gym shorts or pants are close-fitting and the material isn’t breathable since this can create a warm, moist environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive in.
Instead, try performance underwear. These are specially designed to wick away all the excess sweat you produce during training or exercise.
Performance underwear comes in different styles and colors too like regular underwear, so it won’t feel weird or uncomfortable. They’re normally stretchy and smooth, so they won’t leave you with panty lines or chaffing, and you won’t be able to tell the difference!
Dry yourself off properly after swimming
Remember that yeast loves wet environments right? So shouldn’t you worry about how swimming can affect your vagina?
Well, it depends.
If you’re on the beach and you go for a swim, then lounge on the sand for a couple of hours, you’re not going to be attacked by yeast and bad bacteria instantly since swimsuits dry pretty quickly.
But, say you’re by the pool and you get a call that forces you to leave quickly, so you pull your clothes over your bathing suit and rush out. You’re in traffic, busy or simply forget about this wet bathing suit and the fungus and bacteria can have their time to shine. Then sure, you can get an infection.
But that’s very unlikely because no adult in their right mind would sit in a wet bathing suit for hours. For starters, the clothes would get too wet, it would feel icky and you may start to itch.
So if you actually do get a yeast infection this way, you’re the one to blame.
Latex is great for the bedroom, bad for everyday wear
If you’re into costumes and roleplay in the bedroom, more power to you. But do your vag a favor and keep it that way.
The thing about latex is that it traps moisture. In fact, latex is waterproof. It’s the same thing that makes condoms, and if it doesn’t allow seminal fluid to escape, it’s not going to let your vaginal fluids escape either. So, it will just sit there stewing until you change your underwear.
Since it’s not breathable either, it heats up pretty quickly down there, adding to this recipe for disaster.
Some latex underwear is also straight-up uncomfortable to wear and can cause chaffing and microtrauma. So do yourself and skip latex underwear for daily wear, even if it’s laundry day.
It doesn’t matter if you sleep in underwear or go nude.
Many women will tell you that they sleep without underwear so that they can allow their vagina to breathe, but a vagina doesn’t require oxygen. It won’t suffocate and die.
One of the main reasons you should consider going commando at night is to give your skin a break from the chemicals in pantyliners or undergarments that can irritate the vulvar skin.This will help if you do develop a yeast infection or have reoccurring yeast infections since, while the inside of your vagina may heal, the yeast can affect your skin and cause irritation.
It all depends on what you’re comfortable with. If that’s not your thing, you’ll be fine in your breathable underwear and sweat pants.
You don’t need to sterilize underwear.
Many women are under the impression that they need to sterilize their underwear. But look at it this way, no matter how clean you try to make them, as soon as you pee or poop, some of that bacteria get transferred to the underwear, no matter how much you wipe. Bacteria also gets transferred from your underwear to your vulva as soon as you put them on from things like your panty drawer, your hands, your leg as you pull them up. Face it, germs and bacteria are everywhere and there’s nothing you can really do to sterilize your underwear.
Plus, the way you wash your underwear can cause irritation. Many cheap laundry detergents can cause skin irritation, and the vulva is no exception. Even the higher-end detergents and fabric softeners contain perfumes and fragrances which can have a bigger impact on your naturally sensitive vulvar skin than anywhere on the body.
To overcome this, we suggest fragrance-free detergents, the kind that babies use. You can also lose the fabric softeners and dryer sheets if you suspect they may be causing an issue.
Change underwear daily, and replace yearly or more often if necessary.
If you have recurring yeast infections or bacteria vaginosis, it’s a good idea to change your underwear at least daily. Even if you don’t, still do it. It’s basic hygiene.
Not changing your underwear leads to a buildup of germs, dead skin, and discharge which can cause skin irritation and leave you smelling like a fish market. As it relates to yeast infections, wearing clean underwear can prevent the spread of yeast to the skin and helps to keep things dry.
Over time, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms will begin to accumulate on your underwear and simple laundry detergent isn’t enough to get rid of them. That’s why many gynecologists recommend that women should get new underwear every six months to a year. This can help to prevent vaginal infections and UTIs.
Another reason you should get new underwear every year is because vaginal discharge can ruin underwear after some time. This happens because the vagina is naturally acidic, and so is your discharge which can cause bleach-like spots to appear. Discharge, along with a build-up of urine and microscopic fecal matter can also permanently stain the crotch of your underwear and you won’t be able to get rid of the smell with a fragrance-free detergent.
I still have an issue
If you still have an issue after bearing all the aforementioned in mind, then you need to see your gynecologist to discover the root of the problem. Your problem may not even be a yeast infection, but other vaginal or skin issues such as lichen sclerosus or atopic dermatitis .