“You really should not wear your underwear to bed if you’re prone to vaginal issues,” says Nancy Herta, MD, an ob-gyn at Michigan State University. Here’s why: Between discharge and sweat, things tend to get moist down there, and underwear can trap that moisture, creating a breeding ground for bad bacteria.
“Allowing that area to get some air helps to keep it dry and clean,” Herta says, adding that giving your vagina some breathing room lets it better take care of itself.
Going underwear-free is especially a good idea if you have a yeast infection or get them often, says board-certified ob-gyn Pari Ghodsi, MD. Instead of undies, she suggests wearing loose cotton pajama pants to bed with nothing underneath.
If you’re totally freaked out by the idea of sleeping commando, Herta recommends that you try loose-fitting cotton underwear, which can help absorb some of the moisture instead of keeping it right against you, like silk or lace does. Silk and lace can also irritate the skin around your vagina, Ghodsi says, making it an especially good idea to ditch these undies before you hop into bed.
Of course, if you can’t sleep sans underwear and have never had a problem, Ghodsi says you’re probably fine to keep doing what you’ve been doing.
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