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Victoria's Secret?

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Psst. Want to hear a little secret? Going commando might be a good thing for your nether regions.

In these strange social distancing times, many of our regular routines and habits have fallen by the wayside or at least been subject to more scrutiny. Do I have to put on makeup every morning? Do breasts need to be confined to a bra all day long? Are panties really necessary?

There is no real scientific evidence as to why women should wear underwear. The wearing of undergarments is viewed as a societal norm more than anything else and can also be related to cultural ideas of hygiene and cleanliness. It’s a highly subjective matter. So donning those bikini briefs, boy shorts or thongs really comes down to a matter of preference.

That being said, there are a few reasons why you might consider foregoing underwear:

You may reduce your risk of developing a yeast infection or UTI. Panties can trap excess moisture and microbes. This creates the ideal environment for candida, a fungus that causes yeast infections, to thrive. There are only a few inches of space between the openings of the urethra, the vagina and the rectum. Tight underwear can facilitate the transfer of bacteria from the anus to the vaginal area thereby causing infection.

Less irritation and chafing, especially for perimenopausal or menopausal women. As estrogen levels begin to drop with the onset of menopause, women may find the tissues of the vulva becoming thinner and drier. The constant friction and rubbing from tight or ill-fitting underwear, especially if they are made from artificial fabrics, can irritate this delicate and sensitive area.

A chance for your vagina to “breathe.” Skipping the skivvies at bedtime could be a helpful practice, especially if you wear underwear during the day. Airing out your lady parts can help relieve dampness by releasing excess heat and moisture. This can be especially important for women who are prone to vaginal issues. You may also experience less vaginal discharge when the vagina is properly ventilated. While some discharge is normal, excessive moisture combined with stress or antibiotic use can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and cause symptoms.

More comfortable workouts. Imagine not having to stop in the middle of a run or an exercise class to pick out a wedgie. Or transitioning into downward dog without a visible panty line underneath your yoga pants. Not having an extra layer of fabric between you and your leggings may give you more flexibility and mobility..

If you do decide to keep your lingerie in your drawers, there are a few important guidelines to keep in mind. Take your clothing into consideration. Going sans underwear works best when wearing loose, breathable bottoms or dresses and skirts made of natural materials. Wearing skin-tight jeans or leggings may defeat the purpose of allowing your private parts to breathe. You may even encounter more discomfort if your vulva repeatedly rubs against tough fabric like denim without the protection of underwear. And if you wax or shave down there, you may want to opt for relaxed-fitting clothes. The delicate skin of the vulva will be more prone to irritation since pubic hair acts as a natural protective barrier.

Pay special attention to the material and construction of your workout pants. Look for pants made with firm higher quality material, smooth seams and moisture wicking fabrics. These garments won’t bunch up and move around on your body too much and will help crotch sweat evaporate.

Lastly, change out of your wet pants as soon as you can and wash yourself off if possible. Going underwear-free and taking regular showers should go hand in hand.

At the end of the day, the choice to wear underwear is a highly personal decision. At Lotus Integrative Health & Nursing, we’d encourage you to try giving yourself some air down there. It can be one simple path to a healthier and happier vagina.

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