What you choose to wear to sleep is totally up to you and your comfy level. Some peeps prefer to wear full pyjama sets (with pics of Snow White and all), while others like to wear big old t-shirts with nothing on bottom. But have you ever thought about what’s best for you to wear, health-wise? You may have heard that sleeping without underwear gives your vulva area breathing room, or you may have heard just the opposite: that sleeping with your underwear is better for your vaginal health. So what’s the deal? DIANA FAITH KEMBABAZI chatted with Dr. Navya Mysore, primary care doctor, to settle the debate once and for all.
According to Dr. Mysore, there’s nothing wrong with either option. Whether you wear underwear to sleep or not is your decision. However, if you do choose to wear undies to bed, there’s a certain kind you should look for, she says. Dr. Mysore recommends opting for loose, cotton underwear, as it’s breathable and allows for air exposure. “Wearing underwear that’s cotton and loose and not wearing underwear at all is equally the same,” she says. “Scientiﬁ cally, there isn’t anything that would give you more of an advantage.” While you might decide to rock a lacey, tight thong during the day (which is totally ﬁ ne!), Dr. Mysore suggests balancing it out by either going ki-commando or wearing loose, cotton undies overnight. This will help to prevent any vaginal issues, such as yeast infections, vaginal irritation, and bacterial vaginosis.
Whether there’s no coverage or loose coverage down there, you want there to be air circulation. “The less air circulation there is, the more you’re allowing for yeast to come in and grow in that area,” Dr. Mysore says. “If you think of anything fungal, it likes areas that are closed off to air and damp, so if you’re wearing tighter, non-cotton underwear, you’re certainly creating a better environment for any kind of fungal or yeast infection to start propagating.” Plus, whether you choose to wear underwear is dependent on the amount of slim (read: vaginal discharge) you might produce.
If you produce a normal amount of discharge, you might feel uncomfortable going fully commando, says Dr. Mysore. But if you produce very minimal discharge, having nothing down there might not bother you at all. So there you have it! While it’s 100 percent your personal preference, make sure to follow the best underwear practices regardless. In general, Dr. Mysore recommends changing your underwear at least once a day, unless you wear panty liners on a daily basis, in which case you should just be changing the liner often. Consistently wearing clean underwear will prevent bacteria from building up and potentially causing infections in the future.
“Wearing underwear that’s cotton and loose and not wearing underwear at all is equally the same. Scientifically, there isn’t anything that would give you more of an advantage,” Dr Navya Mysore explains…