Many vaginal infections that include symptoms of itching, odor, and discharge may decrease just by wearing cotton underwear. Cotton helps to keep the vagina free of excessive moisture, and allows the area to “breathe”. Many women turn to different materials due to their clothing design or cut, but cotton underwear now comes in many shapes and sizes. The benefit of cotton underwear makes it a comfortable and healthy choice for the many women who wear them.
Yeast infections are common in many women, and can be quite a discomfort. While many people get these without explanation, it sometimes has to do with the type of clothing they wear. Restricted clothing made of latex or polyester promotes the growth of yeast within the vagina, and in doing so, creates a yeast infection. Warmth and moisture also contributes to the overgrowth of yeast within the vagina. Wearing cotton underwear helps your vagina to ventilate and eliminate yeast production. Underwear made of synthetic materials can trap moisture and warmth, allowing the perfect place for yeast to thrive.
Vaginal itching is another uncomfortable sign of wearing underwear that is not cotton. The itching sensation can be the start of a yeast infection or disturbance in the natural pH balance. While other factors may lead to vaginal itching, wearing cotton underwear will eliminate most cases. Try to eliminate pants, skirts, or shorts, which are not made of cotton for the best prevention. If pantyhose will be warm over underwear, it is best to find a pair with a cotton crotch as well.
Ventilating the vagina can also prevent the buildup of moisture and odor causing bacteria. Cotton absorbs excess moisture and removes build up heat from the area. Cotton is one of the only materials that become stronger when wet and is easily sterilized after use. It is especially important to wear cotton underwear throughout the summer or during times of high humidity. This is the best time for yeast infections, itching, and odor to occur. Avoid underwear at night entirely if cotton is not available. Using cotton underwear or eliminating underwear will keep the area dry throughout the night.
Cotton is naturally a hypoallergenic material, which helps to alleviate irritation. You must take extra caution when laundering your clothing to ensure laundering irritation at a minimal. Launder your cotton underwear with scent and dye free detergents. Using fabric softeners or conditioners can also irritate the skin. If you are sensitive to dyes, purchase and wear only white cotton underwear to prevent irritation and itching from the color. Be sure to wash the underwear before wearing them the first time.
Women also prefer cotton because it is versatility in design and appearance. If sensitivity is not an issue, cotton underwear comes in colors and designs. No longer does cotton underwear only come in white, but a mixture of colors and patterns. It also comes in many physical forms, including brief, bikini, thong or regular cut. Regardless of the outfit you will be wearing, there is a pair of cotton underwear specifically made for you.
References and ResourcesEveryday Health: Dressing Right to Prevent Yeast Infections
National Library of Medicine: Vaginal itching