Is it healthier to wear underwear than to go commando? Here’s what the experts say.
While we’ve been socialized to believe that we should wear underwear every day, have you ever taken a minute to consider whether it’s necessary and whether it’s actually good for you?
At first glance, you might think that wearing underwear is healthy because almost everyone does it (or at least they do). However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether wearing underwear is healthier than going commando. However, you need to keep this in mind, and there are pros and cons to each.
Here’s what the experts have to say about the benefits of wearing underwear or not wearing underwear at all
Is it good to wear underwear every day?
For beginners, wearing underwear does serve an important purpose. “Underwear provides a protective layer between the skin and the external environment that can potentially reduce irritation and friction,” Dr. Kimberley Thornton, an obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at the RMA in New York, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
In addition to serving as a physical barrier to protect delicate skin from irritation, wearing undergarments has practical benefits, such as maintaining the integrity of the garment during wear. “Undergarments prevent normal and healthy vaginal secretions from getting on your clothing,” Dr. Jennifer Makarov, an obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist at New Hope Fertility, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Thornton adds that if you change your underwear daily, it may reduce exposure of the vaginal area to bacteria from clothing that may not be washed as often as it should be, such as jeans. As for the style of underwear, it doesn’t matter which one you choose. (As it turns out, studies have shown that the much-maligned thong does not increase the risk of urinary tract infections and yeast infections.)
“It has been shown that the style of underwear, such as thongs and boxers, does not have any positive or negative effects from a health standpoint,” Thornton says.
Nonetheless, to reap the benefits, Dr. Beri Ridgeway, co-founder of Ina Labs and an obstetrician-gynecologist, recommends wearing undergarments that are breathable and made of natural materials, such as 100 percent cotton, especially in the crotch area, to allow for airflow and moisture wicking, as well as optimal comfort. Also, avoid wearing tight undergarments, which can lead to abrasions.
Is it okay to go commando?
The decision to go commando is a personal choice. However, Makarov even says that in some cases, it may be healthier than wearing underwear.
“When you wear underwear with fabrics that are not breathable, like synthetic fabrics, the underwear can build up moisture in the vaginal area,” she said. “For some women, this added moisture can lead to yeast infections.” In that case, you’re better off going commando than wearing synthetic underwear.
Makarov adds that it’s actually healthy to let your vulva breathe every once in a while-she says it won’t lead to infection and may even prevent overgrowth of unhealthy flora.
As for going commando, some people may find it easier to do so at night. “Limited activity helps reduce the likelihood of exposure to things that can irritate the genitals, such as sweating or exercise-induced friction,” Dr. Stephanie Hack, founder of the Lady Parts Doctor podcast and an obstetrician-gynecologist, told Yahoo Lifestyle.
The final verdict: The decision is yours
There are pros and cons to going commando and wearing underwear, and one isn’t necessarily healthier than the other. Ultimately, the decision is a personal choice, and both can be beneficial if done correctly.
When it comes to going commando, you need to make sure you feel comfortable going out in public without underwear (unless you choose not to wear underwear at night). For some people, it may feel as if you’re showing everything off, even with your clothes on. But if you feel comfortable going commando, experts say it’s acceptable to go for it. However, if you prefer to wear underwear, just make sure it’s breathable, made of natural materials like cotton, and not too tight.