Changing into a sports bra before working out is as important as changing into sneakers. What women are wearing on the bottom, however, rarely gets a second thought. Oftentimes, the only concern is avoiding panty lines, so some might choose to wear a thong or no underwear at all. But according to OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim, this sensitive area is very irritation-prone and more consideration needs to be given when choosing underwear for exercise.
Dr. Ibrahim warns against using underwear that is meant to be seen, such as anything sheer, lace, or silky. When you exercise in underwear that can’t breathe like that, your vagina suffocates, and as a result, you keep more moisture trapped in that area, which increases your risk for yeast infections and pH imbalance. This condition can lead to vaginitis, which is a condition that creates discharge, itching, and pain.
While your OBGYN Montgomery County says that thongs don’t cause vaginal problems if there aren’t any existing afflictions in the area, she does warn that wearing a thong during exercise can bring E.coli that is located in the rear toward the front as you move, increasing your risk for urinary tract infection, so briefs or other underwear with more fabric are a safer bet.
As for wearing leggings alone without any underwear, if they’re made of sports material with moisture-absorbing properties you’ll be fine. Dr. Ibrahim’s most important advice is to switch your underwear after working out or use the shower immediately.
Staying in sweaty sticky clothing whether it’s made of cotton or not, is not helpful. The longer your body is exposed to that environment, the greater the tendency that your pH could become imbalanced and result in vaginitis.
Bottom line: Before working out, switch to underwear that provides more coverage in breathable fabric and don’t hang out in the pair you worked out in for extended periods of time.
If you have any questions or are experiencing any problems in your vaginal area, call the office of OBGYN Montgomery County Dr. Rania Ibrahim today to schedule a confidential consultation.