By Laura Tedesco
Updated: September 04, 2014
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Gynecologists often recommend slipping off your panties while you sleep, as a way to let your vulva breathe (and potentially reduce your risk of infections). Yet only 18 percent of women actually follow this advice, according to a new Brazilian study. "I often tell my patients to sleep without underwear, and some of them look at me like I have three heads," says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., co-author of V is for Vagina. "They're concerned about vaginal discharge-that you're supposed to have a barrier. Wearing no underwear might seem kind of gross to them."

But it's actually a smart idea to ditch your undies at night, since your lady parts are naturally moist, dark, and hairy. "If [the area] is constantly covered-especially by a fabric that's not moisture-wicking or absorbent-moisture collects," says Dweck. "That's a perfect breeding ground for bacteria or yeast." That's why she recommends going commando at least some of the time, especially if you're frequently plagued by infections below the belt.

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Can't imagine sleeping sans panties? Choose a loose-fitting cotton pair (no spandex or Lycra!), or borrow a pair of comfy boxers from your guy. "If there's ever a time to break out the granny panties, this would be the time," says Dweck.

You can air things out during the day too-without necessarily going commando: If you constantly wear pantyliners (you never know when your period might show up!), give those a rest, since the material isn't very breathable. And consider cutting the crotch out of your pantyhose to make them less restricting to your lady parts, Dweck suggests. (Really-it works!)

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Comments (3)

Anonymous
August 15, 2018
Going commando is fine if that's what people want to do. But what about those of us who have a lot of vaginal discharge?? I have to wear liners all the time (and change them all the time every day depending on how heavy my discharge is that day). I'm not worried about smell or anything. I'm worried about making a mess. And what happens if I lose the race to the bathroom and start to tinkle?? I don't have as much feeling down there as I used to after giving birth and can't find the muscles to clench for those Kegel exercises. I've never had a problem with infections and I wear breathable, moisture-wicking panties because I exercise a lot. Yeah, I think I'll stick with my undies and liners.
Anonymous
April 22, 2018
Without underwear our [filtered] will give of a odor that's why we should wear underwear that how I were raised
Anonymous
April 8, 2017
I think it's just fine for someone to go commando, I've been going commando my w[filtered] entire life and I truly don't care who knows. Not everyone needs or wants to wear underwear and I certainly have never had any underwear and have never worn any underwear. Underclothing is not meant for everyone and I truly believe I am meant to go without wearing underclothing. Plenty of people don't wear any underclothing at all but feel they shouldn't tell everyone how they truly dress. I love freeballing, I'm glad I was raised in a family where no one wears underclothing at all. I'm 35yrs old and I will dress this way for the rest of my life and I'm proud to be someone who always has and always will go 100% full on commando. I'd like to hear from other people who dress the same way.