Lace Underwear Banned in 3 Countries, Experts Discuss Safety

Cotton underwear is often the most comfortable option, but there are some health benefits to wearing it too, said Dr. Jennifer Angler, a urogynecologist and co-author of ”A Woman’s Guide to Her Pelvic Floor: What the F*@# Is Going On Down There?” Cotton is considered the “gold standard” of panties when it comes to wicking away moisture and keeping the vaginal area clean and fresh, she said.

“The reason so many doctors recommend cotton panties, or at least cotton crotches, is that cotton is a very gentle, absorbent and breathable material,” said Dr. Victoria Scott, a urogynecologist and one of Angler’s co-authors. Synthetic materials like spandex and nylon may trap moisture and heat. This creates “an ideal environment for bacteria and yeast to grow and cause infection,” Scott said. Moreover, because cotton is “a gentle fabric,” it is less likely to “cause vulvar irritation,” which is uncomfortable and can be painful, she added.

People with certain health conditions should stick to wearing underwear with cotton crotches most of the time. “If you are prone to yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, or urinary tract infections, panties with cotton crotches may decrease your risk of developing infections,” Scott said. Additionally, people who have vaginal dryness or vulvar irritation or pain may find that panties with cotton crotches help keep them more comfortable. 

Greves adds that those with diabetes or who are pregnant are at higher risk for developing yeast infections and should stick with cotton linings to stay healthy. 

Those who want the benefits of cotton but the look of lace should look for panties with cotton crotches or cotton inserts. “The crotch is the most important part of panties for vulvar and vaginal health,” Scott explained. Underwear with a cotton crotch “allow for lace, or any material, underwear to be worn but with the comfort of cotton right where it matters most,” Angler said. 

What happens if you don’t have a cotton lining?

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