My grandmother (stay with me) was ornery, and one of the most memorable pieces of advice she loved to dole out was the Latin phrase: Semper ubi sub ubi. It translates to English as “always wear under where,” which, of course, sounds like “always wear underwear.” According to her, it was the only Latin she remembered — and it never failed to make her laugh.
I always giggled too. But while it may be a funny phrase to pull out at parties, it is not great life advice — at least, according to Heather Bartos, MD, an OB/GYN in Texas.
It's the whole "always" part she takes issue with. Dr. Bartos recommends not wearing skivvies to bed. “Underwear doesn’t let the vagina breathe,” she says. “I do think it helps to not have panties on, because it gets hot in the summer and you’re sweating at night… Whatever your temperature is, imagine it’s five to seven degrees hotter in your crotch, I always say.”
The heat and sweat can get trapped by undies, causing irritation and even yeast infections, since the fungus Candida (A.K.A. yeast) tends to like moist places.
Still, plenty of people have been wearing underwear to bed their whole lives and have never had a problem with itching or inflammation. If that's you, there’s really no health-related reason to change your habits, Alyssa Dweck, MD, an OB/GYN in Mount Kisco, New York, told Live Science. If you are going to don them, go for 100% cotton ones, that have a full butt. Think: Granny panties. “Lace panties are pretty but they’re not good for cooch,” Dr. Bartos says.
But it might be worth trying to sleep bare bottomed. You may find that it's more comfortable than even the comfiest of granny panties, Dr. Bartos says. And the fact that it may decrease the risk for health issues is just an added bonus.