How your underwear can increase your risk of nasty infection in the heatwave | The Sun

WEARING a thong could increase your risk of thrush in the hot weather, doctors say.

Tight underwear boosts the chances of yeast infections, which are already more likely when temperatures are high.

The mercury topped 32C yesterday and is set to remain above 30C in parts of Britain throughout the rest of the week.

Experts say your choice of underwear could determine how likely you are to get an infection.

Dr Anne Henderson, a consultant gynaecologist working with Canesten, said you should try wearing loose fitting knickers to lessen your risk.

She said: “There is some evidence that tighter underwear, such as thong-style pants, can increase the risk of localised irritation, as well as infections such as thrush and cystitis.

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“However, this is obviously dependent on the exact style of pant and fabric used.  

"Looser styles, such as French knickers, may be beneficial for women with recurrent vulval-vaginal problems, but again, personal choice also plays a role.

"I would always recommend that women do not wear underwear at night unless there is a specific need, such as when menstruating, when it may be more comfortable to wear underwear whilst using sanitary products."

Thrush is a common yeast infection caused by Candida funguses, which are normally present in the vagina but kept under control by normal bacteria.

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Changes to the balance of bacteria, which can be caused by stress, pregnancy or antibiotics, can lead to the fungus growing.

This may lead to white discharge, itchiness, soreness during sex or when peeing and redness in women, according to the NHS.

Men can also experience an unpleasant smell and difficulty pulling back the foreskin.

Infections are usually treated with anti-fungal medicines, but repeated bouts of yeast could mean you need to see your GP.

Dr Henderson said you can help protect against infections by wearing underwear made from natural fibres, like cotton.

She said: “This is preferable as they have the ability to 'breathe', whereas many synthetic fibres do not.”

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Dr Henderson said: “The frequency of changing your underwear during the day is partly based on personal choice, however I would advise most women to change theirs at least once every 24 hours to avoid the growth of organisms such as yeast or candida.

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"If you feel you should change your underwear more often than that, consider your activity levels throughout the day.

"If you’re working out a lot in the morning, it may be best to change into a new pair of underwear after showering – as inevitably exercising will increase sweat production from the groin area.”

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