Surprise, it’s totally OK to go commando (aka wearing no underwear) under your workout leggings, shorts, or pants! Here’s why: bacteria and yeast grow best in areas that are warm, dark, and moist and when we exercise the vagina is even warmer because the body is producing sweat. So, adding in an extra layer of fabric with something like underwear gives bacteria and yeast a great place to grow! Eliminating the extra layer of fabric (the underwear) gives the vagina more area to breathe.
However, it’s important to mention three things before your next workout. First, working out without underwear isn’t for everyone and wearing underwear is still safe. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable. Second, if you choose to not wear underwear, make sure you choose athletic wear that is loose around the vagina. Pants or shorts that are too light can cause friction (rubbing) near the vagina, which could cause irritation, so make sure there a little extra room. Finally, whether you wear underwear or not, always make sure to change out of your sweaty clothes right after your workout. Even without underwear, the vagina after a workout is still warm, dark, and moist, so it’s best to put on fresh clothes!