What Is Period Underwear & How Does It Work?
What Is Period Underwear & How
Does It Work?
The menstrual cycle can put our bodies through a lot, and it constantly reminds us of its presence.
The average menstrual cycle lasts from 24 to 38 days, with a typical period lasting four to eight days, depending on the flow. We have made significant progress in the development of period products and our understanding of the menstrual cycle. New products are constantly being introduced to make our periods more comfortable and eco-friendly. So, what is the best option?
If you dislike using tampons and endure the uncomfortable feeling of traditional pads (we all know it's true), period underwear might be a great solution for you. But before we delve into period underwear, let's take a closer look at the existing options available on the market.
What are the different period products?
The most commonly used period products include:
- Tampons- These are single-use products that have been associated with potential poisoning due to their toxicity.
- Menstrual Underwear- These reusable garments can last for several years if cared for properly. They offer leak-proof protection and eliminate the health risks and environmental damage associated with many other products on the list.
- Sanitary Towels - These are also single-use products and are less discreet compared to tampons.
- Menstrual Cups- These reusable cups require some adjustment but are a popular alternative to tampons.
- Washable Pads/Liners - These are reusable pads, although they may not be as comfortable and secure as other options.
So, what is the safest period product?
Each of these products has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on your specific period needs and personal preferences. In terms of safety, external products that don't need to be inserted inside your body are generally considered the safest. Tampons, on the other hand, may pose a higher risk due to the potential dangers of toxicity if they are not properly removed or forgotten.
What are the alternatives to tampons?
As mentioned earlier, there is a good range of alternatives available. These include pads (both single-use and reusable), menstrual cups, and period underwear.
What can I use instead of pads during my period?
If you prefer using pads, you may not be inclined to use tampons or cups, as they involve internal insertion. In such cases, period underwear is the most practical option.
So, what exactly is period underwear?
Period underwear refers to washable and reusable undergarments specifically designed to replace pads and tampons or be used alongside tampons and cups for additional protection.
Despite the additional layer, you'll be relieved to know that period underwear doesn't feel like wearing an adult diaper. In fact, they generally look and feel just like regular underwear, ensuring a comfortable and non-bulky experience (thank goodness!).
While they may seem thin, they offer the added assurance of leakage protection. Period underwear is worn just like regular underwear, eliminating the need for any inserts. As a result, period pants are significantly safer than menstrual cups and tampons, as they carry no risk of toxic shock syndrome or injury.
Now that we have briefly explored the reasons why period underwear can make your period less stressful, let's delve into how they work.
How Does Period Underwear Work?
It's simple! Most period underwear is made from bamboo and merino wool, featuring multiple layers of specially designed fabrics that effectively draw liquid away from the body and trap it inside the underwear to prevent leakage.
Period underwear can typically hold up to the equivalent of two tampons' worth of menstrual blood. Some brands even incorporate small built-in capillaries to facilitate faster evaporation of moisture, which is particularly useful for activities like going to the gym or having a busy day at work.
Do You Wear Pads With Period Underwear?
No, there's no need to wear pads along with period underwear as they serve the same purpose, and adding a pad would only make it bulkier.
Can You Wear Tampons or Menstrual Cups With Period Underwear?
Most period underwear is designed to accommodate moderate to heavy flow, but the level of flow varies for each person. Depending on your flow, you can choose to wear period underwear alone or combine them with tampons or menstrual cups for added protection. On heavier flow days, using tampons or cups alongside period underwear might be more suitable, while on lighter flow days, or for individuals with consistently light flows, wearing period underwear alone would suffice. It's a matter of personal preference and finding what works best for you.
How Long Does Period Underwear Last?
With proper care, period underwear can last a long time. Regular washing, drying, and maintenance are essential to prolong their lifespan. Unlike single-use products such as tampons and pads, which generate significant waste, period underwear can be used for years, making them a more environmentally friendly option.
Can You Wear Period Underwear All Day?
Yes, you can wear period underwear throughout the day. The fabric used in period pants is designed to keep you dry and comfortable, preventing any wet feeling. The inclusion of antimicrobial technology in the fabric ensures hygienic protection. The waterproof lining, often made of Polyurethane Laminate (PUL) fabric, keeps the underwear leak-proof and is similar to the lining used in menstrual cloth pads and baby diaper coverings.
Period underwear should feel similar to wearing a pad but without the heaviness or dampness associated with disposable pads.
Does Period Underwear Cause Odor?
There may be some odor associated with menstruation due to the combination of blood and bacteria. However, when using period underwear, you should not experience any unusual odor during your day or while wearing the underwear. The antibacterial properties of the underwear are designed to minimize the smell of blood, and the breathable nature of the fabric helps to dispel any concerns about odor. Any potential odor may be related to old blood, but regular washing immediately after use will address this issue.
What Are the Major Benefits of Using Period Underwear?
Let's recap the major benefits of switching to period underwear or incorporating them into your existing routine:
- Eco-Friendly: By using reusable period underwear, you can significantly reduce the waste generated by disposable pads and tampons, contributing to a more sustainable environment.
- Comfort:Unlike traditional pads that can be uncomfortable, bulky, and prone to shifting, period underwearoffers comfort and freedom of movement. It provides reliable leak protection without compromising comfort, allowing you to engage in activities like exercising without worry.
- Hygiene:Period underwear absorbs the liquid, keeping it away from direct contact with your skin, which helps protect against bacteria buildup and potential discomfort associated with wearing pads for extended periods.
- Ease of Use: With period underwear, there's no need to struggle with insertion or worry about choosing the right absorbency level. Simply put on the underwear and go about your day. After use, rinse and wash them along with your regular laundry.
- Backup Option:Period underwearcan serve as a backup for those using cups or tampons, providing an extra layer of protection against leaks. This versatility is particularly useful for new moms experiencing spotting or individuals with irregular cycles.
Period underwear offers a modern and convenient approach to managing menstruation. It is an eco-friendly, comfortable, hygienic, and cost-effective alternative to disposable products, allowing individuals to experience greater freedom and peace of mind during their periods.