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Amy Levine, MA, CSE(Sex Coach & Sexuality Educator)answered(8/9/2012)Most people would say they change their underwear everyday for hygienic purposes. Cotton panties are the most breathable, which is good for vaginal health.
If you're lazy one day and didn't shower or change your undies, it's not the end of the world (assuming your vulva/vagina are healthy). Worse case scenario is that depending on your natural scent (particularly for example, if you're more musky), it will likely become more prominent. You may also notice that your discharge is building up and collecting along the folds of your vaginal lips (labia minora and labia majora) - sometimes this happens more with thongs than full coverage underwear.
The only obvious time it would be a concern is if you had an infection, in which case you definitely would want to change them daily.
Amy Levine, MA, CSE(Sex Coach & Sexuality Educator)answered(8/10/2012)I think most people throw undies in the wash by color. And, depending on what else is in that load of laundry, it may be on cold, perm press or hot. Just be sure to use detergent (if your body is sensitive, fragrance free is a good bet), and put them in the dryer.
Some panties are made of delicate fabric and need to be hand washed. So, long as you use detergent and clean the crotch, you should be fine (if you have an infection the dryer is probably a good idea).