This time around in the Menstruation Series, I bring to you the greatest thing since sliced bread and another reusable menstrual product… Period underwear! I really like these, because unlike cups or tampons, they can be worn like regular underwear during your period, and they are machine washable like the rest of your wardrobe. You could even wear them when you aren’t on your period, because they are THAT comfortable!
There are two brands in particular I will be sharing with you today, both of which I have used with success. They are definitely making it on my Peace Corps packing list!
1. Period Panties by Thinx
This is the company everyone is talking about, and they are pretty much making periods trendy (and also the company that inspired me to rant about periods on the Internet). There are many styles, and the best comparison in terms of how it feels to wear is similar to wearing underwear made with sporty material, but more cotton-y inside. The period catching area is located where you would normally place a pad, and it does feel different from the rest of the panty, but it isn’t bulky at all. They have tons of styles (leotards and sport shorts as well), and each style has varying degrees of absorbency.
What really attracted me to this company months ago was that they are partnered with AfriPads, a social enterprise that gives women in Uganda jobs and produces affordable reusable menstrual pads to the community. Like I mentioned in Part I of this series, periods keep women and girls in the developing world from working and going to school. This is detrimental to how much access they have to working outside of the home, getting higher education, their health, and the health of their children. It affects every aspect of their lives in ways we would never know stateside.
Bottom line: Thinx tries to include a social mission in their overall vision, as well as breaking menstrual taboos around the world. However, their products are pricey, even after discounts when you buy a cycle set, which is why I set out to find a more affordable option.
*I own one pair of the Cheeky panties. I love wearing them with and without tampons/cup, as they make for a great back up period product, or standalone on lighter days.
2. EvaWear by Anigan
While I really enjoyed using my Thinx, my college paycheck could not support the larger up front cost of their product. So, of course, I turned to Amazon and the rest of the Internet (correction: my mom did this). I wanted to have multiple period panties at my disposal so that I would not have to rely to heavily on disposable pads and panty liners while serving abroad. At the time, I had found out that no waste facilities meant that all trash is burned in Timor-Leste. Reusable panties become so much more important for me to have, as I did not want to burn plastic found in adhesives and other parts pads are made with. Plus, a non-insertion method of menstruating would come in handy if I find that I cannot use my menstrual cup as frequently as I hope to.
At any rate, my mom found EvaWear by Anigan! P.S. they make their own menstrual cups, too. I got the Hipster Twin Pack for the same price as one pair of Thinx (woo!), and have found they are just as comfortable. I also feel like they provide more protection than my Cheeky panties from Thinx, because the ‘pad’ part doesn’t end where a pad would, but goes all the way up to the waistband of the panties themselves. I feel like they absorb more, though this may be due to the fact that I purchased lighter absorbency panty from Thinx. They also feel sturdier in terms of construction, because they don’t use much lace (some of their StainFree panty liner panties do, though!).
Overall, I would recommend EvaWear by Anigan for newbies and the budget-conscious, and recommend Thinx for those looking for more variety and styles, and don’t mind a higher price tag. There are other brands out there, I just haven’t tried them, so I encourage you to do more research!