What is “period underwear” and how does it work?
December 24th, 2021 by Catherine Marqueses
Period underwear, also known as menstrual underwear, is a type of underwear specifically designed to absorb menstrual blood during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is a more environmentally friendly and convenient alternative to traditional feminine hygiene products such as pads and tampons.
What is Period Underwear?
Period underwear is made with a layer of absorbent material, typically made of bamboo or organic cotton, that is capable of holding a certain amount of menstrual blood. The absorbent layer is usually sewn into the lining of the underwear and is not visible from the outside.
Period underwear comes in different styles and sizes, ranging from thongs to high waist briefs. It can also be worn in combination with other menstrual products such as a menstrual cup or a pad for added protection.
How Does Period Underwear Work?
During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the uterus sheds its lining and the blood is expelled through the vagina. Period undies works by absorbing this blood and holding it in the absorbent layer until it can be properly disposed of.
The absorbent layer is designed to hold a certain amount of blood, depending on the style and size of the underwear. Some styles can hold up to two tampons worth of blood, while others may hold less. It is important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much blood the underwear can hold before wearing it.
Period underwear should be changed and washed every 4-6 hours, or as needed, to prevent leaks and maintain proper hygiene. It is recommended to have a few pairs on hand so that you can switch them out as needed.
Benefits of period underwear
Period underwear offers a number of benefits, both for your body and the environment. Some of the main benefits include:
Comfort: Period underwear is designed to be comfortable to wear, with soft and breathable materials that keep you feeling dry and fresh throughout the day.
Convenience: Period underwear eliminates the need for constant tampon or pad changes, allowing you to go about your day without worrying about leaks or accidents.
Cost-effective: Period underwear can save you money in the long run, as you won’t have to constantly purchase tampons or pads.
Eco-friendly: Period underwear is a more environmentally friendly option, as it reduces waste compared to disposable pads and liners.
Discreet: Period underwear is discreet and can be worn under your regular clothing, so you can go about your day without any embarrassing accidents or leaks.
Versatility: Period underwear is versatile and can be worn during any activity, including sports and swimming.
Period underwear is more environmentally friendly compared to traditional menstrual products. Pads and tampons are made from non-biodegradable materials and can take hundreds of years to break down in landfills. In contrast, period underwear is made from natural materials such as bamboo and organic cotton, which are biodegradable and can break down within a few months.
Period underwear is also more convenient compared to pads and tampons. It eliminates the need to constantly change pads or tampons throughout the day and can be worn for up to 6 hours at a time. This is especially useful for women who are on the go and do not have easy access to a bathroom to dispose of their menstrual products.
Period underwear is also more comfortable compared to pads and tampons. Pads and tampons can be bulky and can cause irritation or discomfort for some women. Period underwear, on the other hand, is thin and discreet, and can be worn under any type of clothing without any noticeable bulge.
Period underwear can also be more cost-effective in the long run compared to pads and tampons. Pads and tampons need to be constantly replaced, while period underwear can be worn and washed multiple times before needing to be replaced. This can save a significant amount of money over time.
Types of period underwear
There are a few different types of period underwear to choose from, each with their own unique features and benefits. Some of the most common types include:
High-waisted briefs: These types of period underwear are designed to sit high on your waist and offer full coverage of your hips and backside. They are often made of a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, and may include additional leak-proof layers for added protection.
Boyshorts: Boyshorts are a popular option for period underwear, as they offer full coverage of your hips and backside while still being comfortable and easy to wear. They are typically made of a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, and may include additional leak-proof layers for added protection.
Thongs: Thongs are a good option for those who want a more minimalistic approach to period underwear. They offer minimal coverage in the front, with a thin strip of fabric running between your legs. Thongs are usually made of a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, and may include additional leak-proof layers for added protection.
Hipsters: Hipsters are a type of period underwear that sits low on your hips and offers moderate coverage of your backside. They are typically made of a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers, and may include additional leak-proof layers for added protection.
Disadvantages of Period Underwear
While period underwear may seem like a convenient and eco-friendly option for managing menstruation, there are several disadvantages to consider before making the switch.
One of the main disadvantages of period underwear is that it has limited absorbency compared to traditional pads and tampons. While these undergarments can hold a decent amount of menstrual blood, they are not able to absorb as much as a tampon or pad. This can be a problem for people with heavy periods, as they may need to change their period underwear more frequently than they would need to change a pad or tampon.
Another disadvantage of period underwear is that it can be uncomfortable to wear. The special fabric used in these undergarments is designed to absorb menstrual blood, which means it can feel quite wet and bulky when it is fully saturated. This can lead to discomfort and irritation, particularly if the underwear is worn for an extended period of time.
Difficult to Clean
Cleaning period underwear can also be a challenge, as the special fabric used in these undergarments is not always easy to care for. Many brands recommend hand washing their period underwear, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient. Additionally, some people may find that their period underwear develops odors or stains over time, which can be difficult to remove.
Another disadvantage of period underwear is that there are limited options available on the market. While there are a few brands that offer a variety of styles and sizes, the selection is much smaller compared to traditional pads and tampons. This can make it difficult for people to find the right fit and style of period underwear that meets their needs.
Risk of Leakage
Period underwear is not a perfect solution for managing menstruation, as there is always a risk of leakage. While these undergarments can hold a decent amount of menstrual blood, they are not always able to absorb as much as a tampon or pad. This means that there is a higher risk of leakage, particularly for people with heavy periods or those who are wearing period underwear for an extended period of time.
Limited Protection Against
Period underwear is designed to absorb menstrual blood, but it does not provide the same level of protection as a pad or tampon. This can be a problem for people who are worried about leaks or accidents, as period underwear may not always be able to prevent them.
May Cause Allergies
Some people may also be allergic to the materials used in period underwear, which can cause irritation and other symptoms.
Period underwear is a practical and eco-friendly alternative to traditional pads and tampons. They offer added protection against leaks and can be worn comfortably throughout the day. With a variety of styles and absorbency levels available, period underwear can be a great option for managing menstrual flow.