I Tried These Period Panties So You Don’t Have To

No pad, no tampon. Just panties. AND I BOUGHT THEM. You’re welcome.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

2. In the great debate of pads versus tampons, I fall firmly in the tampon camp.

So when I first saw an advertisement for Thinx period panties, my first thought was No thank you. I imagined that wearing them would be like walking around in a wet bathing suit after swimming in a pool of blood.

But then I thought, What if they work? What if I was being a menstrual luddite? I went to the website and clicked around. They looked super legit.

3. The Purchase

Here’s a skinny model twirling in the brand’s different design options. As you can see, they are supposed to look hot, despite being primarily intended for blood capture.

The panties come in three styles: thong, cheeky, and hiphugger. The more coverage, presumably, the more period blood the underwear can absorb. You know what they say: Go big or go home. I bought the hiphugger.

 

4. The Underwear Arrives

The period underwear arrived less than a week later. I was on day 27 of my menstrual cycle — two days away from my Aunt Flo’s visit. The timing was perfect.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

I daintily took the underwear out of its packaging. It felt like Spanx — not as thick or plasticky as I would have guessed. I gingerly pulled the underwear over my feminine derriere. I ordered my usual size medium, but they were definitely too snug. The lace part at the top barely hid my buttcrack. My boyfriend helpfully suggested they might be intentionally tight in order to keep the blood from leaking out. Nevertheless, I would suggest that anyone with a degree of backside should size up.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

6. How They Work

The secret to the underwear is in the layers. The Spanx-y outer fabric is leak-proof: In an experimental trial, I was able to pour a quarter-cup of water into the underwear before the liquid started dripping out. That is the same amount of water I pour into my body in a day. (I’m severely dehydrated.)

I should add that Thinx only claims to replace panty liners. You can use these in conjunction with your tampon. But I was put on this earth to test limits, so I threw my tampons in the TRASH.

Then I fished them back out, because I only bought one pair of Thinx and would definitely need tampons for the rest of the week.

The hiphugger style I ordered is supposed to hold up to two tampons’ worth of blood. If that’s hard for you to visualize, I dipped two tampons in BBQ sauce to give you an idea.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

8. Day 1: Light Day

This is the outfit I wore on my first day wearing the panties. I chose a dress because it made me feel pretty. It also helped me forget that I was free-flowing and that only a few pieces of fabric stood between me and a middle school nightmare.

As the day wore on, I checked my progress in the bathroom. The underwear was definitely absorbing everything. Twelve hours later, I got home. I washed them right away so they would be ready for my heavy day. Before you wash them, you have to rinse them. (So you don’t get the rest of your clothes bloody, sorry.) None of the rinsing runoff appeared even remotely red. I am not sure I bled enough to fill even a modestly sized ketchup packet. I’d have to do better the next day.

Sarah Burton / Buzzfeed

9. Day 2: Heavy Flow

For Day 2, I was nervous. Could this underwear really be my period Moses? Or, just a couple of hours from now, would I be telling everyone that I spilled paint on myself in art class? Only time would tell. I suited up and headed out.

As tends to be the case on a heavy day, some of the blood was, ah, dark and slightly solid. That’s normal! Unfortunately, this part did not absorb into the fabric, instead resting on the panties’ top layer. Cool cool cool. I guess this also happens when you wear pads, but like I said before, I’m a tampon girl.

Nevertheless, I wore the underwear ALL DAY and did not have a leak. I did not feel wet. In periods past, I would have gone through the work day using at least two tampons, maybe three. Straight up? I was impressed.

10. Why You Should Embrace the Period Underwear

 

EMBRACE IT! Thinx is like the Toms of the underwear game. When you purchase Thinx, part of the proceeds goes to make reusable pads for young women in Africa. That’s a bigger deal than you might thinx (haha).

11. The Final Verdict:

Get them! It will be an insane upgrade on your old period panties. Size up if you need to support your booty. Be mindful of your personal flow, but I’ll definitely be wearing them tampon-less. I have not yet tested Thinx’s ability to hold up against accidental laugh-peeing or farting, but I have confidence that they can hold up under pressure. So go forth, my fellow women. Bleed free, bleed proud.

FOX

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