Here's What Happens If You Don't Wear Underwear With Your Yoga Pants

Let's be honest: Yoga pants are the best items of clothing ever invented. Yes, we're not afraid to say it. They're just so versatile! They're great for yoga (naturally), weight-lifting, running, HIIT workouts, and cardio. Heck, they're great for lounging around the house in your comfy nook for straight-up chilling. And not for nothing, but your partner probably adores seeing your figure in them (va-va-voom!). Plus, there are many different yoga fashions from various brands, prices, and styles to help you easily curate your yoga wardrobe. But, as we're learning, it's not the yoga pants that count; it's what's underneath them that truly matters.


Perhaps you've questioned which kind of panty to wear under the yoga pants. They are quite tight, after all, so panty lines and elastics would show through the fabric, making many people opt for, uh, shall we say, an "unfurnished basement." But is that the most hygienic choice for those with vulvas and vaginas? Is "going commando" a good idea? We investigate.

Underwear and tight yoga pants could irritate your vulva

Even though granny panties are 2023's most improbable fashion trend, the lines and elastics on them can show through the fabric of tight yoga pants. Therefore, many of us might opt to wear nothing at all underneath our favorite Lululemons. But as anyone who's ever dealt with a urinary tract infection or a yeast infection will tell you, keeping your vulva and vagina clean, dry, and away from harmful bacteria is critical to having happy bits and bobs. "Anything that introduces bacteria that is not normally found in the vagina can potentially cause vaginal infections, such as yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis (BV)," Dr. Sarah Yamaguchi told Self


That's why, for some people, going commando under your yoga pants might be bad for your genital health. "Bacteria and yeast love a moist and warm environment," Dr. Doerthe Brueggmann told Shape. "So a very effective and simple protection is to wear any underwear under your workout gear to catch sweat and developing moisture. This is why it's not a good idea to go commando!"

Frequently going commando? You might be in the clear!

We all love and remember the classic "Friends" episode where Chandler steals all of Joey's underwear, so Joey throws on all of Chandler's clothes, except for one important item. Sans undies, he reveals he's going commando and then proceeds to make a few deep lunges. See, if Joey can exercise without any undies and be fine, it turns out maybe you can too.


If you frequently work out in yoga pants without underwear and have never experienced a UTI, a yeast infection, or bacterial vaginosis, then it stands to reason you might be fine going forward. According to Dr. David Bank, wearing yoga pants that have built-in undies with fabric that keeps moisture away from your genitals is probably why you've been so lucky. "If you frequently wear bottoms with moisture-wicking capabilities, then underwear is not necessary," he told Shape. 

Dr. Sarah Yamaguchi adds that while most yoga pants do "trap sweat," it's unlikely the fabric will rub against your genitals like panties could, which could cause further vaginal issues (via Self). Nevertheless, you should never re-wear your workout clothes before washing them to prevent infections. 


Thongs might not be the best choice

Most women these days love wearing thongs with every outfit. They're small, they barely leave any lines, and for most of us, we can hardly even feel them. When it comes to wearing tight yoga pants, thongs might be your go-to, rather than wearing full-bottomed undies that leave lines or possibly bunch up during exercise. But thongs are reportedly the culprit when it comes to much of our vulva and vaginal irritation.


"The material [in thongs] causes more friction and irritation, and any friction or irritation can make little cuts or microabrasions in your skin, and those cuts can lead to bacterial infections, which can cause discomfort, itching, redness, pain," Dr. Scott Osmun told HuffPost. "I think thongs are definitely something to avoid when you're exercising. It's actually probably safer to go commando than to wear thongs."

No matter what you wear down there, depending on what works best for your body, most experts agree that you should aim for breathable materials like cotton and avoid polyester or lace. And don't forget to switch out of your sweaty clothes ASAP!