Wearing a sports bra and sneakers to run in seems like a no-brainer. But changing your underwear never seems to be a question for concern. Most likely, you've slipped on a thong to avoid panty lines no matter what your activity. But, that area of your body is pretty sensitive to say the least, so shouldn't you start paying more attention to what you wear when you're exercising?
Dr. Nicole E. Williams of the Gynecology Institute of Chicago
says to steer clear of anything sheer, lace, or silk. "When you exercise in non-breathable underwear like that, your vagina suffocates," Williams says, "As a result, you keep more moisture trapped in that area, which increases your risk for yeast infections and pH imbalance, which can lead to vaginitis [a condition leading to discharge, itching, and pain]."
And what about your affection for thongs, you might ask? "Wearing a thong during exercise can bring E.coli living in the rear toward the front as you move, increasing your risk for urinary tract infection," Williams says. If you want to wear bottoms sans panties, just make sure they're made of moisture-wicking material.
As far as post-work out tips, Williams suggest shedding your layers immediately. "Hanging around in sweaty sticky clothing, cotton or not, is not helpful," she says, "The longer your body is exposed to that environment, the greater propensity that your pH could become imbalanced and lead to vaginitis."
Here are some options that are great for exercising, to ensure you avoid discomforts and infections.