I Tried Period Panties. Here’s What Happened.
Let's talk periods. If I'm being honest, I never liked tampons and have always been a little concerned about getting toxic shock syndrome. After having kids, I found myself using pads more, even though I was always worried about leaking through and ruined more undies than I care to think about. Faced with yet another month of buying monthly supplies, I decided to look into what alternatives were available, like period panties.
I decided to take the plunge on a set of Thinx period panties in hopes of ditching disposable period items for good. After my set came, I had to wait a couple of weeks to try them. Once Aunt Flo came to visit, I'll be honest that I hesitated. I thought that perhaps I should wait for a lighter flow day before I went out in public wearing nothing but these panties for protection but I was running behind for preschool drop off and decided to dive in. I am glad I did!
Here's what happened.
First, I was worried it might feel like I was wearing a diaper. Period panties do have more padding in the crotch area but I found I hardly noticed at all once I had them on, even wearing the Thinx heavy flow panties, which can hold about two tampons worth of flow. I found these to be more comfortable than a pad, which for me tended to move around a bit and be a little irritating.
Second, I was worried about if there would be any dampness or smell. There was no smell at all, even at the end of the day. There was also no wetness at all throughout the day. At the very end of the night, about 14-hours of wear, I noticed a little bit of flow on top but hardly any after a long and heavy and flow day.
Third, I was worried about leaking through. Every time I went to the bathroom I looked to see if could tell how full the panties were. I couldn't tell, but I figured as long as they were still dry everything would be fine. It was. I will admit that I packed a second pair when I when out for the day just in case I needed them, but I didn't.
Fourth, I wondered how hard they would be to wash. It was really easy to just rinse them out then throw in the wash as usual. After the first day, I had no worries at all using them the rest of the week. I honestly don't see myself ever going back!
Here are some considerations if you take the plunge.
My heavy days may not be the same as yours.
When figuring out if a pair will last you all day or not think about how many tampons you usually go through in a day and plan accordingly. While the heavy flow panties were fine for me, some women with heavier flows wear period panties as a backup for tampons on heavy days or change pairs out throughout the day (just bring a plastic bag for used ones and wash at home).
Pick styles and absorbency levels that will work with your wardrobe year-round.
I chose black, but Thinx are available in dusk and beige as well. There are also styles ranging from hip hugger to leotards to sport and thong. Since you will only likely be getting a few pairs, think about which styles and colors will be the most versatile with your wardrobe. Also, bear in mind that some styles are for heavier days and some are for lighter days. I found there to be not much of a difference in thickness on of the panties so you can't go wrong getting only heavier flow styles but if you like lighter flow styles go for one or two of those.
You can go all in on period panties or just try it out.
You can choose to start with just one pair of jump in with multiple pairs, like in a cycle set. The advantage of trying one pair is that it's a low investment, but keep in mind there are big discounts for buying multiple pairs at once. Also, think about how often you do wash in deciding how many pairs you will need as well as whether you will sleep in them (even if you are using them as a back-up for tampons at night). I do wash every few days but did get a set to make sure I was covered.
Think about cost.
Keep in mind that although these are an investment, you will be saving a lot of money by not buying tampons and pads each month. Although I'm new to using period panties, many women report that theirs last for years, which makes sense since you only wear them a few days a month, if that.
What about swimming?
There is also period swimwear, like these options from Modibodi, so you can ditch tampons for good. I chose swim bottoms that happen to go with two-piece sets I already have, but Modibodi also makes their own one-piece swimsuits as well.
Have you tried period panties? What was your experience?