6 things that happen if you stop wearing underwear when you work out.

Do you wear undies when you workout? Cause apparently it's something a lot of people don't do. No, seriously! 

We even wrote an entire article on how going commando when you work out is very much a 'Thing' (it is).

And it turns out its way more common than we thought. Apparently eight per cent of women ditch their underwear on the reg, while 25 per cent slink back and forth between column A and column B. 


Watch: More of a pro underwear kinda gal? Here's the best knickers you'll ever wear. Post continues below.

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Whether it's for comfort (free! breezy!) or appearance (no VPL!), there are lots of very obvious benefits to ditching underwear. 

But are there any gross side effects to worry about? Like, will it make you stinky down there? Will chafing be an issue? What about thrush? TELL US ABOUT THE THRUSH.

Because we have all the same questions as you, we hit up obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Nicole Stamatopoulos and registered nurse and nutritionist Madeline Calfas, founder of The Wellness Group, and asked them if there are any health risks associated with going commando.

1. You might get thrush if you re-wear your workout leggings.

Do you tend to just 'air' out your tights after you workout and wear 'em again the next day? C'mon, be honest!

While you're not at increased risk of getting thrush by not wearing underwear, if you re-wear your sweaty workout tights on the reg, this could end up causing issues downstairs. 

If you're working out without underwear in sweat-drenched clothes, fungi can multiply quickly and cause some ~issues~ where you absolutely do not want issues. (Your vagina. We're talking about your vagina).

"Thrush (candida overgrowth) can happen regardless of whether you wear underwear or not. Yeast thrives in dark, warm, moist environments, so whether this is in your underwear or in your tights will make no difference," explains Calfas.

"What does make a difference though, is cleanliness, so make sure you keep your workout gear well-washed and dried after EVERY workout!"

2. You might experience different odours.

This kinda goes without saying, but sweaty clothes and no underwear can potentially ramp up the odour. 

And while there's nothing wrong with vaginal odour (she's just fine, thanks), not wearing underwear might make the scent smell a little stronger.

"Another factor to consider is that you may notice a bit of a body odour much faster than if you do opt to wear undies," said Calfas.

"This is usually due to the fact that you have less layers of fabric to keep any smells in, as well as the fact that instead of your underwear absorbing the sweat and perspiration (and any bacteria along with it, which is the cause of body odour), it is now your leggings that are the perspiration catchment," she adds.


3. Chafing and irritation might be a concern.

Your vagina. She's sensitive. And if your underwear is being replaced by something that's continuously moving across your vulva with no protection - this is not a good time. Chafing and irritation can occur - especially if you're wearing the wrong kinda gear.

So, just make sure you're careful about what kind of active wear you choose to free ball in, okay?

"There is the possibility of increased chafing, but gym-wear designers are becoming much more aware of things like seam placement these days, which can help to reduce the likelihood of this," said Calfas.

"If you prefer to go underwear-free and find you are getting friction etc, it's time to rethink your leggings."

4. Folliculitis is a thing that can happen.

While folliculitis is a thing that can happen with or without underwear, your chances may run a little higher if you're going commando.

Listen: Want to learn more about folliculitis? Omg, really? Great! Listen to Mamamia's podcast for your face, You Beauty, where we talk about what it is, why you get it and how to get rid of it. Post continues below. 

"Folliculitis occurs due to inflammation of a hair follicle. This can occur with or without underwear. Depending on the location, the risk of folliculitis will be higher without underwear due to friction from rubbing," said Dr Stamatopoulos.

Similarly with chafing, Calfas said it all comes down to your choice of athletic wear. 

"Folliculitis is due to a bacterial overgrowth in a hair follicle, and can happen whether you do or don't wear underwear during your workout. Keeping your workout clothes clean and well-washed, and showering immediately after your workout can help to prevent folliculitis from happening."

So, it's kinda a conditional one. As long as you keep things clean and fresh - you should be okay!

5. It could be easier to get UTIs.

Approximately no one likes UTIs, but apparently those with a hair-free/undie-free situation are more at risk of getting a urinary tract infection.

"Not using underwear may cause more of an irritation when wearing shorts, jeans or trousers due to the seam. It's also possible that the lack or pubic hair is more of a risk factor for thrush and urinary tract infections than no underwear," said Dr Stamatopoulos. 

6. You might notice discharge on your leggings.

Every adult woman has some sort of vaginal discharge going on - it's usually a creamy-white colour with a thick consistency. This is nothing to be worried about and is actually a sign that everything is in good working order (go you good thing!). 

And while wearing no underwear with your tights won't change your discharge (if you do notice anything different, go see your GP - something else could be going down, here), the choice to ditch underwear means there's nowhere for your discharge to be ~collected~. Meaning? You'll be all stain-y Sue on the inside of your tights. Which is no big deal, really. Just a kinda good-to-know thing, I guess.

Do you wear underwear when you workout? Have you ever noticed any issues? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty