An ob-gyn weighs in on the health risks of your favorite item of clothing.
There's no dancing around the fact that we pretty much live in our workout leggings. And thanks to the athleisure trend, it’s become socially acceptable (to most people, at least) to sport the comfy attire almost anywhere—in the grocery store, at the movies, even out for drinks.
But we've been hearing rumors lately that wearing yoga pants all day could be bad for one's vag (*gasp!*). To find out more, we talked to Alyssa Dweck, MD, an ob-gyn at the Mount Kisco Medical Group in Westchester, New York, and author of V Is for Vagina.
Her (very reassuring) professional opinion: For most women, living in leggings won't hurt one's lady parts. (In fact, says Dr. Dweck, it might even offer a health benefit to new moms, by promoting blood circulation!) But women with sensitive skin and women who are prone to vaginal infections may need to be extra careful.
For those women especially, Dr. Dweck recommends leggings made of breathable, moisture-wicking fabric to keep perspiration from building up. The right material is even more crucial if you plan to run from bikram straight to brunch.
“If women sit around in workout clothes, particularly made of non-breathable fabric, for a long time after exercising, they may increase their chance of infection, because yeast and bacteria tend to thrive in warm, moist, dark environments," Dr. Dweck explains.
But it's all individual, she stresses. "Some women can walk around in wet workout clothes all day and have no problem." So if you've been rocking your stylish leggings 12 hours a day without issue, keep calm and carry on. Your vagina won't hate you. But it can't hurt to pick up a pair with a cotton crotch, just to play it safe, says Dr. Dweck.