The Ultimate Guide To Period Underwear
When it comes to menstrual hygiene, sanitary pads and tampons are commonly thought of as the only options. Fortunately, reusable menstrual products, like period underwear, are gaining traction as environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use menstrual merchandise. (1)
While you may be thinking of scratchy, old-fashioned girdles when you picture period underwear— that’s far from the case. Modern-menstrual panties are significantly more stylish and comfortable.
This ultimate guide will cut through the jargon and dig deep into everything you need to know about period underwear before you try them.
What is period underwear?
Period underwear is similar to regular panties, with a few key differences. As the name suggests, this leak-proof underwear is designed as an alternative to pads and tampons or can be worn with these two menstrual products if you need more coverage. (2)
This type of underwear is composed of a moisture-wicking fabric that’s usually manufactured from cotton, bamboo, wool, or synthetic fibers. They come in different styles as well, such as thongs, bikini briefs, and high-waisted panties, for utmost comfort. (3)
You may be thinking about how period underwear works. Well, it’s pretty straightforward. You can wear period underwear in the same way as any other undergarment. The only difference is it has a unique fabric layer to trap and absorb liquid to prevent it from leaking and causing stains to your clothes. And, more importantly, it’ll leave you feeling fresh and dry all day. (3) (4)
This menstrual product is said to be sustainable and has an antimicrobial lining that fights odor and impedes the growth of bacteria. Some experts also consider period undies helpful to foster dignity, especially for women in patriarchal countries. (1) (5)
How to choose the right menstrual undies?
Like any apparel, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to period panties. Therefore, you may need to keep some things in mind before purchasing. Here are a few factors you might want to take into account:
The material is arguably one of the most vital factors to consider when buying period underwear. The manufactured material serves as the basis for the durability and quality of these products. On average, this menstrual product could last for at least six months to two years, depending on the wash and care.
As mentioned, cotton, bamboo, wool, and synthetic fibers are the most common materials used for period panties. Here’s an in-depth look at each one:
- Cotton: A layered cotton is one of the most popular materials because it’s comfortable, easy to care for, breathable, absorbent, and doesn’t irritate the skin—all of which are key factors in choosing the right menstrual underwear. (6)
- Bamboo: Bamboo viscose fabric is believed to have a natural antibacterial quality that helps control the growth of bacteria. This fabric type also offers durability, a quick-drying feature, and soft touching quality. (7)
- Wool: This type of fabric is said to offer superior comfort and can wick away moisture, which means it’s ideal for your period when you experience heavy flow.
- Synthetic fiber: Synthetic fibers are also an option for you to consider. They can be less expensive, have good elasticity, and handle heavy flow.
These are just some materials to choose from. Remember, not all period underwear materials are equal, so it’s best to determine what works best for you before buying.
- Style and design
The style and design are personal factors. When finding your style, it’s best to purchase period underwear suitable for your lifestyle and comfort level. Some women prefer high-waisted undies or cheeky underwear, while others like hipsters and thongs.
Furthermore, size and absorbency are part of the style and design considerations. If you have a heavy flow, opt for period underwear that’s a size up and is more absorbent or with more layers. On the other hand, if you have a light flow, period underwear on the smaller side may be sufficient.
All women are unique, so it’s best to find a product that fits your body type perfectly. Of course, you don’t want to wear tight or too-loose panties. So, whatever your preferences, there’s a menstrual underwear product out there that’ll suit your needs. Just ensure you choose breathable materials and offer compression. These factors will help you stay fresh all day long.
- Price point
The price might be your first question when looking for menstrual undies. The common perception is the higher the price, the better quality. But, it’s not always the case. You must find the right balance between the product features and determine whether it’s worth the price you’re paying.
Generally, it’d be best not to equate price with quality. In other words, lower-cost period underwear doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior to expensive ones. If anything, inexpensive menstrual panties are an affordable choice for you.
It’s up to your personal preference and lifestyle for which period of underwear you should buy. Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer. So, invest in a product that’ll meet your expectations and budget.
Sometimes it’s best to invest in an established menstrual underwear brand. Because you can get peace of mind knowing that a company has the expertise and experience to create a menstrual underwear product.
So, how do you go about finding the right brand? Well, start by checking out reviews online. These can help you determine which period panties brands are worth buying from.
However, when reading customer reviews, assess whether they’re genuine or not. If possible, you may contact the specific buyer to ask questions and get additional information about their experience with the product.
By checking customer reviews, you’ll have an idea of which brand is more trustworthy and reputable. After all, you’re investing in a product that’ll be a part of your personal hygiene. So, it’s best to be extra thorough in finding the right menstrual underwear brand that can offer you peace of mind.
Benefits of using period underwear
You might be wondering what’s so great about menstrual underwear. Well, period undies offer various benefits, including the following:
According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, the average woman uses more than 12,000 to 16,000 disposable menstrual hygiene products like pads in her lifetime. This waste can take up to more or less 100 years to break down. It could create a lot of landfills since these products aren’t biodegradable. (8) (9)
So, if you’re environmentally conscious and want to do your part, then period underwear is an excellent option for you. Using menstrual underwear can help reduce your carbon footprint while protecting the environment.
- Safe to use
It’s common knowledge that disposable menstrual pads might irritate the skin. That’s because they contain chemicals and other substances which may lead to vaginal irritation, yeast infections, allergic reactions, and more.
Period underwear is believed to be safer than using other regular menstrual products. Organic cotton is safe because it’s natural and doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that disrupt your body’s delicate pH balance. (10) (11) (12)
- Great comfort
It’s common for women to feel discomfort while wearing pads and tampons. But it’s not the case for period underwear. The fabric is designed to be soft and comfortable. It’s also a breathable material that’s gentle on the skin and doesn’t cause irritation. It’ll fit snugly around your private area while offering a cozy feel.
Since period undies are reusable, you don’t have to spend a fortune buying disposable pads and tampons every month. On top of that, one absorbent period underwear can hold one to two tampons worth of full fluid flow.
And, if properly cared for, you can use it for several months up to more than a year. Plus, you can use this product whether you’re on your period or not. That means it has a dual purpose: it could be your regular daily undergarment and menstrual underwear. (13)
- Easy to use
The hassle-free design of menstrual underwear makes it easy to use. Unlike traditional disposable pads or tampons that you need to place in the right spot, simply put on your period panties, and you can go on your daily activities. That means no struggling moments anymore, putting the pad in the correct placement while you’re on your period.
Proper washing of period underwear
Cleaning your menstrual undies are pretty tricky, unlike your regular underwear. It’d be best to wash them with gentle care since this product is delicate.
Here are some steps to follow:
- Rinse the period undies in cold water to remove any residue. You can also soak them for a while to let the stains come off quickly.
- Machine-wash them in a cold-water cycle using a mild or gentle detergent. It’s best to place them in a mesh or laundry bag to avoid other clothes from getting caught on the fabric. Additionally, don’t wash period underwear with warm or hot water as it can cause damage.
- Hang them to dry on a clothesline. Also, it’s best not to put period undies in a dryer as it can cause shrinkage, deformity, and ruin the material.
There’s no doubt that menstrual underwear is on the rage these days. More and more women are switching to this ecologically-friendly option. If you’re looking for a greener way to protect yourself from leaks and stay comfortable during your period, then menstrual underwear is undoubtedly the right choice for you.
The countless benefits of using this period product make it a top choice for women of all ages. You’ll save yourself from rashes and other skin irritations since most materials are hypoallergenic.
In addition, period underwear gives you the freedom to be active and enjoy your day. You don’t have to worry about carrying a pad around as it’s equipped with a cotton gusset that allows airflow and keeps you feeling fresh and dry throughout the day.
- “Period underwear are a reusable alternative to pads and tampons — here’s what you should know before trying them” Source: https://www.insider.com/period-underwear
- “What Is Period Underwear & How Does It Work?” Source: https://shopproof.com/blogs/articles/what-is-period-underwear-how-does-it-work
- “Period Underwear: What to Know” Source: https://www.webmd.com/women/period-underwear#:~:text=They%20look%20like%20regular%20underwear,from%20leaking%20onto%20your%20clothes.
- “What Is Period Underwear Made Out of” Source: https://enviromom.com/what-are-period-underwear-made-of/#:~:text=Period%20underwear%20is%20made%20out,of%20three%20layers%20of%20fabric.
- “Exploring menstrual practices and potential acceptability of reusable menstrual underwear among a Middle Eastern population living in a refugee setting” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6047600/
- “Which Underwear Is Best for Periods? Period Underwear FAQs” Source: https://flo.health/menstrual-cycle/lifestyle/hygiene-and-beauty/period-underwear
- “Why Bamboo?” Source: https://www.bambooclothes.com/pages/why-bamboo#:~:text=Bamboo%20fabric%20is%20extremely%20durable,compare%20with%20cashmere%20and%20silk.
- “10 benefits of wearing period underwear” Source: https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/conditions/womens-health/menstruation/period-underwear-benefits/
- “Periods Without Plastic” Source: https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2017/7/18/periods-without-plastic
- “Planning to give period panties a shot? Here are 5 things to keep in mind about this sustainable product” Source: https://www.healthshots.com/intimate-health/menstruation/what-are-period-panties-and-what-are-the-benefits/
- “What causes pad rash, and what does it look like?” Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pad-rash
- “5 Reasons Why You Should Buy Organic Underwear” Source: https://www.ofhousesandtrees.com/organic-underwear/#:~:text=Organic%20underwear%20is%20made%20from,hemp%20or%20other%20natural%20fibres.&text=According%20to%20the%20Organic%20Trade,synthetic%20fertilizers%20and%20genetic%20modification.
- “Period underwear 101: Answering your most common questions” Source: https://www.grove.co/blog/period-underwear-guide#:~:text=Period%20underwear%20consist%20of%20an,prevent%20any%20leaks%20or%20staining.
14. “This Is Your Complete Guide To Period Panties” Source: https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2020/10/a-complete-guide-to-period-underwear/
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