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Period Underpants

Period underpants come in 3 types.

  1. Leakproof  – Underpants with a leakproof lining to prevent leaks through to your clothing – designed to be worn with an additional menstrual product.
  2. Absorbent – Underpants with absorbency (and usually waterproofing) sewn in that is designed to be used instead of wearing an additional menstrual product.
  3. Pad Holding Underpants – These have some way to hold a removable pad (disposable or reusable) in place.

The absorbent styles can be useful for times when you would like a reusable menstrual product, but don’t want to wear pads or cups.  Cycling or other sporting activities may be more comfortable with period underpants than with a pad snapped into regular underpants for example.

The pad holding styles offer a similar advantage, with the added benefit of being able to remove the absorbent pad part, either to replace it with a new one, or to simply make washing/drying quicker.

Generally speaking the absorbent forms of period underwear are best used for spotting or light to regular flow, as they often aren’t absorbent enough for a heavier flow, but it does depend on your flow.  There is also the issue of changing – as you would need to change the underwear as regularly as you would change a pad (recommended every few hours), which may be less convenient than changing a pad.

Leakproof underpants could be beneficial at night if you regularly leak up off the back of the pad, or if you prefer to wear reusable pads without waterproofing in them.

Period underwear may be a good choice for transgender or non-binary people who don’t like the idea of wearing a pad or internal product, but need some form of menstrual protection.  Thinx and Lunapads make boxer short and unisex styles of underpants.

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There are several different brands on the market.  Prices vary a lot brand-to-brand, but the composition does also.  So when shopping for period underwear, check what they do and maybe try one pair at first to see how they work before ordering more.

I’ll list a few examples for each type, but a google search may bring up other options.  Some cloth pad makers also make period underpants.

Leakproof Only Underwear

  • www.myadira.com – Comes in normal styled underwear with leakproof layer, and also a boxer shorts style that has an inner holder to wrap the wings of a disposable pad around.
  • www.anigan.com – These are normal styled underpants with a built in moisture-proof layer.
  • www.dearkates.com – Normal styled underpants with built-in moisture-proof layer.  Several styles.
  • www.fannypants.com – The period styles are just waterproofed with no absorbency.

Absorbent period Underwear

  • www.modibodi.com.au – Advertises a slight amount of absorbency, so would be suitable only for spotting or very light flow.
  • facebook.com/Padkix – At time of writing seemed to be just starting out and only available from their indiegogo page.  Only 2 print options but claims to be able to hold 3x what a disposable pad can hold.
  • www.shethinx.com – Offers many different styles of underpants and specifically includes styles (and imagery) suitable for transgender/non-binary people.  Heavy absorbency underwear claims to absorb 2 full tampons worth (about 10mls), although some reviews dispute that.  Nice that their models often include body hair and appear not to be photoshop retouched, however also be aware of some issues with the company regarding working conditions link & link)

Pad-Holding Period Underwear

  • www.begirl.org – Underwear with a mesh gusset that you can slide a reusable pad into.  Pad may be able to be changed while leaving the same underpants on, however the mesh layer covers the pad while being worn, so it will have some blood contact, but not as much as if it was made with solid fabric.
  • www.fannypants.com – The period styles are just waterproofed with no absorbency, however they do sell incontinence underpants that have a special gusset that allows you to attach their reusable absorbent pads.
  • www.lunapads.com – “Maia” and “Boxer” style underwear has a similar strap holder like their pads do.  Which allows you to use their absorbent inserts/liners with these styles of underpants, leaving the same underpants on, while changing liners.
  • www.pantyprop.com – Underwear with an elastic mesh holder in the crotch, designed to fit most regular disposable pads, should fit a similar sized reusable pad.  Pads can be changed while leaving the same underpants on as the absorbent surface of the pad is exposed.

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This site has a useful list and reviews of several kinds of period underwear – http://menstrualcupreviews.net/best-period-panties-reviews  Though many of the pairs listed in the second half of the article (eg MFrannie/Promithi/Yoyi etc.) appear to be the same ones.  There are brandless ones like these available on ebay (for cheaper), and those Amazon listings may be the same products given different names.  So do shop around!