Feminine Hygiene 101 – Cotton Underwear? Bamboo Underwear? Let’s Discuss the Best Fabrics to Keep Your Hooha Happy
With the sheer amount of different underwear styles and fabrics out there, it can be tricky to know what to pick that’s best for you. Whilst underwear is something we wear every day (well, most days – we’re not here to judge), it can be quite surprising how little we actually know about underwear and our vaginal health.
Vaginal health is incredibly important, and not just related to sexual health, either. Vaginal health can impact overall health in anyone with a vagina, including the risk of UTIs, so it’s important to know the ins and outs of vaginal health.
First things first: the basics. Healthy vaginas have higher levels of acidity, which allows the good bacteria our vaginas need to thrive, and helps to maintain a pH level of 4.5 or less. But there are many things that can upset our pH levels and throw the balance off, including (but not limited to) menstruation, the use of feminine hygiene products such as tampons and pads, various soaps, perfumes, having sex, stress, pregnancy, and menopause. Whilst some parts of life just can’t be avoided, one of the most effective ways of maintaining a healthy vagina is by ensuring you’re wearing the right underwear.
Did you know that some fabrics are better for your vagina than others? No? Well strap yourselves in while we take you through the best underwear choices you can make to ensure good vaginal health.
FABRICS ARE IMPORTANT
You might have heard this before, potentially from your mother or grandmother demanding to know, “Is that 100% cotton?!” If you’re anything like me, you rolled your eyes and dismissed it as something the older generations just do but, you know what? They’re actually not wrong.
Organic cotton underwear is your vagina’s best friend. It’s breathable, moisture wicking, and comfortable, and will allow your vagina to do its thing without throwing off your pH levels. You want to make sure you’re avoiding synthetic materials like nylon and polyester – they’re not breathable and create an environment for excess heat and moisture, meaning a higher chance of yeast infections, irritations, bacterial infections and an unhappy vagina.
Bamboo and cotton in underwear is also a match made in heaven – bamboo is breathable and has a whole other host of benefits, including its antibacterial and antifungal properties. This can help in reducing chafing, redness, itching, and irritation, as well as dampness that is unfortunately just a thing that happens for those of us with vaginas.
The only exception to this cotton/bamboo rule is when exercising, during which you might opt for underwear specifically designed to moisture wick, such as a form of polyester microfiber. Even then, it’s still best to change out of it as soon as possible to allow your vagina to breathe.
AVOID UNDERWEAR THAT’S TOO TIGHT
Fabric is important, but so is getting the right size for you. Forget about the number on the tag – there’s never any consistency in women’s clothing sizes anyway. Make sure you’re picking underwear that isn’t too tight, as ill-fitting underwear can constrict vaginal blood flow, meaning potential discomfort, chafing, and ingrown hairs.
BE CAREFUL WITH THE SOAPS YOU WASH YOUR UNDERWEAR IN
The vagina is a sensitive thing and is also self-cleaning, meaning it doesn’t like having scented soaps and perfumes near it. If you find yourself prone to discomfort or itching, try using a hypoallergenic soap and wash on a hot wash. You can also tumble dry your underwear on a low heat for thirty minutes after washing to ensure ultimate cleanliness.
Also make sure you’re washing all new underwear you buy before wearing it for the first time, as it could potentially have been sprayed with preservatives or chemicals, or just might have been touched by a wide array of people in the store.
REGULARLY REPLACE YOUR UNDERWEAR
Did you know that clean underwear can house up to 10,000 living bacteria (Good Housekeeping Institute)? If you’re surprised by that fact, don’t worry – so were we! This means it’s a good idea to replace your underwear every year to avoid E. coli, dust mites, and other nasty bacteria from building up on your clean underwear.
OPT FOR PERIOD UNDERWEAR TO AVOID TAMPONS AND PADS
A lot of your typical feminine hygiene products come with a whole host of different chemicals that are getting up close and personal with your private parts. These can be irritating and damaging to your pH levels, disrupting your natural balance. A great alternative to this is our period underwear – no nasty chemicals and made from a mix of bamboo and cotton, ensuring breathability and comfort.
All this aside, don’t be afraid to pull out your cute lacy underwear for special occasions – you won’t risk much wearing them for a day here and there, and it’s nice to look and feel good in lingerie from time to time. Just avoid it for everyday wear and you’ll be fine!
Did you learn something today? Do you have any favourite breathable underwear styles? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re looking to make the switch from tampons/pads to period underwear, check out our period underwear made from cotton or bamboo to ensure breathability and comfort during that time of the month. Your vagina will thank you!
Good Housing Institute Guide, quoted by News.com.au: https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/throw-out-your-underwear-every-year-for-health-reasons-experts-say/news-story/ec81620a19bad5155c5889992c2064ab