HANX x Underdays: Can Underwear Cause Thrush?
Lacy, granny, high-waisted, barely-there - there’s an overwhelming amount of knicker options out there, and sometimes your choice has a bigger health impact than you think. In partnership with Underdays, our co-founder Dr. Sarah Welsh looks at how certain types of underwear can increase the risk of vaginal infections.
What’s the link between underwear and vaginal infections?
You might not think that your choice of pants and recurring thrush have anything in common, but it can be really important. Synthetic underwear - like those cheap lacy ones you’ve had for years - are non-absorbent, and can create a warm, moist environment for genitals. This creates a breeding ground for infections, like thrush, as it enables fungi to grow and thrive. Not to mention, some synthetic underwear can be incredibly uncomfortable - chafe city, anyone?
What underwear is best?
More natural fabrics, like cotton or bamboo, are best. These are more breathable, and tend not to create the moist environments that infections grow in. Underwear should also be loose-fitting - we don’t mean that it should be falling down, but just that it should allow you room to move comfortably without a permanent wedgie.
I love Underdays because all their pants are made with soft, lightweight and breathable micro-modal, a natural, cellulose fabric that comes from Beech trees, to create the best vaginal environment possible. Plus, their pants are made with a bamboo gusset that isn’t just antimicrobial, but also designed with extra coverage to avoid any irritation on the edges of the vulva from the rest of your outfit.
All their underwear is made free from harmful chemicals, and are ethically made in Europe OEKO-TEX certified fabric, so you’re not forced to choose between underwear that’s cute, ethical and comfortable.
Do I need to wear different underwear for exercising?
I’ve seen firsthand in gynaecology checkups during my time in the NHS how much the wrong underwear can create a warm, moist environment, and this can be exacerbated by exercise and sweat. Underdays have a workout thong that not only avoids VPLs, but has sweat-wicking technology and 4-way stretch.
What should I do when I experience an outbreak of a vaginal infection, such as thrush?
- Make sure you wear breathable underwear, such as the ones in the Underdays range.
- Make sure you dry properly after washing.
- Consider changing underwear twice a day to keep the area fresh.
- Avoid douching or using anything with harsh chemicals in the area.