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Stringing up my Gs

 They may be a fashion statement for some, but G-strings can cause certain problems.

G-STRINGS are not a new invention, though they are certainly a relatively recent fashion trend. Back in the primitive ages, the G-string was the earliest form of clothing known to mankind – the ubiquitous loincloth. It is believed to have originated in the warm climates of sub- Saharan Africa, where clothing was first worn nearly 75,000 years ago.

Worn by tribal people, the loincloth was originally intended to be worn by men to cover their genitals. However, in its modern incarnation as a G-string or a thong, it is more commonly worn by women as swimwear or undergarments.

What is a G-string?

A G-string is a type of underwear, which is made up of a narrow piece of cloth that covers the genital area, passes between the buttocks and is attached to a band around the hips. The term G-string is generally used when the vertical strap in the rear of a G-string is no wider than a string.

While wearing a G-string, a person’s buttocks are practically bared. This has made it a fashion trend, as women can wear them under skintight, see-through or light-coloured outfits without worrying about visible pantylines. Some women also wear G-string swimwear to get an even suntan. However, medical professionals are becoming increasingly concerned that G-strings pose health and safety issues if they are not worn properly.

G-string hazards

G-strings are believed to contribute to the development of vaginal yeast infections, as well as infections of the urinary tract. This is because G-strings are commonly made from synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, which easily retain moisture within the genital area and encourage the rapid growth of pathogenic bacteria. Wearing G-strings too often will also cause irritation to the skin, because the thin strip at the back of the underwear constantly rubs against the delicate area of your skin. This constant friction can damage the skin and increase the risk of anal fissures or haemorrhoids.

A word of advice

To avoid any of the possible problems mentioned above, try to avoid wearing G-strings on a regular basis. If you must wear G-strings, here are a few simple things to remember:

  • Do not wear G-strings when the weather is hot and wet.
  • Wear G-strings made from natural fabric, such as cotton or silk.
  • Choose the right size at all times. Do not wear tight-fitting G-strings, choose those that are somewhat loose, as these may be less likely to spread bacterial infection.
  • Do not wear G-strings around the clock. Change into more closed underwear at the earliest opportunity.
  • Use daily sanitary pads or liners, and change them regularly if you wear G-strings made from synthetic material.
  • Try to avoid wearing G-string swimwear.

Finally, why not try wearing different types of clothing that do not require you to wear G- string underwear? Do not let fashion trends dictate your health! Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar is a consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist (FRCOG, UK).

The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.

Want to know more about vaginal yeast infections and urinary tract infections?

The Star Newspaper, Sunday May 31, 2009

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