A quick search around Google will tell you that G strings or thongs can cause UTI or even vaginal infections, but is this true, if it is, how true is it? Just how much water does this theory hold?
There are even medically acclaimed sites that claim that this may be true, and claim that they may be able to cause both UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) and vaginal infections and make haemorrhoids (commonly called piles) worse. But as a doctor, one question keeps bugging me, is there any research that validates this claim, is there a particular type of fabric that may cause this, or is the G string to blame?
A lot of the Urinary Tract Infections are caused by a bacteria found in the bowel (the large intestine) this bacteria is called E Coli, so in theory, anything that makes it easy for this bacteria to get to the vagina and urethra (the urethra is where you pee from) will make it easy for you to get a vaginal infection and Urinary tract infection.
We all know that a thong sits in the gluteal cleft and caresses the anus in many designs so it may be safe to make that assumption, The mantra became popular “G Strings cause UTIs”, but there is no published research at least not at the time of me writing this that people who wear G strings get more Urinary Tract Infections. The closest research to this was in 1985 (Remis, Am J Epidemiol,1987; Foxman, Am J Pub Health, 1985). They tried to find a connection between wearing tight clothing, panties and similar kinds of clothing and Urinary tract infections, they could not find any
However, other researchers have found that women who had more sex, who use diaphragms or spermicides and who had previous episodes of UTI tend to have more cases of UTIs.
But asides these, there are other things that may make it easy for you to get a Urinary Tract Infection:
- Cleaning the privates in a back to front fashion
- Having a suppressed immune system: For example in diabetes or HIV, as long as the body cannot fight infections properly
- Those who use a catheter for voiding urine
- There have been cases of backsplash that occur when women use the toilet, when the water from the toilet bowl splashes on the vulva, can cause UTI
- The female urethra is short, about 4cm, this alone makes it easy to get UTIs
Do you remember E Coli? Yes, that bacteria is also found in some vaginas, but is not a common cause of UTIs, this is probably one of the reasons why sexual intercourse is associated with UTIs.
Thongs can be made of cotton, silk, acrylic, etc, and another research was carried out trying to compare the materials and how well they carried bacteria from the anus to the vagina, this is known as wicking. They were all equal in how they carried bacteria, the only difference was in how much the people who wore these garments sweat.
So theoretically, yes they can cause UTIs, but this has not been proven, there are still other factors like hygiene, frequency of sexual intercourse, among others, it has not been proven that G strings can cause UTI, it depends more on the wearer than the G string itself.
But you can also find out to prevent UTIs here