There’s really nothing quite like standing up and feeling the distinct discomfort of panties that have wedged themselves deep into your bottom. If you’re lucky enough to be alone when this happens, you can simply reach up and pull them out.
Doing the wedgie-pick in front of others? That’s a major faux paux.
Panties can be restrictive and annoying. If the fabric, fit, or cut is wrong, they can cause you some serious discomfort the entire day. It’s also super unflattering to see panty-lines beneath your clothing. Even seamless panties can sometimes be visible through thin fabrics.
Undies aren’t just occasionally uncomfy, they can also cause vaginal health issues, too. If you have an extremely sensitive vulva, the fabric of your panties can cause irritation, rashes, and even create a space that promotes the overgrowth of certain types of bacteria.
Bacterial overgrowth can cause your vagina’s natural pH balance to go haywire, which can cause unpleasant odors and infections.
If you’re considering going bare down there, you may be surprised to find out that it’s actually a great idea. No, seriously! Not only can going commando help you feel unrestricted and more comfortable, it can actually be a great way to promote your vaginal health. Who knew, right?
Before you go commando, you should know the facts about what to expect while you’re wild and free. We can help you there. So, here’s everything you need to know about going commando.
Going Commando Can Reduce The Risk Of Infection
Just like the skin on your face can be sensitive to certain products, the skin on your vulva can be sensitive to fabrics, dyes, and even detergents. If you feel itchy or irritated when you wear your undies, you could be experiencing a skin sensitivity issue.
Your favorite thongs aren’t just the culprits for sensitivity issues, either. Underwear can also be responsible for creating the perfect storm scenario for the overgrowth of bacteria in your vagina.
Bacteria grow best in warm, moist areas. If your underwear are tight or made from fabric that doesn’t breathe very well, they can trap moisture and provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to multiply.
This can lead to:
– Bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV refers to the overgrowth of a particular type of bacteria found naturally inside the vagina. The vagina is typically full of healthy bacteria. However, when some bacteria levels begin to grow, it results in an infection.
BV is a condition that affects up to 30% of women. Symptoms of BV include burning and itching in the vagina and the vulva, burning when urinating, discharge that can be grey, yellow, or green, and a foul, fish-smelling odor.
If you’ve had BV, you know it can be a horrible experience, not to mention really embarrassing to discuss, even with your doctor. Restrictive, non-breathable panties can make BV symptoms worse if you already have it.
– Yeast infections. At some point in your life, you’re going to have a yeast infection. For us girls, it’s about as certain as death and taxes. In fact, three out of four women will experience at least one yeast infection during their lifetime. Trust us, you probably aren’t going to be the lucky fourth one.
Yeast infections occur when yeast found naturally in the vagina multiplies. Symptoms can include burning, itching (in the vagina and on the vulva), discharge, and discomfort while peeing and/or having sex. Most of the time you won’t have an unpleasant odor when you have a yeast infection, but some women do.
A Word About Thongs
They’re sexy, popular, and many of us find them more comfortable than other types of panties. Plus, zero panty line issues! The problem is, if you are prone to getting bacterial infections in your vagina, a thong is only going to make matters worse.
A thong has a unique way of spreading bacteria from back to front, because the fabric of the thong is against your anus. Every time you move you create an opportunity for bacteria laden fabric to come in contact with your vagina. Think of it like wiping from back to front. Yeah… not a good idea.
Other Undie Issues
Infections aren’t the only thing that can make you want to toss your panties into the garbage. If you suffer from vaginal odor, your underwear could be the culprit. It doesn’t take much connecting the dots to understand why, either.
The entire area your underwear covers is rarely exposed to light and air. It’s warm, moist, and a prime location for sweating. Underwear can trap this moisture inside, making vaginal odor even worse.
Injury to your labia and other parts of your vulva are also a risk with underwear. If your underwear don’t fit properly, or are made from a material that irritates your vulva, you could risk creating tiny microtears in the delicate skin of your labia.
What Are The Risks Of Going Commando?
While going sans undies for a while might be a great idea to help avoid infections, give your vajay room to breathe, and eliminate possible odors, you probably won’t want to make it a permanent habit.
There are some potential negative side effects of going panty free all the time. You’ll want to keep that in mind as you decide whether or not to go commando for the day.
Irritation from clothing fabrics is a big issue. Your favorite pair of skinny jeans are adorable, dyed, and skin tight. There’s no way you want that kind of abrasive fabric against your most sensitive area all day. You could end up with the equivalent of road rash down there, and that’s not a great feeling.
There’s also that dreaded time of the month. We all know that sinking feeling that comes towards the end of your period. You think your period is over and decide against a tampon or pad only to have a bloody mess on your hands a few hours later. If you’re not wearing undies, this could be a bigger issue than it needs to be.
In addition to being on your period, most women experience cyclic discharge at different times of the month that can be hard to pinpoint. If you aren’t wearing panties, you can expect to have that to cause a bigger mess than usual.
How To Go Commando The Right Way
If you’re set on going commando, consider doing it from time to time instead of making it a lifestyle change. Many women enjoy the freedom of not wearing underwear overnight; it’s comfortable and allows their lady bits room to breathe.
You can also consider only going pantiless only when you wear certain articles of clothing. If you’re especially worried about panty lines then going commando could work out well. It gives you the freedom of keeping those outfits in your rotation more frequently.
Lastly, just remember that with most things you’re looking for balance. It’s great to give your girl a break from restrictive undies, but there are definitely some times when you’re going to want that added layer of protection.
What To Do If You Have An Infection
If you suspect your panties have let you down and contributed to an infection you have quite a few options to treat it. If you’re familiar with the symptoms you’re having, it’s ok to treat your BV or yeast infection at home. If it’s the first time you’re experiencing an infection down there, talk to your doctor first.
When it comes to treating BV or a yeast infection you don’t always have to use antibiotics or messy creams. You can also use Boric Acid suppositories to help clear things up. Boric Acid is a treatment option supported by doctors and women alike. It’s easy to use and way less messy than creams.
If you’re ditching your drawers because of vulva sensitivity, you should consider switching up your body wash too. Many soaps and washes contain ingredients that can irritate delicate vaginal skin, and throw your vagina’s natural pH balance off. Using a pH balanced wash can help make sure you’re treating your lady bits right.
The Final Verdict
If you want to go commando it’s perfectly fine to do so. If you’re especially prone to issues like BV and yeast infections, going panty-free occasionally may even help you avoid infections. You might find you feel a little more empowered and sexy when you go commando too. Whatever you decide to do, do it with confidence. You’re going to rock this.
Sarah Nelson is a nurse with 15 years of experience working with a variety of patients. She has a Masters of Science in Nursing and has spent a large portion of her career working exclusively with women in an OB/GYN setting.
Nursing is a passion for Sarah but she also enjoys writing and sharing her expertise online with people who need helpful information. Treating patients well and helping them learn more about their own bodies is a key essential to a healthy lifestyle that Sarah truly believes in.