Does period underwear work?

For most people with a period, yes! But, just like how all bodies are built differently, some other reusable period products might be more suitable for you. We will take you through what period underwear is, how they’re made, and other frequently asked questions about period underwear. Then you can decide if you want to try them and see for yourself!

What is period underwear? 

Period underwear is just like normal underwear. They come in multiple styles - from thongs to high-waisted - but the most popular seems to be the bikini cut. They are an easy way to deal with your period, and are affordable for most people. They have multiple layers in the crotch area and are designed to absorb your flow. 

How does period underwear work? 

Most of the time period underwear is made from breathable fabrics, but the crotch area also has extra protective and absorbent layers to prevent leakages. There is also a waterproof layer to make them even more leakproof. Other layers can be made with natural fibres (like wool) so that they are antibacterial, antimicrobial, and odour-free. They will also have moisture-wicking properties so that you won’t feel the wetness from any discharge or blood. 

How many pairs should I buy?

We recommend buying 3 to 4 pairs of period underwear to start with. You can then see how it goes with your flow, how often you need to change them, and if you like them. Then you can always buy more if you need more.  

How long can I wear period underwear?

It is all dependent on how heavy your flow is, but for lighter to regular menstruation you can wear them anywhere from 8 all the way to 12 hours. Some people might need to change their underwear after 3 to 4 hours. It’s good to check your underwear after 3 hours in the beginning, then if you’re still good, check every hour to get a feel for when you’ll need a change. 

How long does period underwear last?

Period underwear is made to outlast disposable period products by a long shot. When they are properly taken care of you can get anywhere from 2 to 5 years out of your period underwear. 

When do you know to change period underwear? 

There a quite a few signs you can look for to know when it’s time to change your period underwear. If you start to feel a wetness it can be a sign your period underwear is at its maximum absorbency. Also, if you notice blood or wetness at the seams of your underwear, then it’s time to change. 

Is period underwear suitable for heavy flows? 

They can be, but depending on how heavy your flow is, you might find it more useful to wear a menstrual cup. But, if you don’t mind changing underwear frequently, then go ahead! But period underwear best suits those with light to regular flows, with just a few occasional heavy days.

How do I clean period underwear? 

Cleaning period underwear is easy! Simply rinse your underwear under running water, whether in a sink, under a shower or water bottle, and then toss it into the washing machine on a cold or delicate setting. Alternatively, hand wash them! Just be sure to use a detergent that is mild and to avoid using fabric softener. Fabric softener can compromise the integrity of the fabric. Then you simply hang them up to dry and then they are good to go!

Is period underwear sanitary? 

Yes! When taken care of correctly they are just as safe and sanitary as any other period product. Often, period blood can take on some negative stigma, but as long as you are changing your period underwear regularly, and washing them according to instructions, they are sanitary. 

Can they be used for postpartum bleeding? 

Yep! You can wear them for postpartum bleeding but just check regularly if your bleeding is heavy so as to avoid any leaks.

Do they feel different from regular underwear?

They will feel a little different from traditional underwear. The materials used in period underwear are breathable, and they will also be a little thicker in the crotch area compared to regular underwear.

Does period underwear smell? 

Nope! Period underwear is designed with layers to help protect against odour. As long as you wash your period underwear with mild detergent after use, they will not smell. 

How much waste is saved by using reusable period products? 

A lot of waste – on average it saves 528 pads or tampons a year! There are tonnes of menstrual waste being dumped in the environment each year, so making the switch to reusable period products makes a big impact!

Does period underwear save money? 

Yes! In more ways than just the obvious. You can save lots of money on tampons or pads in the span of your period underwear’s life. But it can also save your sheets, clothing, mattress pads and mattresses as well!

Can I exercise in period underwear? 

You absolutely can! You can pretty much wear it for any sport or at the gym. They work just like a pad and now there are even period swim options. Don’t take your regular period underwear into the pool though, they won’t work.

Can I wear period underwear for incontinence? 

We don’t recommend wearing period underwear for incontinence, just because the bladder can hold much more liquid than what naturally comes from your period. However, if you are just having leaks when you laugh or sneeze, it can be an option. Just be sure to change them regularly to avoid irritation. 

Can I wear period underwear if I’m pregnant? 

Yes, if you’re spotting during your pregnancy, you can wear them just fine! However, if you’d like a high-waisted design for comfort, there are maternity period underwear options just for you!

Are period underwear products bulky? 

Nope, they are a little thicker than traditional underwear but they will not feel bulky or bunch up like a pad or nappy. 

How do I properly dispose of period underwear? 

See if your period underwear is recyclable, then separate the textiles according to your local recycling regulations and it’s as simple as that! Be sure that you are using them to the end of their lifespan before throwing them out. 

When should I replace period underwear? 

When you start to see they’re not working as well as they used to, or if they have any holes or rips in them.

What about other reusable period products? 

There are many options, from menstrual cups to pads. They all have their pros and cons and can even be paired with period underwear for extra security. 

We have finally gone through all the questions, now all that’s left to do is to try! Let us know if period underwear works for you!