According to OBGYN Octavia Cannon, your choice of underwear can have a surprising impact on your health; fortunately, you can prevent your undies giving you grief by following some simple tips.
Get the right fit
It is tempting to hold on to your favourite underwear in the hopes of one day fitting into them properly, but ill-fitting underwear that digs in can heighten the risk of infections, friction and irritation.
Give the string a miss
Thongs and G-strings may look the part, but they can proliferate the spread of E coli and other bacteria between the vagina and anus. If you want to retain this underwear for the bedroom, try to minimise the time you wear them and take them off overnight.
Temperature and fabric
Bacteria and yeast breed and spread in moist, warm areas. Combat this by opting for breathable cotton over synthetics such as silk, with sites such as https://www.higgsandhiggs.com/fabrics/plain-cotton-fabric.html supplying cotton fabric online. It is also important to swap underwear and clothes after a workout, so hop in the shower, change into fresh underwear and put your kit in the washing machine when you get home. If showering and changing straight away is not possible, consider pantyliners, as these can be more easily replaced.
To wear or not to wear
Going commando during the day has the opposite effect to the one you may expect – there is nothing to absorb moisture, and harsh fabrics can irritate sensitive areas. It is therefore best to keep your undies on during the day, but take them off overnight to give your body a chance to breathe.
Dr Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecological expert, recommends that her patients sleep without underwear or opt for loose, light cotton underwear. Keeping them on can lead to potential health risks to male sperm and fertility, and to females in terms of chafing, irritation and infection.
Keep it clean and gentle
Scented detergents can cause irritation; therefore, it is a good idea to go for gentle, unscented solutions. Contact dermatitis can arise from certain cleaning chemicals, so check for products that claim to be kind to skin and hypoallergenic. Underwear should be washed after every wear; therefore, if you do not have ample pairs to see you through the week, now is the time to purchase a few more.