Thongs may or may not always be the most comfortable underwear choice, but sometimes they can certainly serve a purpose. If you're trying to avoid underwear lines, for instance, thongs can be a good option. And for some people, they're the preferred choice no matter the circumstances — they just really do think that thongs are more comfortable. But there are some surprising times you should never wear a thong for reasons ranging from hygiene to injury, infection, and beyond.
"Thong underwear is great if you’re wearing comfortable pants, or a long slinking gown," Dr. Felice Gersh, MD, an OB/GYN and the founder/director of the Integrative Medical Practice of Irvine in Irvine, California, tells Romper by email. "No panty line will show. There actually aren’t any health benefits to a thong, but if you enjoy wearing one, it should be just fine. Just avoid the obvious and less obvious situations when wearing one is a bad idea!"
Knowing when (and why) you shouldn't wear thongs can also inform your knowledge base on when you can or even should wear them. That's why it's so important. If you regularly reflexively reach for a thong without putting much thought into it or consider panty lines or no panty lines the only factor when determining whether or not to wear a thong on a given day, you need to know what other sorts of things might also be important to consider.
1. You Had A Baby Pretty Recently
If your body is healing after giving birth, it's not yet time for you to put a thong back on your body. "The string could irritate the perineum (opening of the vagina), and rub the episiotomy site, if there was one," Gersh says. That's definitely not what you want to do.
2. You're Bleeding A Lot
If you're bleeding quite a bit, that's also not the time to wear a thong, Gersh says. Instead, keep the thong safely in your underwear drawer and wear it when the bleeding isn't happening anymore.
3. You've Had Sex With Someone New
Gersh says that it's definitely a good idea to refrain from putting a thong on immediately after having sex with someone new. "The string portion can cause irritation and potentially increase the risk of a vaginal infection or of a sexually acquired infection by causing inflammation in the vagina," Gersh adds. "Rectal bacteria can move into the area if the vagina, with a wick-like action."
4. You're Dealing With Urinary Incontinence
Anytime you're dealing with urinary incontinence is another period of time when you should probably not wear a thong, Gersh says. It's better to wear fuller-coverage underwear instead.
5. You've Had Sex In General
Gersh says that you shouldn't wear a thong after sex in general for the same reasons that you shouldn't wear a thong after having sex with someone new. It can up the chances that you might develop an infection, which is concerning whether or not your partner is brand-new or someone you've had sex with a number of times in the past.
6. You're Currently Pregnant
You shouldn't wear a thong while you're pregnant either, Gersh says. "A thong worn when pregnant might increase the risk of a urinary tract infection," she explains. You're better off saving your thongs until after your pregnancy has ended and your body has healed, particularly if you're already prone to getting infections.
7. You're Going To Be Trying On Clothes
If you're getting ready to go out and try on clothes, you're better off opting for fuller-coverage underwear instead of a thong. "That simply is not hygienic in either direction," Gersh says.
Though there are plenty of times when wearing a thong is OK or even maybe preferable, there are also some times when you might really not want to wear one. From pregnancy to shopping for clothes, not every occasion is the absolute best one for wearing a thong.