Five underwear faux pas we all need to stop making.


They are our most trusted ally. Day in, day out, they sit quietly between our bum and clothing, hiding bits, protecting other bits, and generally making us feel safe against the perils of windy sidewalks and tight white denim.

But at the same time, they are our most neglected friend. We wash ’em in vigorous cotton cycles, tumble dry ’em in searing heat, leave them tossed on the floor, under beds, in gym bags. We buy them too small, too lacy, too tight, too uncomfortable – and neglect them in favour of the trusty Bonds Boyleg.

But our relationship with our dearest undie drawer could be forever repaired (and saved from the bastardly boyleg) if you do not commit these cardinal sins of lingerie.

Look after your undies and they will look after you.


1. Thou shalt buy the correct size.

Underwear that is too tight – ie. causes a serious camel toe or muffin top – is going to make for one very unhappy vagina.

“If your panties are leaving marks on your skin, you are putting yourself at risk for vaginal infections and rashes,” says obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Octavia Cannon told Cosmopolitan.

Ignore the official sizing on the tag – every brand will be slightly different. Big undies = happy bum.

2. Thou shalt steer clear of chemicals.

Our clever little vaginas depend on an incredibly delicate balance of natural yeast bacteria that serves to clean and protect.

Upset this balance, and y’all gonna end up with a nasty yeast infection. This can happen by introducing foreign chemicals into the area via fancy detergents or fragrances.

So, as tempting as it might be to have your crotch smelling like patchouli, opt for the fragrance and chemical free clothes wash instead.



3. Thou shalt give up the G-banger.

Okay, we get it. There are some items of clothing that 100 per cent require a g-string. And on those rare occasions, we say – good luck. Go for it. But for the daily G-string devotees? Time to reconsider.

As the string slides around during the course of the day (sitting, standing, bending, it can transfer E. Coli bacteria from your anus to your vagina. “Think about where the string slides when you sit down in a thong,” Dr. Cannon says. Eww.

4. Thou shalt not wear sweaty knickers.

Vaginal bacteria loves nothing more than dark, sweaty environments. And post-gym, your undies are 100 per cent guaranteed to be acting as a Swedish sauna for those nasties. The lesson? Get changed into something fresh.

Vulvovaginal expert Dr Jen Gunter says that while you might not end up with a yeast infection (an internal process) you could end up with an external rash.

“Women can also get yeast in their groin, a jock itch-like condition known as intertrigo, that’s usually accompanied by a rash. Intertrigo can be brought on or exacerbated by moisture and friction (like that caused by your post-workout undies).”

5. Thou shalt not do the inside-out trick.

We’ve all been there. It’s washing day. You’re already 20 minutes late for work. You glance at the washing basket and see a pair of knickers that look remarkably fresh. You flip those babies inside out and throw them on. Fine, right?

Er, not exactly. No matter how clean your knickers look, they are still housing bacteria from the last time you wore them. Have nothing fresh? Opt for the commando option – it’s much healthier.


So there you go. Find yourself some cotton-fresh knickers that actually fit, and you will have a happy vagina for life.

Next step? Time to make sure that your bra fits properly.