Choosing the right pair of underwear is about more than a making a fashion statement – it may actually reduce the number of vaginal and urinary tract infections you experience and keep you more comfortable.
The number one feature to look for in women’s panties is a cotton crotch. Most women experience a small amount of vaginal discharge throughout the day. Perspiration can also accumulate and lead to problems when trapped next to the body. Cotton is a lightweight fabric that tends to absorb moisture better than most synthetic fabrics, although some nylons do a good job of wicking moisture away from the body.
Where cotton really surpasses nylon is in its breathability. While nylon tends to hold heat in, air moves freely through cotton fabric. This is an important trait for undergarments, since fungi and bacteria thrive in moist environments. Trapping heat and moisture in the fabric layer creates a breeding ground for these organisms. Some women find cotton reduces the risk of yeast infections and is ultimately more comfortable.
Dyes and coloring are another cause of irritation and can increase the risk of vaginal or urinary tract infections. The best bet is to stick with white underpants or at least choose a pair with a white cotton crotch.
Pantie shape and style should also be considered. Tight thongs can create friction and lead to a flare-up of external hemorrhoids. They can also irritate the clitoris and cause uncomfortable friction rubs. If you prefer thong-style underwear, look for a pair with a wider fabric strip and looser fit.
No matter what type of underpants you wear throughout the day, shedding them at night may be helpful. This allows secretions to dry and promotes airflow to the vagina. If you aren’t comfortable sleeping without some type of undergarment, opt for looser men style boxers or pajama bottoms.
Some women are less bothered by the color and fit of their underwear than others. Those who are prone to infections and irritation might want to consider a change in undergarment style.