As periods become less and less taboo thanks to companies like Cora that are advocating for period equity across the globe, women are becoming more interested in purchasing period underwear. You may be looking for a sustainable option that allows you to wash and re-wear in lieu of using single-use tampons and pads that are often not recyclable. Aside from helping the environment, period underwear will save you money in the long run. On average, women buy a $7 box of menstruation products a month, not to mention the cost spent on ruined undies from leakage.
If that doesn’t convince you to consider the advantages of purchasing period panties, you may have a friend or read reviews from happy customers who’ve tried them and loved them. You may be a runner who is tired of having to sacrifice your routine every time your period pays a visit.
Still, because of how relatively new these feminine hygiene products are to the market, people are curious to know more about their purpose and functionality. Here, learn everything you need to know about period underwear.
What Are Period Panties?
Period underwear were once considered to be the comfortable granny underwear that you wore because you didn’t mind if they got ruined. Now, period panties have a whole other meaning. Most pairs are made of leak-free materials and absorbent layers that allow you to walk around without fearing period stains. If your flow is light or moderate, you won’t have to wear pads, tampons, or cups. Completely replace your menstrual products or use them as a backup if you experience a heavier flow. Cora’s period underwear holds up to three tampon’s worth of liquid for 8-12 hours.
What Is Menstrual Underwear Made Of?
Most period underwears have a slot for a pad to slip into so you’re not fussing over uncomfortable ‘wings’ or fidgety pads that don’t stay in place. After all, according to a 2015 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 62 percent of American women surveyed use pads, compared with 42% who use tampons. But, there are also science-backed materials involved to wick away or absorb period blood, which makes this product so unique.
As we previously mentioned, some brands touted as the best period underwear promise to remove the use of menstruation products all together while some are advertised as a supplement to prevent leakage. The wicking layers are typically made of microfiber polyester, which helps pull liquid away from the body and trap them into the material. Yes, this means you won’t feel any wetness or like you’re sitting in your own blood.
“So instead of shooting right through giant channels present in other kinds of fibers, liquid moves through microfibers slowly, keeping it from leaking out,” Racked explains. Additionally, they have antimicrobial properties typically used in performance wear that prevents odor and sweat.
And if you’re wondering if they’re safe to wear? Cora’s period underwear has been verified in an independent lab and tested for harmful substances according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX ® , an international association that ensures a high-level of safety from harmful substances in textile products. Cora’s underwear are made without toxic chemicals, PFAs, or Azo dyes
What About Leaks?
What makes period underwear so effective and absorbent is the textiles and technology they rely on to prevent leakage. One period underwear brand uses a combination of nylon and lycra topped with a liquid repellent finish. This combination of materials can hold up to three teaspoons of liquid at a time. Another popular brand patented three layers: a “moisture-impermeable polymer layer,” a “moisture-absorbent layer,” and a “moisture-wicking layer.” Both of these companies combined layers and fibers that don’t have a plastic polyurethane layer (which gives off a diaper feel) while still maintaining a stretchy and thin design.
Even though they’re proven to be leak-free, naturally you’ll be afraid of any slip-ups. So, we definitely encourage you to build up your trust for period panties by trying them over the weekends or evenings. You’ll get used to them over time.
How Long Can You Wear Period Underwear?
You can wear period underwear every day up to 12 hours but should change it (depending on the style) after two regular tampons’ worth of fluid. Some styles can hold more fluid for a longer amount of time. They’re easy to wash and can last for up to two years (which speaks volumes compared to how long regular underwear lasts!). But again, every style is different and dependent on your flow, too. If you plan on wearing them every day and only have one pair, then you should wash them every day.
How Do You Wash Them?
After wearing your period underwear, rinse them in cold water, followed by the washing machine on a delicate cycle. Just don’t throw them in with bleach and fabric softener! Otherwise, you’re in the clear to wash them separately or with the rest of your laundry. Let them line dry and they’ll be ready to wear them the following day. In between washes, we suggest using Cora’s organic period pads that are perfect for an early morning yoga session (they’re flexible!) and keep you feeling dry. Plus, their modern design fits modern underwear—even your sexy ones.
Will Other People Notice Your Period Underwear?
The best part about period underwear (OK, aside from all the other benefits we’ve mentioned!) is their inconspicuous design. Seriously, no one will notice that you’re wearing them. They look just like regular underwear. We’d call it ‘magic’ but ultimately we have period advocates and engineers to thank for this innovative design.
Period Underwear: A Sustainable Period Solution
Period underwear are reusable and greatly reduce the amount of waste produced in a given cycle. If a period product that’s good for your period and the planet intrigues you, Cora’s period underwear might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.