While Rose and I love our dedicated male readers, this post is not for you. We’re going to talk about some lady issues (bodily fluids! gross!), so this is your official notice to stop reading. Seriously. It’s about to get graphic up in here.
Okay ladies, now that we’re alone, I have a shocking revelation to make. I hate my period. It’s messy, painful, annoying, always seems to arrive at the worst moment, and the ways to contain it are all worse than the next. I guess there is no convenient way to bleed for a week at a time, but seriously, after thousands of years, you’d think someone would have figured this out. Enter: Thinx period panties.
You’ve probably seen the ads all over your Facebook and Insta feeds. They promise “period-proof underwear that works!” and feature trendy images of very thin models wearing underwear that looks completely normal – attractive even! I pondered this for literally years. How could it possibly work without feeling like you’re squelching around in a cushion filled with your menstrual blood? It couldn’t, right?
Well, as I get older (and my gyno tells me, pre-menopausal! rude!) my periods are getting more unruly. Leaks are more common, heavy flows are heavier, and the light days are lasting longer. After re-reading all the reviews, I finally relented and bought three pairs of Thinx – two heavy and one light. I figured I would give it a go, and report my findings back to you dear readers. So here you go.
The scoop: These underwear have an absorbent layer of fabric between two other layers (outer and lining). It’s supposed to wick moisture away from you, and prevent odors from escaping. The most absorbent pair is rated at 2 tampons worth, with the lightest being 1/2 tampon’s worth.
The positives: They really are attractive, seem high quality, and are as comfortable as a slightly thicker pair of underwear. They come in multiple styles and colors, and are lined in black fabric, so you won’t actually see any staining. They don’t swell or get noticeably thicker when they are “full” so you don’t have the same sensation as wearing a thick sanitary napkin. And the best part – no worries about leaking or ruining clothes / pajamas / sheets!
The negatives: They are not a total solution. On heavy days, you still have to wear a tampon or cup, unless you prefer to change your underwear midway through the day. And it’s not like you could just throw the used pair in your purse – you have to hand wash them in the sink (which is fairly disgusting), then throw them in the wash on a cold cycle, and then hang to dry. If you’re sharing a living space with someone whom you’d prefer not to see your underwear hanging out all over the place, this could be awkward. If you do “fill up” the underwear, they may still leak, and they do get VERY cold when you pull them down and back up again to use the restroom. Similar to pulling up a wet bathing suit, but takes longer to adjust back to your body temperature.
The verdict: They are a better experience than a “light days” tampon, pad, or panty liner. But at $24-39 (depending on style and absorption) they are a pricey alternative. I spent $94 on three pairs (used a coupon), which would have bought a LOT of sanitary supplies (though think of the garbage you’re saving from the landfill). I plan on wearing them with a tampon on heavy days to guard against leaks, and instead of other protection on lighter days. But if you’re asking me if they’re worth $94… I might say to wait until demand forces their pricing down.