Can we be real for a second? It’s not easy finding the perfect leggings if you’re someone who sweats a lot. Though there are hundreds of leggings that claim to be moisture-wicking and super breathable, many tend to fall short of keeping one sensitive area truly ventilated and sweat-free: the groin.
At least that’s what former college athlete Mitch Gilbert experienced and why she created OYA Femtech Apparel—a stylish line of activewear that prioritizes vaginal health through its fabrics. It was something that the former rugby player became passionate about after a trip to the gynecologist revealed that the leggings she wore every day as an athlete may be in part to blame for some of the health problems she was experiencing..."down there."
Though leggings may not always be a direct cause of vaginal health issues, a build up of sweat around the vulva can be. "Excessive sweat in the groin, especially if leading to prolonged exposure to moisture, can increase the risk for yeast infections," says OB/GYN and co-founder of Ina, Dr. Beri Ridgeway, MD. "Additionally, it can also affect the natural bacterial flora and pH of the vulva/vagina and may increase the risk of bacterial vaginosis," Ridgeway says.
For this reason, she recommends changing out of your workout clothes and underwear immediately following a high intensity or tough workout. She also says it's important to seek out workout clothing and fabric that is both breathable and moisture-wicking so that moisture does not cling to the skin. If moisture stays on the skin for a long time, this can potentially lead to "irritation, discomfort and possibly infections."
As a potential solution to reduce excessive sweat in the groin, Gilbert created the OYA Femtech Apparel Happy Vagina V-Cut Leggings ($94). They're some of the first of their kind to have antimicrobial and highly perforated panels along the crotch and inner thighs. These enhanced features are designed to help more efficiently absorb moisture, reduce bacteria, and provide the ultimate breathability for your vagina during your most heart-pumping exercises.
"Leggings with mesh paneling in the crotch and along the thighs can definitely be useful in increasing air flow to the groin and prevention towards vaginitis as well as other issues as well," says Dr. Monica Grover, OB/GYN and chief medical officer at VSPOT. "This allows for some ventilation for perspiration and moisture is not getting trapped in the area."
For people like me, whose thicker thighs are prone to chafe and sweat during a workout or when sitting cross-legged all day, the leggings are a total dream come true.
The fabric and design
Made of buttery soft polyester and lycra, these pants are programmed to keep your nether regions moisture-free 24/7. As mentioned earlier, the secret is the strategically placed mesh cutouts inside the thighs and at the vaginal opening. Additionally, the leggings have a removable (and washable) cotton gusset that works like a tiny panty liner that you can insert at the crotch to help absorb even more moisture. In fact, it’s so absorbent that the brand says you can ditch your underwear entirely when working out. Though we should point out it's recommended to wear underwear with leggings on most occasions.
So, given all these super convenient features, I was eager to try out the leggings for my 45-minute HIIT workout. Right off the bat, they're incredibly stretchy and the fit is really, REALLY flattering. The cross-waist completely elongated my waist and gave me a gorgeous hour-glass shape. The polyester fabric is also creamy soft on the outside and easily contours to your body's curves so that you can stretch in nearly any position without any tightness. And while the fabric isn't restrictive or super compressed, the thicker polyester provides great support. Oh, and did I mention there are side pockets, too?!
How they held up during my workout
For my first workout session, I decided to really put these leggings to the test by not wearing any underwear at all. Spoiler alert: They felt great. The leggings were super easy to move in and kept my groin area pretty cool from start to finish. In fact, during a set of prisoner squats I could feel a gentle breeze along my inner thighs as my body moved up and down. Additionally, the fabric didn’t irritate or rub against my skin because of the mesh paneling, which is super thin in comparison to rest of the leggings' fabric.
The cotton gusset was also useful. Though it felt a little uncomfortable to wear at first, I got used to it the more I began to move. All in all, the leggings are super comfortable and great for both low-impact and high-impact workouts. The only drawback is the stay-put factor. As I transitioned into more plyometric movements like jumping lunges and knee jumps, I occasionally had to tug on the waistline to keep the leggings from sliding down. But that’s not a total dealbreaker, especially given the flexibility and comfort I felt with these leggings after I worked out. They’re form fitting, easy to lounge in both during and post workout, and allow my vagina the airflow it needs. Plus, they're OG/BYN- tested and athlete-approved. What more could you ask for?
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