Experts warn that our 'clean' underwear could be making us sick

How often do you change your undies?

If you thought you were protecting yourself against germs and diseases by regularly washing your underwear, think again!

If you’ve been suffering from urinary tract infections, thrush or even allergies, chances are your undies could be the culprit.

New research has found that while it’s important to clean your underwear on a regular basis, it might not be doing enough to protect us against harmful germs.

In fact, the study suggested just how regularly we need to be changing our underwear if we want to keep healthy.

if it’s been a good four or five years since you last updated your underwear drawer, you might want to think about heading down to the shops and getting yourself some fresh pairs and throwing your old ones away.

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The new research by The Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI) guide has found that in most cases after a wash, underwear can still contain up to 10,000 living bacteria.

We’re suddenly feeling very dirty.

News.com.au reports that one million bacteria can be found in two tablespoons of washing machine water.

The research also suggested that 90 per cent of dirty towels contained the E Coli bacteria, commonly found in human poo.

Alarmingly, one in four British men wear their underpants for two days before washing, while some women wore the same pyjamas for two weeks before giving them a clean.

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“It turns out there are quite a few washing avoiders out there,” GHI said.

“These dirty habits are helping bacteria thrive.

“Pyjamas are worn right next to the skin and we shed skin cells, filled with microorganisms, at a vast rate.”

They suggested that underwear be changed daily, nightwear should be washed after a maximum of three sleeps and sheets and other bed linen should be washed once a week.

The research also recommended throwing away your underwear after a maximum of a year to avoid health complications.

They also suggested cleaning your washing machine regularly to ensure that bacteria doesn’t thrive.

What do you think of the results? When was the last time you updated your underwear drawer?