thong underwear hanging from clothesline 1
Peyton Weikert/Stocksy United

The middle child of the bikini and the G-string has a small piece of a gusset between your butt cheeks.

This tiny piece of fabric makes them stellar at hiding panty lines under yoga pants and other tightly fitting bottoms, absolutely. But thongs have also been associated with a range of vaginal and anal health issues, including hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections (UTIs), and skin tags.

It is unlikely that wearing a thong can cause hemorrhoids. They could increase your chances of other health concerns.

Keep reading to learn how wearing underwear might affect your health.

Thongs most likely don’t cause hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can be found in the anus or the lower rectum. They can cause something.

  • It was intense itching.
  • It is a pain.
  • bleeding when you poop

They happen when there is too much pressure on the veins around the anus.

“Even the snuggest of underwear won’t put enough pressure on your veins to cause hemorrhoids.”

That said, if you already have hemorrhoids, the rubbing of a thong could exacerbate the situation.

Early anecdotal reports suggested that thong use increased the incidence of hemorrhoids, explains Felice Gersh, MD OB/GYN and founder/director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, in Irvine, CA and the author of Menopause: 50 Things You Need to Know.

Gersh goes on to explain that more recent research exploring potential health effects of thongs hasn’t linked them to an increased risk of hemorrhoids.

Things that can factor into whether you get hemorrhoids:

“It is likely that you won’t get hemorrhoids from wearing thongs. What about the other issues people associate with thongs?”


So far, research hasn’t linked thongs to an increased risk of UTIs. That said, some gynecologists report anecdotally that thong wearers do seem to get more UTIs.

Gersh says that the fabric of your underwear is more important than the style.

“Thongs made from synthetic material that traps and retains moisture and can disperse fecal material into the area of the urethral opening can potentially increase vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections,” says Gersh, who recommends absorbent, natural cotton fibers as a safer material choice.

UTIs are almost always caused by E. coli that makes its way into your urethra (the hole where pee comes out) and bladder. The anus and vagina are close neighbors, which makes the trek from front to back a short one.

“It’s like wiping back to front increases the risk for UTIs, a thong sliding forward could potentially drag somebacteria with it.”

Common UTIs symptoms include:

Skin tags

Skin tags are benign, flesh-colored growths that are usually found on areas where your skin folds.

Friction from fabric rubbing against skin can cause genital or anal skin tags.

No research specifically explores the possible connection between thong use and skin tags. But people who wear thongs may be more likely to grow skin tags where the fabric rubs against the skin, especially if the thong is too small and tight-fitting.

Yeast infections

As Gersh pointed out, thongs — especially those made from synthetic materials — can trap moisture and bacteria, potentially increasing the risk for yeast infections and other vaginal infections.

The yeast thrives in warm moist environments. The perfect environment for yeast to grow can be created by the close fit of a thong made from an unbreathable and sweat-inducing fabric.

Vaginal yeast can cause infections.

  • It was burning during urination.
  • It may resemble cottage cheese.
  • A sour smell.
  • The vaginal skin is discolored.
  • There is a There is a rash..

Rashes and irritation

If you wear t-shirts, they can cause problems for the delicate skin of your nether regions.

Gersh says that snug-fitting underwear can cause or worsen vulvar skin conditions.

Skin irritation is not just uncomfortable. It can make you more vulnerable to infections.

Gersh says that it is important to wear underwear that fit well and comfortably if you choose to wear them.

Pay attention, too, for signs of skin irritation, like:

If you feel the need to adjust your thong frequently, it is probably too tight.

“Unless you have an existing issue that is made worse by wearing a thong, you don’t have to stop wearing them.”

Pick the right material and size.

“Gersh recommends that you choose organic cotton as the fabric type and be sure they fit properly and aren’t overly tight.”

  • Rubing on genitals.
  • Your vagina is going to be moist.
  • fecal matter is introduced into the vaginal and urethral area.

There are a few additional tips for wearing underwear.

  • Limit thong use. Instead of wearing thongs every day, limit use to special occasions (helloooo sexy time!) or certain outfits where thongs just work better than other styles.
  • Change your underwear at least once a day. Clean underwear is always important, but because thongs get right up in your business, they’re subjected to even more bacteria and sweat than other styles of underpants. If you work out or sweat a lot, changing your underwear more often can help you stay dry.
  • Practice proper below-the-belt hygiene. Your vagina is self-cleaning, but your vulva and anus aren’t. Wash daily with water or mild soap and water, and then thoroughly pat dry. Always wipe and wash front to back to keep backside bacteria away from the urethra.

Get more in-depth info on cleaning your vagina and vulva.

If you think wearing a thong might be making you sick, stop wearing them for a few days to see if your symptoms improve.

“If that doesn’t help, you can make an appointment with a healthcare professional.”

If you experience any of the following, consider reaching out immediately.

These symptoms could be related to an underlying concern.

“It’s unlikely that t-shirts will lead to hemorrhoids. The right size and material of underwear can help keep them from getting hemorrhoids or other problems below the belt.”

You are probably fine to keep wearing them. Choose wisely and wear your underwear.

“A Canadian writer and author named Arida Santos- Longhurst has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. She can be found frolicking around her beach town with her husband and dogs in tow or trying to master the stand-up paddle board when she isn’t holed up in her writing shed.”