Are Thongs Bad For Your Health? Why The Sexy Underwear May Put You At Risk Of Infection

Sexy skivvies might be harmful to your feminine health. | Flickr: Kevan J. Wilson

Sexy skivvies might be harmful to your feminine health. | Flickr: Kevan J. Wilson

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They might help to hide your panty line, but doctors now believe that thongs might be harmful to your health. According to the Huffington Post, people who are predisposed to vaginal infections have an increased susceptibility to infections when wearing a thong.

“If somebody’s healthy, there aren’t really any dangers,” says Dr. Jill M. Rabin, an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, to the Huffington Post. “The issue is if you have a predisposition to getting infections, either urinary or vaginal, it may be harder to get rid of it if you’re wearing a thong.”

The reason why bacteria has a stronger ground to breed in thongs as opposed to full underwear is because most thongs are not made of breathable material, like cotton. When a person wears a thong the material lays directly on the skin between the vagina and anus.“Thongs tend to rub, causing tiny tears in the delicate skin around your vulva and clitoris, creating access for microbes,” said Adelaide Nardone, MD, an OB-GYN in Providence, Rhode Island to Women’s Health Magazine.

Before you go tossing out all of your skimpy skivvies make sure that you only throw away the non-cotton ones. The ones with breathable fabric are ok to use because they keep the moisture out of that area so that bacteria does not have a chance to grow. However, if the crotch just has a cotton center and the rest is made out of unbreathable material, it is still unsafe to wear. The vagina has no opportunity to breathe because air is not allowed to pass through the underwear.

“We should all always be wearing all cotton underwear,” Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OB/GYN with Stamford Hospital, in Conn. says, “When patients say [to me], ‘But the crotch is cotton,’ my response is that the layer outside the crotch is not, thus making the cotton less breathable and thus allowing more moisture to be trapped and more possible imbalance leading to infections.”

They might look sexy, but when worn for long periods of time, they can even cause more dangerous health risks, such as hemorrhoids.

Originally developed in 1939 by former New York City mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia as a way for nude dancers to cover up a little, thongs have become a staple in the underwear drawers of many women.

If showers are frequently taken and you are keeping your private areas clean, there should not be any real dangers. However, unless it is a necessity many gynecologist suggest to wear full cotton panties. This reduces the chances of any future complications.

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