Are Thongs Wrong and Giving You a UTI?

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A urinary tract infection (UTI) can happen at any time, when you least expect it, leaving you wondering how the heck it happened in the first place.

We meet so many patients at Greater Pittston Urology searching for a solution to their painful, recurring UTIs. We thought it might be a good idea to devote some blog space to talk about your undergarments and whether they’re able to do damage to your urinary health.

First Offender: Thongs

Let’s just talk thongs right off the bat. For most women, the advantage of wearing this type of “underwear” is no longer having to worry about VPLs or visible panty lines. Great! However, harmful E. coli bacteria can lurk in the back part of the thong fabric, eventually making their way to the vagina or urethra. From there, unwanted infections can occur. If (for whatever reason) you cannot part with your beloved thong, then you should try wearing the cotton variety. Don’t use thongs when you’re working out or doing strenuous physical activity as they can shift.

Second Offender: Synthetic Fabrics

Synthetics are not generally a good match for our genital area. Common synthetic fabrics include:

  • Lycra
  • Lace
  • Nylon
  • Polyester

These fabrics defy the laws of living and exist without breathing. This means also means they help create the ideal conditions for bacteria to grow and give you a UTI. Don’t be fooled by synthetic underwear claiming to have cotton in the crotch area either! There’s still a good chance enough moisture, and bacteria can even become trapped and cause urinary irritation.

Third Offender: Shapewear

Shapewear is everywhere these days. They can lead to an increased risk for UTIs, but it’s for a different reason than you might think. If you or someone you know has squeezed into some shapewear, you know how challenging it can make it to urinate. So, what do you do? You hold it. And then you hold it some more. This can cause a UTI and even more body torture than just having to wear the shapewear in the first place.

If you don’t want to give up your shapewear quite yet, remember to wash it regularly and try not to use it every day. It doesn’t breathe well and can do damage to your urinary health.

Fourth Offender: Workout Clothing

Your urologist is all for you working out and taking care of yourself, so don’t stop that! But always remember to take your sweaty clothes off immediately after you’re done with your excellent workout session. Take a shower and put on some clean, dry undergarments. Wearing damp workout clothes or bathing suits for too long can put you at an increased risk of developing UTIs and yeast infections.

Want to know the best undergarment option to help keep urinary issues at bay? It’s cotton because of its powerful ability to keep skin dry and free from moisture. With a dry genital area, bacteria stand less of a chance of surviving and thriving, causing you pain and discomfort.

If you consistently struggle with urinary or bladder problems, please don’t hesitate to schedule a visit with your doctor. He happy to listen to your concerns, plan any necessary treatment, and help you feel better fast.