For You I Tried: Period Underwear
When I saw the ads for these, I immediately knew I had to try them. First of all, the fact that the ad had been banned from NY subways, while this one had been allowed to run no problem, had me fuming... which only added to my curiosity for the brand. Second, I wanted to try an alterative to pads and tampons (apart from the cup, which I’m testing next), or be able to wear it in conjunction with them (leaky faucet, anyone?). So, three weeks ago, I placed my order. And then I waited for my period…
I decided to purchase the Hiphugger (which offers the most protection out of the 5 other options) because I don’t do things half-ass here. And also, I wanted to push the underwear to its limit. And because, of course, I’m #happytobleed and #PeriodPositive and wanted to be free to do so with the most protection.
I had read THINX panties run small, so I ordered a size-up and I’m happy I did. They fit snuggly, but not too tightly, to my body. Texture-wise, the underwear is much thicker than a regular panty, but I wouldn’t be embarrassed if the person I was about to do sexy time with saw or felt them. In fact, they’re pretty, and I’d be happy to be wearing them. In terms of thickness, think yoga pants, with some pretty lace on the edges.
THINX are not the first period underwear to have hit the market, but they’re the first (at least, according to them) to have developed the technology that can handle up to 2.5 tampons worth of liquid (i.e. blood). They explain in detail on their website the four layers that make up the underwear, but, basically, it’s able contain the moisture of your lady parts without any leaks or damp feeling.
I wore these to work on my second day of my period, my heaviest day. It felt very, very strange to be outside knowing I was openly bleeding, and I felt like I was re-learning to walk, but I checked each time I got up from my seat (on the subway, at work, etc) and there was never any transfer. I did a little booty take in the mirror too, and there was no sign of the dreaded blood stain. Super curious as to where the blood was going (is it like a Mary Poppins hat?) I pressed some toilet paper to the underwear to see if it would absorb liquid back, but only the slightest amount of blood transferred. Almost everything seemed to be contained within the underwear.
By the time I got home there was still no leak or transfer anywhere. I did, however, feel slightly uncomfortable after wearing them for over 10 hours, since I was finally able to feel some moisture. I wanted to see what sleeping in them would be like, but I needed to get them off: my lady parts needed to breathe. Here’s something slightly off-putting, but logical: taking them off, the underwear felt heavier.
Being that THINX state these knickers can hold up to 2 tampons worth, I definitely didn’t feel as though I was being let-down by having to take them off after a whole day. On my heaviest days, I wear an average of 4 tampons. So the panties can definitely handle more than 2, though you might feel some slight discomfort in terms of breathability.
Though you can throw these in the washing machine (but don't put them in the dryer), I decided to hand-wash them, because why the hell not? I wanted to wear them again as soon as possible. The process was very easy, and weirdly satisfying. They dried overnight.
Overall, I’m super happy with these, and though I might not wear them again sans any other help (ie tampon) on my heaviest day, I would absolutely wear them alone towards the middle-end of my period. I also like that I feel more environmentally friendly by causing less waste from tampon applicators and pad wrappers. And for every pair of undies bought, THINX also sends funds (though it's unclear how much) to their partner AFRIpads who train women in Uganda to sew and sell reusable and washable pads. Pretty dope.
The con? The price. At $34 for one pair of underwear, it’s not cheap (though it is $2 cheaper than their main competition, Dear Kate). I don’t see myself buying more than two pairs in total, but I sure am happy I bought the one. I'll definitely whip these out again the next time Aunt Flo pays me a visit.
Have any of you tried these? What was your experience?