Is Wearing a Thong or Going Commando in Yoga Pants Better for Your Vagina?

Is Wearing a Thong or Going Commando in Yoga Pants Better for Your Vagina?

We don’t care what you’re wearing underneath your gym attire. But you could be worried about your, eh, business if you’re deciding whether to wear a thong or go commando in your yoga pants.

You may want to do without the underwear because it feels more breathable for your vulva, for example, or because wearing any form of underwear below tight pants makes you feel too constrained. It’s quite acceptable to want to be able to perform a downward dog or go on the spin bike without having to worry about full-bottom pants bunching up or rubbing awkwardly.

The good news is that there isn’t a one correct response that works best for everyone’s vulva when deciding whether to wear a thong or no underwear at all. According to the gynecologists we spoke to, it really depends on the vaginal health and comfort issues you’re personally suffering with.

Suppose you routinely put on a thong underneath yoga pants and have never experienced any problems: No itchiness; no repeated yeast infections. “I wouldn’t suddenly change anything, as why mess with something that is working,” you would say in that situation. Gynecologist Sarah Yamaguchi, MD, of DTLA Gynecology in Los Angeles, tells SELF. If that describes you, you can wear a thong with complete assurance that you’re not acting improperly, advises Dr. Yamaguchi. The same is true for zero underwear. It’s fine as long as you’re comfortable.

Your thong can be the source of any inflammation or infection you experience.
However, if you are having problems, you might need to adjust your strategy. Consider this example: Your vulva is starting to itch as a result of the thong you’re wearing below your yoga trousers. Chafing may be the cause of the irritated, rawness, which is reasonable: Dr. Yamaguchi explains, “It’s a thin piece of fabric that’s massaging the area as you move.” She says that when moisture is present (from perspiration or just the fact that it’s generally steamy down there), friction may significantly increase. The same is true of form-fitting yoga pants without underwear: They could irritate you by rubbing on your vulva and/or trapping sweat.
That thong might also be a contributing cause if vaginal infections are your issue rather than chafing. According to Dr. Yamaguchi, anything that introduces germs that are not typically present in the vagina has the potential to induce vaginal infections, including yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV). She continues, adding that there isn’t much peer-reviewed research on the subject and that the relationship between thongs and infections is based on anecdotal data from gynecologists. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may be another issue.

According to Alyssa Dweck, MD, a gynecologist in Westchester County, New York, in this situation, the small strip of cloth that makes up the rear of the thong may potentially push fecal bacteria into your vagina or urethra if it’s tight or irritating, increasing your risk of infection. Worn synthetic, non-breathable material thongs make the situation worse (which has been shown to increase the risk of yeast infections, regardless of underwear style). According to Dr. Dweck, all of those factors—the thong functioning as a “bacterial route,” wetness from sweat, and ill-fitting, nonbreathable fabric—could create the ideal environment for an infection, particularly if you’re already predisposed to vaginal infections.

The vegan diet: ethos, impacts, and recommendations

Dr. Yamaguchi advises wearing full-butt underwear with a breathable cotton crotch if preventing infection is your main concern (bikinis, briefs, hipsters). You might also choose seamless full styles, which are typically made of synthetic material but are still preferable to thongs in this situation because they aren’t pushed up your crotch. To prevent chafing and the transmission of potentially hazardous bacteria, Dr. Yamaguchi advises wearing clothes that fit well and are not too tight.

Going commando is a healthy habit to prevent infection, however, if you don’t want to deal with undie lines or you just don’t like wearing your bottom all the way down. When a tight pair of yoga pants may also cause you to perspire, Dr. Yamaguchi notes that they also prevent friction between your vagina and anus while you move. Dr. Dweck continues, “Ideally, the pants’ crotch will be constructed of moisture-wicking material since, once more, germs love a moist environment.”

The best approach to wear yoga pants to protect vulvoids
Of course, there are many causes that could possibly result in a vaginal infection or discomfort, but Dr. Dweck believes one simple method to lower your risk of both is by wearing health-conscious underwear. More advice from a gynecologist is provided below.

swap underwear Change into a different thong if you wish to keep wearing one while traveling from the office to the gym, suggests Dr. Yamaguchi. A clean pair makes sure that any bacteria from your rectum from before working out are not on the back strip of fabric.

ASAP alter. No matter what underwear you wore (or didn’t wear!) while exercising, Dr. Dweck advises, “get rid of your wet workout gear as soon as you’re able to” to help prevent irritation or a potential infection. For the same reasons, make sure to thoroughly dry off after taking a shower after working out.

Use gentle soap to clean. Speaking of showers, washing your vulva clean after a workout can help keep it healthy, but if it’s sensitive (i.e., you frequently have discomfort or infection), Dr. Dweck advises sticking to light soap and water. Look for phrases like “mild,” “gentle,” or “sensitive” on the label and, if possible, steer clear of fragrances because they can irritate people, she advises. (It’s also important to remember that soap should never enter your vagina; it should only be applied around your vulva. That typically has a bad outcome!)

Allow the vulva to breathe. Change into thongs or other underwear with a cotton or moisture-wicking crotch after taking a shower. According to Dr. Dweck, it’s also best to wear loose-fitting clothing to assist the area breathe and prevent moisture from getting into your vulva. She continues, “What you don’t want to do is shower and then put your damp yoga pants back on.”

If you forget, don’t worry. It’s acceptable to wear a thong under your yoga pants while you’re preparing to exercise or halfway through your practice. Don’t worry about it; just try to remember for the next time. (Ha ha.) Dr. Yamaguchi asserts that wearing a thong to a hot yoga session won’t irreparably harm your vagina.