Growing up, many of us were initiated into the period club with two options: tampons or pads. Pads, often bulky, felt like wearing a diaper while tampons seemed terrifying. Luckily, girls today have a few more options—options that even those of us who have been menstruating for decades are eager to try.
While our comfort can benefit from these new options, the real benefactor of period products rising in popularity is Mother Nature. Sustainable options such as menstrual cups and period underwear eradicate the idea that period products are, by nature, wasteful, by providing us reusable menstruation management.
While many menstruators swear by the cup, it can take a few tries to figure it out. Period underwear, however, is as simple as it sounds and an excellent alternative to period care.
WHAT IS PERIOD UNDERWEAR?
Period underwear looks and feels just like normal underwear. The only difference with period underwear is a special layer that helps prevent blood from seeping through. You won’t have to deal with the bulky discomfort that comes with using pads, though period underwear absorb blood similarly. Period underwear is meant to soak up menstrual blood while still keeping you as dry and comfortable as possible.
WHY SHOULD I TRY PERIOD UNDERWEAR?
While period underwear can be a stand-alone option—Cora’s underwear, for example, absorbs up to three tampons’ worth of blood—many menstruators also use period underwear as a backup with a tampon or cup for heavier flow days. Whether you have a light flow and are looking for a sustainable replacement to tampons or pads or you’re worried about bleeding through your sheets at night on heavier flow days, period underwear may be the answer you’ve been looking for. On top of that, period underwear is washable and reusable—imagine having an entire cycle without throwing anything in the trash! Here are just some of the reasons why period underwear is quickly rising as a favorite period product.
GOOD BACKUP FOR HEAVY FLOWS
Period underwear is super-absorbent, and typically has multiple layers to help protect against leaks. If your flow requires multiple super or super plus tampons per day, you won’t want to wear period underwear alone for an extended period of time; however, it may be the peace of mind backup you need if you ever worry about leaks or getting through that one hour meeting when you really need to change your tampon.
A MORE SUSTAINABLE OPTION
All the pads, tampons, and liners we go through in a lifetime will end up in a landfill—for the average menstruator, that’s about 9,000 period products over the course of your lifetime. If cutting back on waste and helping the environment is important to you (as it should be!), then you might want to consider switching to period underwear.
CONVENIENT FOR IRREGULAR CYCLES
For those of us with irregular cycles, period underwear can be used on the days leading up to your period, just in case it arrives unexpectedly when you’re busy and want to avoid constantly running to the bathroom to check. Similarly, it’s a great option for the last days of your period, if you’ve ever had an accident after thinking (wishing?) your period was over.
WON’T IRRITATE YOUR VAGINA
If you experience vaginal discomfort, pain, and/or dryness or have a condition that makes your vagina sensitive or allergic to other forms of period care, period underwear might be just what you need. Because period underwear is all-natural, free of any chemicals, is designed to be breathable, and does not require anything being inserted into the vagina, it shouldn’t cause vaginal irritation or dryness for most people.
SAVES YOU MONEY
While the price tag on a pair of period underwear is higher than a box of tampons, the majority of period underwear is designed to last for around 2-3 years if cared for properly…you do the math! In order to make your period underwear last as long as possible, rinse them in the sink after use, launder them in cold water on a delicate cycle, and hang them to try so they’re ready to go for next month.
KEEPS YOU COMFORTABLE AND CONFIDENT
Period underwear is great for achieving maximum comfort while still keeping you dry and clean. You can wear period underwear while exercising, traveling, and being active–which would be more of a nuisance when using other forms of period protection like tampons or pads. The goal of period underwear is to provide discreet protection, while keeping you secure throughout the day no matter what activities you’re engaged in.
PEACE OF MIND EVEN WHILE YOU SLEEP
Period underwear is great to use while you sleep because you won’t have to worry about your pad moving and causing leaks to your underwear or bed sheets. If you’re a tampon wearer, since you should change your tampon regularly due to the risk of toxic shock syndrome, period underwear will allow you to comfortably sleep through the night without having to worry about getting up to change your tampon.
CURBS AND CONTROLS ODORS
Period underwear is designed for every type of flow. It uses a leak-resistant layer so the underwear is able to absorb liquids, control odors, and dry quickly, keeping the wearer comfortable all period long.