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Smart Health: I Tried Period Underwear, and Here's What Happened
I've never been completely happy with the choices for menstruation products. Menstrual cups, pads that seem overly hefty, and tampon applicators are all bad for the environment. As a result, I was skeptical and interested when I came across period clothing. They unmistakably had a nappy-like sound to them, as if they were something women would have worn a century ago, before the invention or women's emancipation. But with the assurance that it will be dry, comfy, and capable of absorbing as much blood as five tampons? I needed to test them.
What Is Period Underwear?
Period underwear is a type of underwear designed to be worn during menstruation. It is made of technical fabric designed to absorb menstrual blood and prevent leaks. Period underwear comes in various styles, including briefs, boyshorts, and high-waisted options, and some types also feature additional absorbent layers or leak-proof barriers.
Unlike traditional disposable menstrual products, such as pads or tampons, period underwear is reusable and can be washed and worn again. Many people find period underwear a more sustainable and comfortable option for managing their periods, as they do not produce as much waste and can be worn alone or in combination with other menstrual products.
Many brands now specialize in period underwear, offering a wide range of sizes, styles, and absorbency levels to meet the needs of different menstruators.
How to Use Period Underwear?
Using period underwear is very similar to using regular underwear, but there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that you are using it effectively −
Please choose the right absorbency level − Period underwear comes in different absorbency levels, so it is important to choose the right level based on your flow. If you have a heavy flow, choose a pair with a higher absorbency level, while those with a lighter flow can choose a lower absorbency level.
Wear as you would normal underwear − Period underwear can be worn just like regular underwear, but it is important to ensure it fits well and feels comfortable. You can wear period underwear alone or in combination with other menstrual products, depending on your preference.
Change as needed − Depending on your flow and the absorbency level of your period underwear, you may need to change it more or less frequently than you would with other menstrual products. Pay attention to your body and change your period underwear to avoid leaks or discomfort.
Rinse before washing − To prevent stains and odors, it is recommended to rinse your period underwear in cold water before washing. This can be done in a sink or bathtub or by running them under cold water in the shower.
Wash according to instructions − Most period underwear can be washed in a washing machine, but it is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that they are cleaned properly and last as long as possible. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the absorbent properties of the fabric.
Following these steps, you can effectively use period underwear as a sustainable and comfortable option for managing your menstrual cycle.
Who Should Use Period Underwear?
Period underwear can be used by anyone who menstruates and is looking for a more sustainable and comfortable option for managing their period. It is particularly useful for those who −
Want to reduce waste − Period underwear is a more eco-friendly than disposable menstrual products, as they are reusable and do not contribute to landfill waste.
Have sensitive skin − Some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions from traditional menstrual products, such as pads or tampons. Period underwear is made of breathable and hypoallergenic fabric, which may be more comfortable for sensitive skin.
Experience heavy flow − Those with a heavy flow may find period underwear a more reliable option for preventing leaks and avoiding frequent changes.
Lead an active lifestyle − Period underwear is designed to be comfortable and flexible, making it a good option for those who engage in physical activity or sports.
Travel frequently − Period underwear is a convenient option for travel, as it takes up less space in luggage and can be worn for longer periods without needing to be changed.
It is important to choose a reputable brand and ensure that the absorbency level is appropriate for your flow. Additionally, those with medical conditions such as heavy bleeding or endometriosis should consult their healthcare provider before using period underwear.
Is Period Underwear Sanitary?
Yes, period underwear is sanitary when used and washed properly. Most period underwear is designed with multiple layers of absorbent fabric that can effectively trap menstrual blood and prevent leaks. The material is also often treated with antimicrobial and odor-reducing properties to maintain freshness.
It is important to note that, like any other menstrual product, period underwear should be changed and washed regularly to prevent bacteria and odor buildup. Most period underwear can be washed in a washing machine with regular detergent. Still, it is important to follow the care instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure that they are cleaned properly and last as long as possible.
Additionally, it is recommended to rinse period underwear in cold water before washing to help remove any residual blood and prevent stains. It is also important to avoid using fabric softeners or bleach, as these can damage the absorbent properties of the fabric.
Benefits of Period Underwear
There are several benefits to using period underwear, including −
Sustainability − Period underwear is more sustainable than disposable menstrual products, as they are reusable and do not contribute to landfill waste. This makes them an eco-friendly choice for those concerned about the environment.
Comfort − Period underwear is designed to be comfortable and flexible, making it a good option for those who lead an active lifestyle or experience discomfort or irritation from traditional menstrual products.
Cost-effective − While period underwear may have a higher upfront cost than disposable menstrual products, they can save money in the long run as they can be used for several years with proper care.
Convenience − Period underwear is a convenient option for travel, as it takes up less space in luggage and can be worn for longer periods without needing to be changed.
Variety of styles and absorbency levels − Many brands of period underwear offer a variety of styles, sizes, and absorbency levels to meet the needs of different menstruators.
Reducing period stigma − Period underwear can help to normalize periods and reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation by providing a discreet and comfortable option for managing menstruation.
Health Risks of Using Period Underwear
When used properly, period underwear does not pose any significant health risks −
Proper hygiene − Changing your period underwear regularly and washing them properly is important to prevent bacteria and odor buildup. It is also recommended to rinse them in cold water before flying.
Proper fit − Choosing period underwear that fits well and feels comfortable is important. Wearing too tight or loose underwear can lead to discomfort, irritation, or leaks.
Appropriate absorbency level − Choosing the proper absorbency level based on your flow is important. Wearing underwear with a lower absorbency level than needed can lead to leaks, while wearing underwear with a higher absorbency level may cause discomfort or dryness.
Quality of materials − Choosing a reputable brand of period underwear made with high-quality materials is important to ensure they are effective and safe.
It is important to note that those with medical conditions such as heavy bleeding or endometriosis should consult with their healthcare provider before using period underwear to ensure it is a safe and appropriate option.
Period underwear is a sustainable, comfortable, and convenient option for managing menstruation. While no significant health risks are associated with using period underwear, it is important to use them properly and with attention to hygiene, fit, and absorbency level. Period underwear is a great option for those who want to reduce waste, have sensitive skin, experience heavy flow, lead an active lifestyle, or travel frequently. By providing a discreet and comfortable alternative to traditional menstrual products, period underwear can help to normalize periods and reduce the stigma surrounding menstruation.
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