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Molly Longest / Her Campus
Health

Period Panties: A Modern Solution for an Age-Old Problem

Periods. For those of us who menstruate, we all know the struggle. It’s THAT time of the month. You may be cranky, stressed, moody, crampy and on top of all that, you are bleeding out of your vagina. Gross. Although the annoyance of periods is a universal struggle for those who menstruate, not all periods are created equal. 

 

My periods, while thankfully not painful or heavy, almost never go away and are really irregular. I have never had a 28-day cycle. I bleed all the time, with an occasional 2 days of period-free bliss before I go right back to bleeding for 2 weeks straight. The only reprieve is that my periods are always moderate to light and seldom come with painful cramping. I’ve been to the doctor several times for this issue. Supposedly, my reproductive system works fine, and unfortunately, I just have irregular periods. For some women, birth control is a godsend for irregular periods. Alas, I am not so lucky. 

 

Formerly, I was on the pill and currently, I use Nexplanon for birth control, yet my periods are still erratic. Birth control is certainly not the culprit, because my periods are even more unpredictable when I am off birth control. Before I started birth control, I once went 180 DAYS without a period!  As if the unpredictability of my periods was not enough, don’t even get me started on how irritating constantly purchasing and wearing menstrual products is. I hate wasting money on tampons and pads. I hate how bulky pads are and how gross I feel having to constantly wear them. I’ve tried menstrual cups, but I do not bleed enough for them to be a good solution to my period woes. If you think that sounds horrible, it is. It’s my personal hell. But, do periods have to be that way? Maybe there is a solution out there that can make periods a little less of a pain in the ass. Enter the period panty. 

 

For the uninitiated, period panties are specially designed panties you wear during your period that absorb your blood. When you start your period, simply grab a pair of period panties, and you are covered for the day! Period panties come in a variety of flows (from light to super) and styles (bikini, high-waisted, boyshorts, and even thongs)! The panties have built-in absorption technology that functions as a pad, but it is sewn into the underwear. When you are ready to change panties, simply rinse them out and throw them in the wash then hang dry them. Some prefer to wear tampons in combination with their period panties, but my flow is so light that the panties by themselves provide plenty of coverage. I find that the period panties do a better job of absorbing blood than typical pads and lack that “I’ve been sitting in a wet diaper all day” feeling. I can wear one pair for 24 hours with no issues whatsoever, it’s complete bliss! 

 

Now that you know how period panties work, let’s discuss two titans of the industry. Quick note: this article is in no way sponsored or endorsed by either of the period panty companies I am about to discuss. The first kind of period panty I tried was from the company Knix. While I enjoyed the functionality of the panties (no leaks!), the design left a little something to be desired. The underwear is not sown, but rather taped together which gives it a cheap feel. Additionally, the underwear is only offered in a seamless style. This was a big disappointment because my biggest gripe with constantly wearing pads was how unattractive they made me feel. I was tired of constantly wearing my ugly period underwear and suffering from the discomfort of pads sticking to my thighs, I just wanted to wear cute undies while on my period! Enter Thinx.

 

Thinx was everything I wanted Knix to be. They offered a wide range of styles, from lacey to sheer to cotton panties! Even better, the panties were sown and not taped together. When I received my first pair of Thinx, I was sold. The panties absorbed just as well as Knix in addition to making me feel feminine again. It is so incredibly freeing to no longer have to deal with the hassle of pads or tampons while feeling good in my own skin. Although I cannot change how often I bleed, I had the power to choose a menstrual product that provides me comfort and style while still protecting me from leaks. I am eternally grateful for companies like Knix and Thinx who make my period feel less like hell, and I encourage those who experience menstruation to seek out menstrual products that make their periods as painless and comfortable as possible.

 

If you feel that period panties may be the right choice for you, check out Knix and Thinx’s websites:

 

Knix: https://knix.com/collections/period-underwear?loc=ShopAllNav&nav=Underwear

Thinx: https://www.shethinx.com/collections/thinx-shop-all

Ashley Rattenbury is a sophomore at NC State majoring in Psychology and minoring in Genetics and Criminology. She has a passion for pilates, running, cooking, video games, art, and cartoons. After graduation, she plans to attend law school. She looks forward to writing articles about women's health, sex and relationships, and popular culture for Her Campus!
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