Urinary Tract Infections are hands down horrible, yet so many women suffer from them. Why? A myriad of problems can help trigger this annoying health disruption, but we wanted to look at what you are wearing beneath your clothes. From thongs to granny panties, is your underwear causing your UTI?

Cotton liners, fab or flub?

Most companies refer to the cotton patch inside your undies as moisture-wicking protection. But that may not be the truth. Moisture-wicking material is a technical fabric that should help draw moisture away from the body. Cotton absorbs very little water. Therefore cotton may not be the garment if you are sweating. Now some cotton is designed to breathe and for basic, every day wear it is still your OBGYN’s recommendation, but fabrics such as polyester and new synthetic materials are better suited to keep moisture at bay. Whether workout or Disneyworld on a hot summer day, cotton liners inside your panties could be the culprit of your sudden UTI.

To thong or not to thong?

It depends. Thongs can quickly move out of place, causing friction, especially if you are active. Friction can lead to discomfort and the spread of harmful little germs that cause UTI’s and vaginal bacterial infections. Movement of a thong can also lead to germs from your backside spreading to the front side. Females learn to wipe from front to back to prevent spreading E. Coli so that a slippery thong could be reversing that method. Eww! On another note, there is a stay-in-place activewear panty line featured in Goop that stays in place, does not have a cotton liner, and is made to be antimicrobial. Quo Active, how many washes are you good for?

Mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?

When it comes to wearing pretty and sexy, there are a couple of things to remember. Size and fit are key. You don’t want your panties moving around, and if you know you are going to be in heat and moisture, plan for it. For example, satin and lace are pretty and fashionable yet not breathable. We know grandma always said to be practical, but it is probably because she knew a thing or two. “Heat and moisture are your worst enemy,” Christine O’Connor, M.D., director of Well Woman Care and Adolescent Gynecology at The Weinberg Center for Women’s Health at Mercy Medical Center proclaimed to SHAPE Magazine. (https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/beauty-style/7-underwear-facts-might-surprise-you) “These are the two things that encourage bacterial growth, which can lead to UTI’s, yeast infections, or bacterial vaginosis.” 

So the question remains, which panty is right for your lifestyle?

Looking for something playful, sexy, and that will stay put? Some women swear by Hanky Panky, and a Nordstrom lingerie employee stated most are raving about the Retro Thong ($23) that is one size fits all. The high waist and no lines are flattering, even on curvy body types.

Are you active? If hot yoga, summer hiking, spin, or gym-to-work or gym-to-errands are on your to-do list, you may want to consider Quo Active’s antimicrobial high waist thong ($24) made for on-the-go and stay in place protection while getting your sweat on. The lightweight material of Quo is also great for travel, as the active working properties in the underwear can be rinsed and hung to dry and worn again without having to get cleaning sent off at your hotel. Bonus points!

If no show, comfort, and zero lines are what you are seeking, then fans rave about Calvin Klein Invisibles Thong ($13), Chantelle Intimates Soft Stretch Seamless Bikini ($18), and Spanx Undie Tectable Lace Hipster Panties ($24). Elastic-free edges are the key to no show and comfort for many.

Investing in the right underwear is worth every penny.

Many companies, such as UndercLub, offer style questionnaire’s to discover the best styles for your body type, but we have yet to find anyone discussing the best for preventing UTI’s. And if you have had a UTI before or are prone to them, you know preventing UTI’s is vital.

Tips for preventing UTI’s

  • Find a style of underwear that stays put and works with you, not against you.
  • At the first sign of wetness, it is time for an underwear swap.

  • Plan ahead. If you know, you are working out or in the hot summer sun, take an extra pair or invest in antimicrobial panties.
  • Avoid going commando, especially if there is friction. Our bodies need protection. Commando in jeans will not help protect in keeping you dry and fresh.
  • Don’t be the one exposing everything in the yoga studio. Yoga pants are amazing, but in three-legged downward dog most likely if you are going commando, you are exposing all your bits to the world. Find a solution that will move with your yoga routine.