Though they may help pull off a fashion statement, thongs are not just a personal underwear preference- they may also cause certain health problems.
“One of the major problems would be a bladder infection. You have normal E-coli bacteria that sits in your stomach,” said Cyndi Evans, a nurse at Bond Community Health Center, “if a person has a bowel movement, some of the stool could get on the thong and cause a bladder infection. That could be pretty serious.”
Evans said that women could avoid these problems by wearing cotton underwear.
“We recommend that women wear cotton underwear as opposed to nylon. Cotton underwear absorbs more,” Evans said. “Hopefully, you decrease the risk of bladder infection and yeast infection,” she added.
According to “Is The Thong All Wrong for Women’s Health,” a women’s health article posted on WEBMD.com, about 93 percent of urinary track infections in women are caused by the bacteria E- coli.
The article also mentions that thongs can come in a wide variety of sizes. Some of the straps are thicker or thinner or have looser straps. The article says that if the thong is too tightly fitted, it can cause irritating pressure on the clitoris or cause friction sensitive conditions like external hemorrhoids.
Evans also said that because a woman has a different physical build than a man, they are more capable of getting health problems.
“With the anatomy of the woman’s body, the opening to the bladder is very short- when you look at where the vagina and rectum sit, they’re very close,” Evans said.
Evans said another infection that can occur is contact dermatitis.
So female students must make sure to know when to wear them.
“You are not suppose to wear them every day,” said Kristen Given, 19, a sophomore early childhood student from Mobile, Ala. “It’s going to cause a rash.”
Rabia Muhammad, 19, a freshman biology student from West Palm Beach, said she has heard many different cases about the health risk of thong underwear.
“My mother always told me you can get yeast infections and if your underwear is not clean, you can get a bacteria infection,” Muhammad said. “To each is own. I don’t have anything against them.”
Jasmine Johnson, 18, a freshman general studies student from Palm Beach, said students must watch the weather when choosing underwear.
“I know people that wear thongs,” Johnson said. “I think every now and then you can wear thongs, but definitely not on hot days. You’re asking for an infection.”
Evans said some tips for staying healthy are: wear cotton underwear, avoid thongs if possible, make sure to clean the vagina properly by wiping from the front to the back.