Hoda Kotb Thinks It’s ‘Gross’ to Skip Underwear — Here’s What An Ob-Gyn Says

Kotb discussed the pros and cons of going commando with Jenna Bush Hager.

Today Hosts Commando Debate
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Hoda Kotb shared a pretty personal detail about her co-host Jenna Bush Hager during a recent episode of Today with Hoda & Jenna. Kotb revealed that she recently learned Bush Hager "never wears underwear," when the two were changing before a show.

Despite possibly being a bit embarrassed, Bush Hager defended her preference to go commando. "I think it makes a more pretty silhouette," she said during the episode. "I also think you don't have to pack as much. There's a lot of pros to it!" Kotb disagrees; "It's gross," she told Us Magazine, referring to Bush Hager's preference.

The duo joked about the former first daughter's argument, with Kotb noting that a Today styling team supervisor took Bush Hager's side. Both anchors made it clear that Bush Hager does launder her clothes, and she joked that if she wants to borrow her pal's pants, she'll wear underwear.

All jokes aside, you might be curious about whether or not it's safe to go out sans underwear, or if it's actually beneficial to skip them altogether. Or perhaps you want to let your vagina "breathe" when you sleep or hit the gym, and you're wondering whether you really do need to wear underwear when you work out. Short answer: It's totally fine to take Bush Hager's approach.

"Whether or not someone chooses to wear underwear is really a matter of comfort," says Dr. Jill Purdie, M.D., ob-gyn and medical director at Northside Women's Specialists, part of Pediatrix Medical Group. "There is no medical reason to wear or to not wear underwear. There is a [longstanding], popular myth that people with vaginas should wear all-cotton underwear or no underwear at night to help the skin breathe and prevent infection." In reality, you can wear any type of underwear you like — or skip it — as long as long as you don't wear a pair that is ill-fitting, rubs, or chafes, she says.

An exception? "The one time it might be recommended to wear underwear is immediately after hair removal," says Dr. Purdie. "Any type of pubic hair removal can cause micro trauma to the skin. These small areas of skin trauma can allow bacteria to enter under the skin and cause a vulva infection, so wearing comfortably fitting, breathable underwear immediately after hair removal would be advisable."

Even during a super sweaty workout, you can totally choose what feels most comfortable to you. Some people might prefer the flexibility and mobility (and lack of VPL) that going underwear-free provides, while others might notice a bit more workout-related body odor in the genital area due to a lack of added fabric barrier between your skin and your pants, as New York-based ob-gyn Alyssa Dweck, M.D., previously told Shape.

"There have been no studies to show that wearing underwear or not increases risk of infection for the vulva or vagina, even during working out," says Dr. Purdie, noting that the risk increases if you stick around in your sweaty workout clothes for a long time without changing. That's because "yeast and bacteria thrive in moist, dark, warm places such as in the genital area confined in tight non-breathable material during and after a workout," as Dr. Dweck previously told Shape. And so washing up and changing into clean pants quickly after your sweat session is ideal.

"If someone were to remain in sweaty, wet clothing for a long period of time, they may develop some irritation or chafing," says Dr. Purdie. "Most people are not going to remain in wet clothing long enough to cause an issue because it's uncomfortable."

So there you have it, folks. While Kotb might not be down for ditching her underwear, there's no reason why Bush Hager — or anyone else, for that matter — has to give up their preference to go commando.

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