Why Underwear Fabric Is Important for Preventing UTIs?
Although no one should have to experience the torment of a urinary tract infection (UTI)– also known as a bladder infection, more than 50% of women will have at least one UTI at some point in their lifetime, and and most of them will have recurring infections within a few months. The good news is, there are certain habits you can change to reduce the risk of having to deal with this painful, nerve-wracking, and potentially serious condition. Although a range of factors can contribute to triggering this frustrating health issue, many women don’t realize that their underwear fabric could be one of them. So go right ahead and be a material girl–just make sure you choose the right material!
What to Wear to Prevent UTIs
1) Cotton underwear is best
The fabric best-suited to helping maintain urinary tract health is also the simplest: cotton. Not only is it breathable, but it’s also highly absorbent, which comes in handy considering that vaginal discharge, like it or not, is a perfectly normal part of being a woman. Underwear made of synthetic fabrics like lycra, nylon, or spandex just don’t breathe. They trap heat and moisture, helping bacteria thrive and creating the perfect breeding ground for infections, including UTIs. While underwear made of synthetic fabric with a cotton crotch insert are better than nothing, the fabric underneath still traps that heat and moisture. It bears repeating: cotton is the best underwear material known to woman, so give it a try!
2) Loose-fitting clothes
Let’s face it: tight clothing is certainly the norm rather than the exception in women’s fashion. We all want to wear clothes that flatter our form. Especially when it comes to the lower body. The problem is, tight clothing makes air circulation more difficult. In turn, this makes it more likely that the area will get too warm, sweaty, and uncomfortable overall. If your yoga pants are tight enough to make your underwear ride up, you might want to try experimenting with some free-flowing genie pants. Similarly, try alternating tight jeans or skirts with larger or looser styles. Your vagina will thank you.
3) Refresh after you sweat
Regardless of whether you’re a cotton convert or not, always be sure to change into fresh undies once they get wet or overly moist—that includes sweat! Since your body takes a while to cool down and will continue to sweat for a while post workout, it’s a good idea to change into cotton underwear at least temporarily after you exercise, even if you’re not a fan and don’t normally wear cotton at any other time. Think of it as athleticwear.
4) Go panty-free at night
Here’s a revolutionary idea: don’t wear underwear of any kind to bed. Better yet, sleep naked. Would you do it if you knew it could help prevent UTIs? It can. Here’s the thing: silky polyester pyjamas are non-breathable, even if you’re going panty-free. If you want to wear a little more than your birthday suit, or it’s cold outside, consider opting for breathable pyjama bottoms, or going commando with a cotton nightie. The most important thing is that you let your girl breathe by foregoing lingerie, underwear, or anything tight-fitting on your bottom half. After all, sleep is the only time you can be absolutely free, so why not take advantage?
5) Ban tight-fitting underpants made of non-breathing materials.
These fabrics don’t allow air flow and prevent moisture from escaping your skin. Bacteria flourishes on skin that stays moist which increases the chance of it entering the bladder through the urethra.
6) Thongs are not your friends.
E.coli is the most common bacteria in the colon and the greatest cause of UTIs. It’s easy for E.coli to attach to the string back of the thong. When you shift in your seat, run for the bus, dance, workout or even just walk, the material can move even a little, placing E.coli bacteria dangerously close to the vagina.
7) Workout wear watch-outs.
A workout raises body temperature, and damp sweaty underwear and/or leggings is paradise island for bacteria. Post-workout, change into clean, dry, breathable underpants. And don’t linger in wet bathing suit bottoms either.
8) Limit skinny jeans.
When is tight too tight? When your underwear is riding up, or any time your pant is so snug, it doesn’t allow for breathing room. And take it from the healthy fashion police, what pairs best with skinny jeans is clean all-cotton underwear.