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Why Your Thong May Be Bad For Your Health

QuestCinq.com

They work wonders for panty lines, but sometimes we get the feeling that our thongs are bad for us. Sometimes they’re too tight, sometimes they rub the wrong way and sometimes they just don’t feel all that clean.

But is the skimpy underwear really bad for our health? We called up Dr. Jill M. Rabin, an Associate Professor of Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology and Women’s Health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Dr. Shieva Ghofrany, an OB/GYN with Stamford Hospital, in Conn., to get the lowdown on those garments we wear low down. What are our undies really doing to us down there?

Thongs aren’t necessarily bad for you.

It really depends on your propensity for infections, Dr. Rabin says. “If somebody’s healthy, there aren’t really any dangers,” she tells us. “The issue is if you have a predisposition to getting infections, either urinary or vaginal, it may be harder to get rid of it if you’re wearing a thong.”

But there are several features of thongs that put you at risk for health issues.

Many thongs, particularly the sexy lacy kinds, are made of non-breathable materials, as opposed to cotton. “We should all always be wearing all cotton underwear,” Dr. Ghofrany advises. This includes the material of the entire panty, not just the fabric at the crotch. “When patients say [to me], ‘But the crotch is cotton,’ my response is that the layer outside the crotch is not, thus making the cotton less breathable and thus allowing more moisture to be trapped and more possible imbalance leading to infections.”

Plus, even if the entire garment is cotton, the skinny shape creates an inherent risk. “The patient’s vulva is much more ‘exposed’ to whatever they’re wearing,” Dr. Ghofrany explains, “and given the increase in leggings and ‘skinny’ jeans, all of which have Lycra, Spandex, etc., there again is trapped moisture.”

Lastly, the thin band of material at the crotch tends to move around, possibly transferring bacteria from one spot to another. As Dr. Rabin tells, us, “If you have a little bacteria — E. coli is the most common bacteria in the colon — in the back part of the fabric and you’re physically active, that material may move. All it has to do is move an inch or two and it’s next to the vagina or urethra. That thong may be depositing colonic bacteria into your vagina or urethra.” Yikes.

The main health risks we’re taking when we wear thongs: infection and irritation.

Infections can occur when the balance of the vaginal environment, including the moisture levels from vaginal secretions, is thrown off, says Dr. Ghofrany. The most common? Yeast infections and bacterial infections, mainly bacterial vaginosis. The extra bacteria usually manifests with increased discharge, which leads to what Dr. Ghofrany calls the “vicious cycle of thong use”: the increase in discharge leads to an increased use of panty liners, which leads to even more trapped moisture, which leads to more infections and more discharge.

Thongs also carry the risk of external irritation. “I see more patients with skin tags on their vulva and near their rectum, in the exact distribution of the thongs,” Dr. Ghofrany tells us. “I sometimes will be mid-pap and ask a patient, ‘So you wear thongs a lot?’ And their response is always ‘Ya! How can you tell?’ And it’s because of the skin tags, small ‘piles’ of soft tissue that occur from the skin being constantly rubbed in the same spot. These happen traditionally at bra lines and neck lines, and now increasingly at thong lines!”

As for more dangerous medical risks, such as hemorrhoids? Dr. Ghofrany assures us that thongs won’t actually cause hemorrhoids, but they can exacerbate them. “If the thong is kind of ‘hiked up’ in there, it can irritate the rectum and further inflame hemorrhoids,” she says. But hemorrhoids can’t actually be blamed on thongs…read more

Source: HuffingtonPost

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