Picture this: you and one of your girlfriends have planned a beach day. You go over to her house to change into your swimsuit and then ride with her to the beach, but as you're digging through your bag, you realize: you forgot your swimsuit. We've all been there. Your friend offers to let you borrow one of hers, but is this the most hygienic choice?

Our answer: probably not.

Swimsuit tops are one thing, but if you're thinking about swapping bathing suit bottoms or a one-piece with your friend, just don't. After all, you probably wouldn't share underwear with that friend, and bathing suit bottoms have contact with all the same parts of your body as underwear. From the bacteria that can grow in wet bathing suit bottoms to all the frightening things found on department store swimsuit bottoms that people have tried on over and over again, here are a few reasons that sharing bathing suits could become problematic.

Many of us are used to pool days where you get in the water for a bit and then lounge in the sun, sometimes even for hours on end. Did you know that this is one of the riskiest health choices you can make? Swimsuit materials are not very breathable, so when your swimsuit gets wet, it traps the moisture in some pretty sensitive areas. This is a breeding ground for bacteria. Before you know it, you'll have a urinary tract infection, a yeast infection, or vaginosis. Women are advised by health professionals to immediately change out of wet bathing suits as soon as they're done swimming to avoid these kinds of infections. But what if the friend who offers to lend you one of her swimsuits doesn't follow the recommended protocol? Even if she says she does, how can you be sure? If she has even the smallest amount of bacteria on her bathing suit bottoms, it is not worth the risk. You're better off stopping to buy yourself another bathing suit on the way to the beach.

Professionals have never recommended the carefree sharing of bathing suit bottoms. After all, why do you think you're supposed to keep your underwear on while you try on bathing suit bottoms in the department store? Bacterial infections aren't the only thing to worry about when you wear other people's bathing suit bottoms. You run the risk of coming into contact with fecal matter and the host of diseases that can be transmitted that way. Last but not least, there is the chance of transmission of several STDs if the swimsuit wasn't cleaned properly. While hot water and soap can work wonders, is it really worth the risk?

If we're talking about children sharing suits, let's go ahead and make it clear that children should NOT share bathing suits. We love our kids, but as any parent knows, kids are messy, and sometimes, to be frank, they're more than a little gross. As potentially harmful as adult bathing suit bottoms can get, imagine the risk you run when you let your little girl swap bathing suits with her best friend.

The "bottom" line: even if it seems like you have no other choice, try to avoid sharing swimsuits at all costs. As inconvenient as it may be, it's better to pay for another one piece or another pair of bottoms and wash thoroughly before you wear them than it is to put yourself in direct contact with someone else's potentially harmful germs.