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What you need to know about period underwear

Period underwear is the best sustainable menstrual product you've never heard of. Though it might sound kind of weird, it's actually a clean alternative to pads that don't leave you feeling (or smelling) gross. Here are the answers to your pressing questions about period underwear—from how to wash them to the best brands to buy. 

1. What is period underwear?


Knix Super Leakproof Boyshort, $22.

Period underwear is like regular underwear, with a twist—it absorbs blood. Designed with multiple layers to wick away moisture and prevent leaks, it can be worn all day (yes, all day) with no discomfort. Usually made with cotton and spandex, it's designed to look identical to normal underwear without any extra bulkiness. You can choose to buy super absorbent underwear for heavier days or just wear them on your lighter days.

2. Is it hygienic?

Yes. Period underwear is designed to be moisture-resistant, so there's a low chance of odors or stains. In addition, there is a 0% chance of Toxic Shock Syndrome because period underwear is worn externally, so you can feel safe and secure wearing them. However, make sure to wash them soon after every use to ensure they're sanitary. 

3. How do I clean it?


The Period Company Teen Bikini, $12.

First, soak the underwear in cold water to remove the excess moisture. Then, drop it in the washing machine on cold using the gentle setting. Try washing them in a mesh bag using a scent-free, mild detergent. Afterward, just air-dry them. Some period underwear allows for machine drying, but make sure to read the specific care directions first. Proper cleaning can help your period underwear last for years.

4. What are the risks?

Some period underwear contains a carcinogen called poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAs). PFAs help absorb moisture quickly, so they are sometimes used in period underwear or water-resistant clothing. Brands like Thinx tested positive for PFA, but there's a vast selection of period underwear that have tested negative.

5. What are the some good options?

We love Aisle, as they are a sustainable, PFA-free and gender-inclusive brand that sells various options for different days on your period. Try Knix or The Period Company for more affordable options, as well. Both brands are also 100% PFA-free and have period underwear made specifically for teens. 

6. Is it sustainable? 


Aisle Hipster Leakproof Period Underwear, $42.

Period underwear is one of the most sustainable options when managing your period. It doesn't contribute to any plastic waste and can help eliminate the 5-15,000 pads and tampons that a person uses over their lifetime. 

7. What are the benefits?

You can wear period underwear all day or night without worrying about leaks, odors or stains. In addition, you can save hundreds of dollars and tons of plastic in landfills by not purchasing pads or tampons. Though period underwear can be an adjustment, you can feel confident that you're choosing a budget-friendly, environmentally-conscious way to manage your period. 

Ask us all your period-related questions at @GirlsLifeMag!

Top and slider images via Aisle GIF via GIPHY

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by Julie Larick | 9/7/2021
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