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The Tranquil Way: Are tight jeans bad for your health?

Published:Saturday | July 11, 2015 | 12:00 AMDr Douglas Street

There is the general perception that women spend more time, money and effort optimising their appearance. There are many industries that capitalise on this. It seems at times that even health may be sacrificed in the process. Is this the case with tight jeans?

The female figure has been long considered as an image of beauty. Looking at art forms from ancient civilisations, it's not hard to find many representations of this in paintings and sculptures. There are some cultures that seem to prefer full-figured women and some that prefer slender women.

Women generally revel in the attention they get from both sexes, and often smile and blush when they get compliments, especially from a source they like. Big breasts, big buttocks and wide hips are generally considered sexy (sexually attractive). Subconsciously, it seems that we, especially, but not exclusively, men, are attracted to these symbols of reproductive superiority and it seems that, generally, women are 'programmed' to show them off. (I hope I don't ruffle any feathers.) Men seem to have caught on to the craze, many of them also wearing tight jeans as well.

Tight-fitting clothes are very useful to display these features. In most liberal cultures, they are quite popular but not all who admire them are willing to wear them.


compartment syndrome


Recently, a woman from Australia was admitted to hospital for days after wearing tight jeans for a prolonged period of time while being involved in activity that required that she spent a lot of time in a squatting position. Later that day, she collapsed while walking in a park and had to be treated in a hospital. She had developed a condition called compartment syndrome where the tissues in her leg had gotten swollen and compressed the muscle, nerves and blood vessels in her legs, which led to damage to these structures. The blood supply was significantly reduced as a result. She had to be cut out of her jeans. Fortunately, she seems to have made a full recovery.

Tight-fitting jeans are suspected to contribute to vaginal conditions such as candidiasis (yeast infection) and bacterial vaginosis, and numbness in the legs. Men risk suffering from low sperm count as tight jeans raise the temperature of the testicles, which reduces their productivity.

Obviously, stretch jeans are less likely to cause these problems as they are less restrictive, but caution and moderation are still advised.