Period underwear are maybe the MOST easy-to-use period product on the market, especially for new menstruators. We highly recommend new menstruators try out period underwear.
What are period underwear?
Period underwear are just like normal underwear, except they have an absorbent layer that will soak up the blood. You wash them after use (according to their wash instructions) and they are ready to be worn again.
You can generally wear period underwear for up to 12 hours, depending on your flow.
Read more in this article from The Cleveland Clinic.
What are the pros to period underwear?
Period underwear have a lot of pros.
- Easy to use. If you can wear normal underwear, you can wear period underwear.
- Comfortable. Some menstruators find that pads are uncomfortable for them - causing them to get a rash or chafing. Period underwear can eliminate that problem.
- Wear time. Because period underwear can be worn up to 12 hours, you can put them on in the morning and then forget about them until bedtime.
- Absorbent. Most period underwear can hold up to 3+ tampons or pads worth of blood meaning they need to be changed less often than a tampon or pad would.
- Backup protection. Period underwear make great backup protection - for those last days of your period when you think you are done but you aren't sure or the days when your discharge is really heavy and you want some absorbency or when you are worried your tampon or cup may leak.
What are the cons to period underwear?
Despite the pros, period underwear won't be for everybody. Why might period underwear not work for you? Here are a few cons...
- Absorbency. If you have a really heavy period, period underwear may not be for you. If you go through more than 3 tampons or pads in a day, that means you will need to change your period underwear during the day.
- Difficult to change. If you do find yourself needing to change your period underwear while you are out, that would require you to strip down, switch out your underwear, and then carry around bloody underwear until you get home.
- External. Some menstruators prefer internal period products (think tampons or cups) to external products (pads or period underwear). You may still like period underwear as a backup or you may not need them.
What to consider while choosing period underwear?
While period underwear are still relatively new and there isn't a ton of competition, there are still a few brands and types to choose from. Here is what to look for while considering which product is right for you.
- Absorbency. Is your period heavier or lighter? Different underwear will hold different amounts of blood. Some companies also have a regular and heavy option.
- Day v. Night. Do you plan on wearing your period underwear just during they day or at night also? Some period underwear only have absorbency where your vagina is. That works great so long as you are standing or sitting. However, if you lay on your back you may need the absorbent layer to go all the way up the back of the underwear to keep from leaking.
- Comfort. What is the period underwear made of? What is the absorbent layer made of? Some period underwear have a really comfortable material but the absorbent layer is stiff and uncomfortable. Others have a good absorbent layer but the material for the rest of the underwear isn't soft.
- Size. Do you want your period underwear to be as thin as possible? Some period underwear are super thin and others are a little more bulky. You sacrifice some absorbency and comfort for thinness so this is a personal choice, but verify that the pair you are getting fit your desires.