Underwear is the first thing we put on in the morning and the last thing we take off at night, so we want it to feel good and function well. And for women in particular, choosing the right pair isn't just about looks and comfort—it can make a big difference in the health of our most delicate areas.
Dr. Eden Fromberg, founder of Holistic Gynecology New York, explains, "The nature of the female labia with its delicate folds, the natural cycles of vaginal secretions that may be amplified by hormonal shifts, sexual fluids, microbiome shifts, and menstruation, and the shape and structure of the female pelvis and pelvic floor, all factor into different underwear needs for women than men."
We asked Dr. Fromberg for advice on how to pick the perfect pair—and why natural fibers like BRANWYN's Merino wool are a great choice to protect your precious parts.
THINK OF UNDERWEAR AS A SEMIPERMEABLE SHIELD
Underwear provides a semipermeable, protective layer between delicate labial and mucosal tissues and our clothing. Because Merino wool breathes, dries quickly, doesn't hold odor and has antibacterial properties , it's a terrific choice for underwear in terms of both health and comfort.
"Underwear can, ideally, reduce discomfort, irritation, and chafing that may result from direct contact with seams and fabrics of clothing, absorb moderate vaginal discharge and other secretions, wick away excess sweat and moisture, and allow tissues to 'breathe' by allowing airflow through fibers of the fabric," Dr. Fromberg says.
THE RIGHT FIT IS KEY
Underwear has to fit well. You want your underwear to stay in place and have enough elasticity to move with you throughout the day, but not so much that it stretches out after a few hours, which can cause irritation as seams shift around. If the seams on your underwear are thick or rigid, that can create chafing and friction, which can Dr. Fromberg says may lead to "itching, burning, dermatitis, rashes, sebaceous cysts, and pimples, and increase susceptibility to tinea cruris, a yeast infection of the folds of the groin."
BRANWYN's innerwear is knit on Santoni Seamless Knitting machines from soft and stretchy Merino wool that moves with you to reduce chafing. Customers say, "It doesn't squeeze or pinch me anywhere," "They don't bunch," and "No adjusting, no wedgies, just simply incredible comfort!"
CHOOSE NATURAL FIBERS
When choosing the healthiest material for your underwear, natural fibers win across the board. Natural fibers—such as Merino wool—are better for your health and the environment, too. Here's why:
The manufacturing of synthetic fabrics creates microplastics (also known as microfibers) that harm the ecosystem from oceans, lakes, and rivers, and then enter the human body via the food chain. "In addition to numerous negative health effects, including inflammation, endocrine disruption, learning and memory issues, gut microbiome, and immune disruption, microfibers are also more likely to retain secretions and promote bacterial overgrowth and odors," Dr. Fromberg says.
No Pesticides and Chemicals
BRANWYN Merino is OEKO-TEX 100 certified and REACH compliant, meaning that our products have been rigorously tested from the fabric to the thread against a list of nearly 350 toxic chemicals to ensure they don't contain any substances which could be harmful to your body.
Underwear that doesn't meet these standards can be bad news, according to Dr. Fromberg. "Chemicals used in [some] fabric manufacturing processes can be absorbed systemically and pose numerous health hazards even at low levels," she says. "These chemicals may contribute to irritation, allergic and immune reactions, eczema, and accumulate in body tissues and the environment, with longer-term consequences."
No Toxic Dyes
Some dyes can be toxic, both for the environment and humans, leading to hormone disruption  and increasing the risk of breast cancer . Because we know how important it is that the fabric that sits closest to your skin is healthy for you, BRANWYN's Innerwear is made using 100% natural dyes that are plant, mineral, soil-based and vegetable-based, derived from plants, fruits, veggies, and fruits.
WHY WOOL IS A HEALTHY UNDERWEAR CHOICE
Gynecologists recommend wool underwear because it breathes, dries quickly, and is excellent for prolonged wear. Wool underwear holds up well even in extreme conditions such as a 17-hour flight, a 50K trail run, or an intense board meeting that leaves you sweaty. Regardless of what's on your schedule, you can't go wrong with wool for comfort and health.
"Merino wool underwear has a unique range of desirable characteristics as it is soft, breathable, exceptionally absorbent and moisture wicking, temperature regulating, odor resistant, naturally antimicrobial, flexible, resilient, naturally elastic, and hypoallergenic," Dr. Fromberg says.