What Your Skinny Jeans Are Really Doing To Your Vagina

Those tight pants look great from the back, but do you know what’s going on up front?

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with your vagina. From yeast infections to toxic shock syndrome, problems range from straight up uncomfortable to flat out dangerous if you’re not treating your lady parts with care. So naturally, we got a little nervous when we heard that the clothes we wear might be unknowingly wrecking havoc down there.

If you search the Internet to find out what causes yeast infections or other ailments like bacterial vaginosis, chances are you’ve stumbled upon the notion that wearing tight pants can cause some issues.

What Your Skinny Jeans Are Really Doing To Your Vagina

Does this mean you have to give up your skinny jeans to avoid an obnoxious itch? We asked someone whose job it is to keep vaginas healthy.

Tight pants can definitely irritate the lady bits, but usually the problem only seems like an infection.

The biggest problem with tight pants, especially jeans, is that they can rub up against the vulva and cause irritation. “Some women have more sensitivity,” Tami Rowen, M.D., an ob/gyn at UCSF Medical Center specializing in sexual health concerns, tells SELF. “Tight pants rubbing and putting pressure [on the vulva] can cause irritation.” This can lead to symptoms that look very similar to an infection, like itchiness, redness, and irritation. But what’s really happening is that the skin is inflamed. “I’ll do a biopsy, and it comes down to that something is irritating the skin tissue,” Rowen explains. “The biopsy shows inflammation that just shouldn’t be there.” Some people may mistake this irritation for infection, which is why it’s important to see your gyno instead of trying to self-treat.

Chances are slim, though, that your skinny jeans themselves will cause an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria. Theoretically, however, they could be one small part of the larger equation. “You could, in theory, say yes,” that tight pants may increase your risk, Rowen says. They decrease breathability, helping trap heat and moisture in your vagina, which can promote an environment where yeast and bacteria thrive. It makes sense. But what you have on underneath those jeans is more important.

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