Hazardous Material

By: Rachel Calderon
By: Rachel Calderon

As waistbands get lower, and clothes get tighter, women are turning to one style of lingerie to keep their unmentionables, unmentioned: thong underwear.

"Everyone wear jeans without pockets or tight jeans, and you don't want your panty lines to show," Ilana Fisher, Employee, Bottoms Up.

"Even though they don't look comfortable, they are, and they look good under clothes," Sherry Fisher, Owner, Bottoms Up.

But it's not just the racy styles and flashy colors putting the thong in the hot seat. Some gynecologists are calling them hazardous material because they could promote recurring gynecological infections since bacteria stays in a confined space.

"The theory is that because of the way the undergarment is designed, bacteria travels from the rectum to the vagina, promoting vaginal infections," Dr. Thomas Petroff, DeWitt Women's Health.

While there haven't been any scientific studies connecting thong underwear to infections, there is proof that cotton underwear is less likely to promote infections than those made with synthetic materials. Still, some gynecologists say you should see your doctor to determine what's really causing the problem.

"Unless you're talking to a health care provider, then you're not going to know what's really happening and if this is really the problem. A lot of women go about this by self-treating themselves with over the counter products. I think that's the real issue, rather than the type of undergarment they're wearing," said Dr. Petroff.

Also raising hazmat eyebrows are hip hugger jeans. A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal says these low riding britches may squeeze a sensory nerve under the hipbone that could cause a burning sensation in the thighs called parathesia.

While none of these threads pose life-threatening risks, it's important to size yourself properly for whatever you choose to strut. Not just for style but of course, for comfort.

This isn't the first time fashion has come under fire. In the 19th century, corsets were to blame for back problems and fainting spells, and in the 70s and 80s when men sported tight fitting jeans, those were to blame for low sperm counts.


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