Maintaining underwear hygiene is a must when you talk about intimate health! And if protocol is to be followed, wearing a wet underwear is a big NO!
We wear an underwear for comfort and to keep our vagina clean and dry. Even though wearing an underwear has a plethora of advantages, wearing a wet underwear possesses a high risk of bacterial growth, poor odour, itching, and other unpleasant side effects.
The wetness can come from not wiping yourself well after a bath or after a poop session, urinary incontinence, sweat or even excess vaginal discharge.
So to help you understand the risk factors of wearing wet underwear and how to maintain overall underwear hygiene, Health Shots spoke to Dr Darshan H.B., Consultant – Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, and Laparoscopic Surgeon, Motherhood Hospital, Electronic City, Bengaluru.
Why is underwear hygiene important for a healthy vagina?
Innerwear is an essential component of good hygiene and maintains the health of your vagina. So, regardless of the type of underwear you prefer—comfortable cotton briefs or something fancier—you should be aware that it can have an impact on your vaginal health.
Not wearing the right kind of underwear can impact your overall comfort. If you are one of those ladies who do not care about wearing wet underwear occasionally, you should stop and think again. The vagina has pretty sensitive skin that is incredibly vulnerable to infections and the risk of irritation. “Catching infections increases with wearing wet underwear,” says Dr Darshan.
How does wearing wet underwear affect your vaginal health?
You should avoid sitting in wet underwear after bathing because:
1. Damp underwear can cause vaginal irritation, redness, or rashes.
2. It can also lead to unpleasant things like yeast infections in the vaginal area.
3. Due to the infection, you may experience inflammation of the vagina, redness, intense itching, pain during urination, or sex.
4. This condition is quite common but damp underwear can increase the risk for you because moisture allows the bacteria to grow at a faster rate.
5. If you don’t change the wet underwear, that wetness down there can also mess up your pH balance.
Remember, the symptoms of the infection can be mild to moderate, but they may become serious if left untreated.
Here’s why you should change your underwear if you’re too sweaty down there:
You should even avoid sitting around in sweaty underwear as well. First of all, it’s very uncomfortable, and second, if you’re experiencing excessive sweating down there, it can often cause smell too. Dr Darshan explains, “People don’t care much about changing their underwear after gym or yoga sessions, but you should avoid doing that. This can also increase the risk of catching infections, especially when you are wearing synthetic fibres, as they can trap moisture and can cause bacterial infections.”
Wear cotton underwear, trim your pubic hair, change underwear right away after a workout session is over, and try to go to bed naked. If you’re on your period, you should change your underwear more often because it gets soiled more frequently.
What happens when you don’t change your underwear for a long time?
It is pretty common to wear one pair of underwear a day, but nothing is stopping you if you want to change it more often throughout the day. Typically, it is fine to be wearing one underwear for a day if there is not much vaginal discharge or sweat. But you should not think twice before changing it if your vagina feels irritated with something.