pantsTraditionally, men have had only a handful of choices – briefs, boxers, boxer briefs or commando. Women, on the other hand, are offered more and more choices in the underwear department – French cut panties, bikini panties, boy shorts, thongs, g-strings, and c-strings. That’s right – C-strings. Oh, and let’s not forget the granny panties!

But nowadays, women are choosing to ditch the underwear and go commando like men have done for ages!

Christina Aguilera told Cosmopolitan she hates wearing underwear. She admitted going panty less is “empowering.”

But how healthy is going commando versus wearing panties, especially to bed?

It’s the kind of question that is bound to start a debate within your closest circle of friends—Do you sleep with underwear on or off?

Many women would likely answer in the affirmative. However, experts say when a woman does so on a daily basis when it’s not necessarily because she is having her period, there may be untoward
side effects to it! Therefore, women should drop their drawers at their bedside and “let the air in” or “let it air out,” except, of course, during the code red nights!

Physicians aver that the female genital needs to breathe in order to maintain its PH levels and prevent fungi and odor. And that’s why doctors advise going bare below when it is bed time at the close of day.

“With Bacterial Vaginosis (BV), there is an increase in harmful bacteria and a decrease in good bacteria. BV is the most common vaginal infection in women of child-bearing age.”

Part of the problem, says Family Physician, Dr. Grace Obong, is that during the day, women wear a variety of panties and tight outfits that hardly allow their privates to breathe. She says though it’s advisable and absolutely preferable to wear cotton panties, many women still opt for polyester panties, with the attendant heating up of the genital area while the day lasts.

And as for those who may not like to go to sleep without having pants on, Obong recommends wearing of boxers or pajamas.

Bacterial Vaginosis
Talking about the need to maintain the PH levels of the vagina, experts at say the vagina normally has a balance of mostly “good” bacteria and fewer “harmful” bacteria. However, a condition, called bacterial vaginosis, develops when the balance changes.

Obong says women with BV may have an abnormal vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor, while some women may complain of a strong fish-like odor, especially after sex. “The discharge can be white (milky) or gray. It may also be foamy or watery. Other symptoms may include burning when urinating, itching around the outside of the vagina, and irritation; while some women with BV have no symptoms at all,” she adds.

Yeast infection
To further underscore the negative effects of wearing panties to bed, online portal, Medline Plus, also notes that too much moist in the female genital area can lead to vaginal yeast infection, most commonly due to the fungus Candida Albicans.

“Wearing tight underwear or a pair made from polyester or some other material that doesn’t breathe can lock in moisture and lead to yeast infections,” the warning goes.

And while yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted illness, physicians say some men will develop symptoms such as itching and a rash on the penis after having sexual contact with an infected partner.

The symptoms of yeast infection are as obnoxious as they are embarrassing, and they include abnormal vaginal discharge, which ranges from a slightly watery, white discharge to a thick, white, chunky discharge; painful intercourse, painful urination, redness and swelling of the vulva; and itching in the vagina and the labia. You may also feel burning sensation when you have yeast infection.

Go natural

The online physician, Dr. Mehmet Oz, counsels, “It’s time to go au naturel. You don’t want it to be so moist down there. Let it dry out a little bit.” He says. “Secondly, the underpants can abrade on your skin a little bit, which can cause pimples, and you don’t want that.”

By Josephine Otieno