The Best Underwear For A Healthy Vagina
First things first, vagina is not a dirty word. In our IGTV Series "Huha Health" we spoke with two expert gynecologists, Dr. Laura Nicholas and The Modern Mujer, Dr. Erica Montes. In our IGTV series and this blog post, we cover:
- How to care for your vagina
- Good and bad vaginal bacteria
- How to maintain a healthy pH balance
- The best underwear for a healthy vagina
Your Vagina is a Self-Cleaning Machine
Your vagina is a BOSS. Independent, self-sufficient and hard working, the vagina needs minimal assistance to get the job done.
"When the vagina is operating at its best, it really doesn't need your help at all." - Dr Laura Nicholas, ob-gyn
During menstruation, the vagina passes blood from the uterus which cleanses the system and helps reset for a new cycle. Cervical mucus also passes through the vagina which plays an important role in optimizing conception. However, you will also notice an increase in vaginal discharge when your vagina is fighting to rid itself of infection.
However, there are some things you can do (like choosing the correct underwear) to help look after your vagina. There are also things you must stay away from.
Vaginal Health - Do's:
- Wear breathable, natural underwear like our best-selling Mineral Cheeky undies and thongs - avoid synthetic materials
- Wash your body regularly - avoid harsh chemicals in your body wash and soaps. Try our Undie wash, so gentle, you can use it on your skin!
- Change your underwear frequently, especially after working out and after a shower.
- When using the toilet, always wipe from front to back.
- Make sure you pee after sex to clear out any unwanted bacteria!
Vaginal Health - Dont's:
Pretty much the Do's in reverse...
- Stay away from nylon or any synthetic underwear - choose TENCEL™ or organic cotton underwear.
- Avoid tight fitting underwear that increase heat and bacteria count.
- No commercial cleansing wipes and soaps. Stay away from fragrances.
- Don't douche! Wash the vulva only.
All about your pH Balance
What's pH balance exactly? The vagina is a micro biome that requires her delicate balance to be kept in-check: namely, that the "good" bacteria outweigh the bad bacteria.
What, exactly, is good bacteria?
We get what bad bacteria is, like E. Coli from our poop that can make it's way into our urethras and cause gnarly UTI infections –– sometimes from ill-fitting, chafing g-strings rubbing back and forth, hence our body contouring, stay put elastics in our Mineral Thong –– but what exactly is "good" bacteria?
Good bacteria is a species called Lactobacillus (there are dozens of different types of Lactobacillus) which produces Lactic Acid. Lactic acid helps maintain an acidic environment which keeps the other microflora in the vagina happy.
How to maintain your pH balance
“Wearing synthetic underwear for long periods of time can lead to yeast infections, urinary tract infection (UTI), and other vaginal infections,” - Dr. Nupur Gupta, Director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology at Fortis Memorial Research Institute
Bacterial Vaginosis, more commonly known as BV, is usually caused by an overgrowth of bad bacteria called Gardnerella. This occurs when you don't have enough good bacteria (Lactobacillus) to fight the bad bacteria. BV causes very smelly vaginal discharge.
"The most common treatment includes a medication or oral antibiotic called Flagyl or Metronidazole." - Dr. Erica Montes, The Modern Mujer.
Once you have it, the only way to cure BV is to take an oral antibiotic. Over the counter cream won't work because BV is NOT a yeast infection. So, let's avoid getting BV altogether ladies.
Choose the best underwear for vaginal health
We recommend choosing underwear made from breathable, natural fabric such as TENCEL™ Lyocell and Modal. You can find these textiles in our full-coverage Mineral Thongs, High Rise Briefs and Cheeky underwear. Why did we choose TENCEL™? Because it produces:
- Super soft fabric - perfect for sensitive skin.
- Super breathable fabric - so light it feels like you're going commando.
- Superior moisture-wicking fabric - making it an excellent choice for sensitive skin.
- Zinc-infused lyocell fabric, limits the growth of bacteria ten times more effectively than organic cotton undies!
In a clinical study conducted by Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, it was also discovered that zinc-infused lyocell fabric provides very strong antibacterial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus (the bacteria that causes itch and skin irritation) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (the bacteria than leads to UTIs).
It yielded a log reduction greater than 3, which means a reduction of up to 99.9% of bacteria over a 24 hour period! Let's hear it for zinc!
Consider replacing your underwear every year
This may sound a tiny bit excessive, especially considering we wash our lingerie so frequently, but according to the Good Housekeeping Institute, even clean undies can contain up to 10,000 living bacteria.
Why is this? Because there's about one million bacteria in just 2 tablespoons of used washing machine water! According to Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, who has done extensive research on the germs that fester in our washing machines,
"If you wash a load of just underwear, there will be about 100 million E. coli in the wash water, and they can be transmitted to the next load of laundry... There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear."
Yep, it's pretty gross. This is why we recommend replacing your underwear every year and where possible, hand washing your delicates separately using our all natural undie wash.
If you would like to learn more about vaginal health and wellness, check out our IGTV series featuring health care professionals specializing in women's health, fertility and gynecology.