What Happens To Your Body When You Don't Change Your Underwear

Putting on fresh clothes everyday is a regular part of our daily hygiene routine. Doing so prevents the buildup of oil, sweat, and odor from clinging to our clothing and bodies. Hygiene is especially important during adolescence when teenagers experience bodily changes and diligent hygiene practices are encouraged by teachers and parents. Specifically, we are taught to pay special attention to areas of the body where chances of bacterial growth are highest, like the genitals. When we're not regularly changing our underwear, we run the risk of increased chances of infection from fungi or yeast (via The Healthy).

Men's undergarments manufacturer, Tommy John, conducted a survey of over two thousand Americans to determine how often men and women go on average before changing their underwear. Turns out, nearly half of participants admitted to going two or more days in the same underwear before freshening up with a new pair and that men are over twice as likely as women to wear their drawers for over a week.

Rewearing underwear can result in breakouts and bacterial infections

While we're all susceptible to the occasional repeat wear when we're behind on laundry day, there are some consequences that can result from going days on end before changing. For example, bacteria buildup and remnants of fecal matter in our underpants can cause clogged pores and uncomfortable breakouts (via The Healthy). Additionally, according to OBGYN Taraneh Nazem, M.D., because the genital area is more prone to moisture, it increases the chances of yeast infections and skin irritation, particularly for women (via Well and Good). Although we may think of "regular changes" as daily changes, it turns out that this may not be the case. Dr. Nazem goes on to suggest undergarment changes throughout the day based on the kinds of activities you engage in such as particularly sweaty workouts. She concludes, "It's recommended to wear a fresh set of underwear before going to bed or after a shower rather than the same pair you have been wearing all day,"

Even with regular changes, bacteria can still naturally accumulate over time from consistent wear. Therefore, it's recommended to ditch your old undies for a new pair every three to six months (via New York Post). In doing so, we keep ourselves feeling, as well as smelling, fresh.