A viral TikTok has been telling women they should throw out and replace their underwear every six to nine months.
It is categorically BS.
Thankfully, other TikTokers and doctors are weighing in.
“Somehow at six to nine months your underwear magically becomes some type of infectious catastrophe and that’s simply not the case,” said the author of The Vagina Bible, Dr. Jen Gunter, in her own TikTok.
“When people tell you that you need to do really special things with your underwear, that is just an extension of purity culture. OK? It’s this idea that the vagina and vulva are delicate and the harbinger of sort of an infectious apocalypse and there’s all this sort of special maintenance. It’s not true at all.”
Bottom line, there’s no reason to throw out your underwear and pay MORE of that awful pink tax, ladies.
“Social media, at times, it’s almost like the Bible. Like if you see it on social media, it must be true,” Dr Chavone Momon-Nelson, an OB-GYN at UPMC, told TODAY.
“There is no rule that says after six months, cut them and get new underwear.”
Dr. Momon-Nelson agrees: this smacks of purity culture.
“There is so much vaginal shaming. You need to throw out your underwear now. You need to use this kind of spray. Now, you need to use these wipes. This is how you keep your vagina healthy,” Momon-Nelson said. “You keep your vagina healthy by just washing with soap and water.”
“As long as your underwear is clean — and I typically advise cotton underwear — and it’s washed with a detergent that should not be irritating to you, your underwear should be OK,” Dr Christine Greves, a gynecologist from Orlando, told TODAY.
Greves also made it clear that the vagina does not really require special care. “They may think that because it’s private because no one sees it because it’s covered most of the time (it’s different),” she said. “It’s skin.”
“We should change the narrative about what they should feel comfortable about and what they should not feel comfortable about,” Momon-Nelson said.
“There’s nothing wrong with a nice new pair of underwear that fit nice that are cotton and that are clean. And I wouldn’t discourage anyone from wanting to buy new underwear. But I would not say that you have to throw away your old underwear.”