The type of underwear you buy may not matter to you, but it definitely matters to your vagina. According to OB-GYN Candice Fraser of Your Doctors Online, there are two things every woman should take into account when shopping around for intimates—material and fit.
Organic cotton beats silk every time.
If you’re planning on running errands or working out, cotton is your best option—it’s breathable, absorbent, and dries quickly.
“There’s no specific brand I recommend, however cotton underwear that’s not too tight is important,” Fraser says. “Cotton absorbs moisture better than other types of material, and excessive moisture can throw off the vagina’s pH and lead to bacterial infection.”
Avoid tight panties at all costs.
Tight-fitting underwear can actually make things worse, especially if you’re sensitive. (Tight underwear is a breeding ground for yeast infections!) If you’re uncomfortable down there, you may want to switch to looser-fitting underwear.
“Tight underwear can cause irritation to the vulva (external genitalia), which can lead to infections, inflammation, and discomfort,” Fraser adds. “Can you find not-too-tight cotton underwear that’s also sexy? You definitely can if you do your research.”
Here are a few doctor-approved panties to help you kickstart your search.
The Postpartum Panty
Don’t let the name of this cozy undergarment deter you. The Postpartum Panty (designed by OB-GYN Tara Shirazian) is perfect for anyone with a monthly menstrual cycle. Built with a soothing cold gel insert to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, this panty is ideal for individuals who’ve recently given birth, have endometriosis, or experience painful periods.
The Hip Hipster Panty
Majamas Earth for Women offers a variety of sustainable panty styles (including cheeky bikinis and hip hipsters) with organic cotton gussets for maximum comfort and a healthy environment.
These period-safe cotton panties are made with 95 percent cotton, which means they’re absorbent, light, airy, “unbelievably comfortable,” and perfect for running errands, working out, or going to the office.
Available in three colors (beige, white, and black), Prima’s 100 percent organic Prima cotton boyshorts are a comfortable smooth seam alternative to traditional thong underwear.
No Show Bikini
Looking for something more affordable? The Jockey Smooth & radiant Hi-Cut is your best option. They’re comfortable, won’t slide, and work with everything from leggings to dresses.