Is It Bad to Work Out In a Thong? We Asked a Gynecologist

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)

If you’re trying to avoid VPL (that’s visible panty line, for the uninitiated) while sporting leggings or bike shorts, wearing a thong is totally the way to go. But when you’re working out in said leggings or bike shorts, things get a little more complicated. The age-old question arises: Is it ok to work out in a thong? Honestly, we weren’t sure. So we decided to take our concerns to a gynecologist. Here’s what she had to say about wearing the minimal silhouette to work out. 

Is it bad to work out in a thong? 

Not necessarily, says Dr. Heather Irobunda, MD, an OB/GYN based in Queens, New York. “From a health perspective, it’s ok to work out in anything that makes you comfortable. For some people, working out in a thong may be comfortable,” she explains. That said, it does come with some risks. Exercising in a thong could increase your risk for a UTI by spreading bacteria to your urethra as you move. Yikes. It might also increase your risk for vaginal infections by trapping sweat and moisture in the area, adds Dr. Irobunda. 

What type of thong is best to work out in? 

If you prefer to work out in a thong, make sure it’s made out of a breathable, natural material like cotton, says Dr. Irobunda. “This will allow for air to flow, making sure there is less opportunity for moisture to get trapped in your underwear,” she explains. Sweat-wicking material is worth looking into, too. In other words, save the lace and silk for after the gym.

What is the best underwear for working out? 

According to Irobunda, the recommendations she made for thongs apply to all underwear: Look for breathable, natural material or something with sweat-wicking properties. In terms of cut, choose whatever feels most comfortable for you, she says.

The bottom line? To be safe, you might want to pick a bikini or hipster style for your next sweat sesh to ensure more air flow and less risk of UTIs. But if you truly like working out in thongs, there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. 

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