While we’re often guilty of hoarding our panties till the time they have faded or have holes in them, most of us choose aesthetically appealing underwear over good quality ones. In this very process, we somewhat forget its main role–to maintain overall hygiene down there. Underwear keeps our vagina dry and clean, and also offers comfort. While wearing underwear has a plethora of benefits maintaining underwear hygiene is even more important–as it prevents any microbe or bacteria from accumulating and fester in and around the vagina. This also helps in preventing any bad odour and itchiness. These unspoken underwear rules can have an impact on your vaginal health — and, depending on the style, can even affect your mood! Here are some rules to observe when it comes to underwear and vaginal health:
Choose natural fabrics — specifically cotton
You may have heard this before, but with all the cute styles in a variety of fabrics out there, it’s worth saying again: cotton is the best underwear fabric. The vulva is a very sensitive and delicate area, similar to the lips on your face. You want to treat [it] gently. And the most simple, gentle fabric to touch your skin? Yep, cotton. It’s also breathable and absorbent, which can help prevent yeast infections.
Since it is healthy to have a vaginal discharge – similar to the moisture you always have in your mouth – you want your underwear to gently absorb any extra moisture. Synthetic materials like nylon and spandex don’t allow the area to breathe. Instead, they trap heat and moisture, creating a perfect breeding ground for yeast infections.
Go commando at night to air out the moisture
Going panty-free to bed can make a whole lot of difference for women who deal with regular yeast infections. It allows the area to breathe overnight and avoid moisture buildup.
While going commando at night has no such downside, it is completely subjective. While one may feel more comfortable without it, the other person may feel uncomfortable. So take your own call, Ladies!
Aim to change your underwear every day, even more than once if you want!
While most of the women change underwear once a day–there’s no hard and fast rule. If you feel the need to change it more than once, do it. If there’s vaginal discharge, its always better to change to keep the moisture at bay.
If you go to the gym and sweat a lot there, you should be changing that pair of underwear. Gynaecologists also suggest changing underwear more frequently on periods as it gets soiled easily.
Consider replacing your underwear every year
Sounds a bit excessive, especially for something that gets washed so regularly. But according to many doctors, even clean underwear can contain up to 10,000 living bacteria.
Throwing out your underwear every year isn’t the eco-friendliest option, and if you don’t have bacterial problems down there, you may not have to clean out your drawers annually. But if you do experience BV or other symptoms frequently, experts say you may want to replace your underwear every year.
Wash your underwear properly
Underwear is delicate and must be handled with more care than the rest of your wardrobe. If you can, try washing them separately although it’s not necessary. But, because underwear clings to your sensitive skin area for long periods of time it is suggested to wash it separately to avoid the transfer of bacteria from other clothes to them.
Always use soap which is both–gentle and powerful. After washing, hang outside under the direct sun to dry as the sun acts as a natural sanitizer. The sun’s ultraviolet rays shall help kill bacteria.