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Jun 10 2024

Should you try period underwear? 

June 10, 2024  /   Women's Health  /   5-minute read

Menstruation is a natural part of life for every woman, and yet the options for managing it have remained relatively unchanged for decades. Traditional products, such as pads and tampons, may get the job done, but they come with their own set of challenges and limitations.

Enter period underwear–a new and innovative solution that has gained popularity in recent years. We’ll explore what period underwear is, how it works, and whether or not it’s worth trying.

What is period underwear?

Period underwear is exactly what it sounds like–underwear specifically designed to absorb menstrual blood. It is made with absorbent materials such as bamboo or cotton and often has multiple layers for maximum absorption.

Unlike pads and tampons, period underwear is reusable and can last for years with proper care. Some brands even offer options for different flow levels, making it a versatile choice for women of all ages and needs.

How does it work?

Period underwear works by trapping the menstrual blood in its absorbent layers, preventing leaks and providing protection throughout the day. The outer layer is typically made of moisture-wicking and leak-proof material, while the inner layers absorb the blood.

Many brands also offer additional features such as odor control and quick-drying fabrics, making period underwear a comfortable and convenient option for managing menstruation.

Pros of period underwear

  • Reusable: Period underwear can be used for years with proper care, making it an eco-friendly and cost-effective choice compared to disposable options.
  • Comfortable: Period underwear is made with soft and breathable materials, making it a comfortable option for those with sensitive skin or allergies to traditional period products.
  • Leak-proof: With multiple layers of absorbent material and leak-proof outer layers, period underwear offers reliable protection against leaks throughout the day.
  • Suitable for various levels of flow: Many brands offer different options for different flow levels, allowing women to customize their period underwear to fit their specific needs.

Cons of period underwear

  • Initial cost: While period underwear may save money in the long run, the initial investment can be costly compared to disposable products.
  • Requires frequent washing: Since period underwear is reusable, it must be washed after each use, which may not be convenient for some women.
  • Limited absorbency: Period underwear may not be suitable for heavy flow days or overnight use, as it can only hold a certain amount of blood before needing to be changed.

Some period and incontinence products have been found to contain harmful chemicals called PFAS (forever chemicals). These chemicals are used in many products like cooking pans and shampoo to repel water and stains, but they might disrupt your hormones and cause health problems. Studies link PFAS to irregular periods, ovarian disorders, pregnancy complications, and low birth weight.

Some states, like Minnesota, are banning PFAS in these products starting in 2032. In the meantime, independent groups test brands for PFAS – so you can check their ratings to find safer options.

PFAS Free icon

You can’t tell if a product has PFAS because labels are not required to list them.

How to choose the right period underwear for you

  • Consider your flow level: Different brands offer different absorbency levels. Think about your flow level and choose an option that can provide adequate protection.
  • Look for additional features: Some period underwear offers added features like odor control, quick-drying fabric, or even built-in heating pads for cramp relief.
  • Read reviews: Before purchasing, read published reviews or search social media for reviews from women who have tried the brand or specific style of period underwear. This can give you a better idea of their performance in real-life situations.
  • Proper sizing: Just like regular underwear, choosing the right size for comfort and effectiveness is crucial. Before purchasing, make sure to refer to the brand’s size chart.

Period underwear can totally change the game for anyone seeking an alternative to traditional menstrual products. They’re comfy, eco-friendly, and let you personalize your fit in ways disposables just can’t match. No product is perfect, and period undies might not be for everyone. Do your homework and think about what you really need before picking the perfect pair. With the right fit and absorbency level, period underwear can be a comfy and green choice for handling your period.

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