Goodbye Tampons, Hello Period Panties
Today, WE GO THERE is delving into feminine hygiene. When it comes to period protection, most of us are under the misconception that there are only two options out there: pads and tampons. The reality is, there are plenty of different types of feminine hygiene products, two of which we think are vastly underrated. This article is dedicated to these two seriously overlooked but truly incredible inventions: period panties and menstrual cups. If you have yet to dive into the world of “alternative” feminine hygiene products, we hope this article will give you just the push you need!
Period Panties vs. “Period Panties”
First, we need to set the record straight on the double meaning behind period panties. Most women have at least one pair of what they refer to as “period panties” in their drawer. You know, the pair of (usually old) regular undies you slip on whenever you’re on your period because you don’t care if any haphazard leaks or stains get onto them? We totally used to do this - before we switched to the real thing, that is! By real thing, we mean the period panties that are an actual feminine hygiene garment, with built-in protection against your period. It’s these panties that will be the subject of this article. Now that we’ve clarified that, let’s get started!
The Science Behind Period Underwear
Like pads, period panties absorb your period. But rather than having to replace your pad every few hours, which can be both inconvenient, not to mention bad for the environment, period panties last up to 12 hours. The amount of blood that can be soaked up in each pair differs slightly based on the brand. Knix is one brand leading the period underwear game at the moment, and we spoke with Christina Sfeir, Manager of PR & Events for Knix who told us everything we need to know about their leakproof undies.
Firstly, what is the science behind these miracle panties? According to Christina, Knix underwear is made with triple-layer patented leakproof technology that absorbs up to 3 teaspoons of liquid and protects you against leaks (periods, pee, and sweat). Christina recommends wearing Knix undies on their own for light days, or as backup protection on heavier days. Also, Knix’s Fresh Fix Technology® features a wicking polyester layer that absorbs and traps moisture so that you can wear them all day long. Thus, period panties simultaneously wick moisture, absorb fluid, and prevent leaks. Sounds pretty great, doesn’t it? It’s this innovative technology that makes period underwear more durable than pads or tampons, which simply just absorb the blood.
Further, period undies are machine washable and can be washed with the rest of your clothes, shares Christina. Just make sure to wash them in cold water with a mild detergent and lay them flat to dry. In addition to practicality, period panties are way more stylish than ever before. For example, Knix offers everything from lace thongs to high waisted bikinis. Seriously, they’re so cute, we bet you’ll get them confused with your regular underwear. The best part? This reusable underwear is SO much better for the environment compared to pads or tampons that go straight into the trash after each use. So, if you’re looking to reduce waste, period panties (or menstrual cups - more on those below) are the way to go!
What’s the Deal with Menstrual Cups?
A second, often overlooked feminine hygiene product we love? Menstrual cups! They have a few things in common with period panties. For example, menstrual cups are also reusable (yay for reducing your footprint!) and can be worn for up to 12 hours. However, unlike period panties, they must be inserted into the vagina in order to work effectively. For those that don’t know, a menstrual cup looks like a tiny flexible funnel made of silicone or rubber. Before purchasing, make sure you know the correct size to buy. This can vary so we recommend consulting your doctor, but the general rule of thumb is if you are under 30 and haven’t given birth vaginally, a smaller size is for you. Oppositely, if you are over 30, have given birth vaginally, or generally have a heavier flow, then a larger size is likely the best fit. In addition to being eco-friendly, another major pro of menstrual cups is that they are affordable! Typically, menstrual cups, such as DivaCup, will cost you around $30 or $40, whereas tampons and pads can add up to $100 or more annually.
Your Menstrual Cup How-To Guide
If this is your first time using a menstrual cup, you might be wondering how exactly it’s meant to be inserted. Luckily, it’s not rocket science, and if you have experience with tampons, you’ll likely find this just as easy. After washing your hands, fold the menstrual cup in half with the rim facing up. Insert the cup into your vagina, just like you would a tampon. Once the cup is in, rotate it slightly. This will prompt the cup to spring open, creating a seal that will prevent leaks. If inserted correctly, you shouldn’t even feel it in there. (Pro tip: If you’re ever having trouble inserting it, simply lubricate the rim with lube (try our Sex H2O PH Balanced Lubricant) before inserting. The cup should be removed after six hours for a heavier flow, or after 12 hours for a lighter flow. To do this, you simply place your index finger and thumb in the vagina, pinch the base of the cup, and pull down. Lastly, empty the cup into the toilet or sink and be sure to wash your cup in the sink between uses. While the whole “emptying the cup” part may seem a little foreign to those of us used to absorbent feminine hygiene products, we promise it’s not as messy as it seems. And like all things in life, you’ll get used to it before you know it! One final word: When it comes to replacing your menstrual cup, you should purchase a new one every one to two years, or when it is no longer in good condition (i.e. if it has a tear or rip).
Now that you know about some of the amazing options out there, dare we say tampons and pads are a thing of the past? Regardless of whether you’re ready to swear off “traditional” feminine hygiene products for good, we hope this article has opened your eyes to a world of period protection outside the norm.
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