The Legging Habit You Need to Ditch, According to a Doctor


(Image credit: AKM GSI)

Do you wear underwear with workout leggings? We know this question may feel a bit intimate, but here's the thing: It matters. Between hot-button topics like panty lines, naked leggings, and, well, your health "down there," revisiting your activewear undergarment choices is actually important. So we tapped a gynecological expert to fill us in: Is there a right or wrong choice when it comes to leggings and underwear?

"The answer to this has more to do with comfort than any gynecologic risk," says Sara Twogood, MD, an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology at USC's Keck School of Medicine. "Depending on seams or material, not wearing underwear may chafe."

In addition, Twogood notes that moisture due to sweat and general body function are important to factor in, especially if you're wearing leggings for something more active. "If the genital region is constantly moist due to wearing non-breathable material, this increases the risk for a yeast infection. It may also increase odor (and although odor is probably normal under these circumstances, it may be bothersome to the woman)."

Twogood's recommendation is to choose cotton underwear to allow for maximum breathability. And if you're partial to going without underwear, make sure to wash your leggings frequently to avoid odor and possible infection.

Now that you know, read on to shop leggings for whatever activity is on your agenda.

Aemilia Madden