Thong panties may look sexy, but the health effects associated with them aren’t. Here’s what you need to know before you slip on another pair of thongs.
You’ve worked hard on your exercise program and have finally sculpted the tight abdominals and buttocks of your dreams. To celebrate, you plan on pulling out that sexy pair of thongs hiding in the bottom of your underwear drawer. Besides, they do a great job of hiding panty lines. But, wait! Have you ever stopped to consider the downsides of wearing this type of underwear? What are the health risks of wearing thong panties?
The way a thong is constructed makes it a perfect set-up for infection. That thin band of material that fits so snuggly against delicate areas is like a sponge for bacteria. The concern with women wearing thongs is that fecal bacteria from the anal area can make its way to the vagina and urethra creating ideal conditions for a urinary tract or vaginal infection. All it takes is for the thong to slide a little when you walk to send fecal bacteria where it’s not supposed to be. Most panties don’t cause this type of problem because they’re looser and allow better air flow. This problem may be lessened, but not eliminated, by choosing cotton thongs rather than ones made of synthetic materials.
The other problem associated with women wearing thongs is the irritating effect of the tight material against the skin. When a woman walks around all day wearing thong panties, the material rubs against the urethra and outer vaginal area creating areas of irritation and even small tears. These irritated areas can also be set-ups for infection. This can be a particular problem for women who are prone to vaginal or urinary tract infections.
Vaginal and urinary tract infections aren’t the only problem associated with wearing thongs. Thongs can irritate hemorrhoids and even cause anal lacerations. Even more risky is wearing a thong during exercise, especially when working out in hot weather. Sweating combined with the close contact of the material against the skin creates the perfect environment for a vaginal yeast infection. While no studies have correlated the wearing of thongs with yeast infections, any time you have moist skin and irritation, the risks are higher.
Does this mean that you should empty your underwear drawer and toss out your thongs? This may not be necessary if you wear a thong only occasionally and don’t sleep in them or work out in them. The less they’re worn the better, but if you can’t wean them completely from your underwear drawer, at least wear them in moderation, keeping in mind that a urinary tract or yeast infection isn’t very sexy.