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Traditionally, p and tampons pack the shelves of period care aisles — the modern versions of both have been around since about the s. Since then, period care products have dramatically changed. When it comes to technology, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth control pill that can stop periods indefinitely back in Google searches over the past year for period underwear are even higher than those for period p or menstrual cups tampons still take the top spot, though.
There are two kinds of period underwear out there, as Racked ly pointed out: ones that keep p in place and others that act as menstrual management that can even take the place of tampons and p. Cross , MD. To understand how exactly period underwear works, along with its advantages and limitations, we talked to three gynecologists and gathered options to consider as well.
Period underwear is actually very much like underwear, coming in all sorts of styles — take this brief from period care company Aisle or these trunks from gender-fluid fashion label TomboyX. So you choose your period underwear for the day based on how much bleeding you have. Both Cross and Hauschka recommended trying out different absorbances to get comfortable with wearing them and to see how one over another feels with your body.
To find highly rated period underwear, we separated the following pairs into three — light, moderate and high coverage — based on the expert guidance we received above. As one gynecologist noted, some of the most absorbent period underwear on the market can hold as much liquid as five regular tampons there are brands like Thinx that even offer slightly more than that — so we considered light absorbency to be similar to one to two tampons, medium ranging from three to four and high holding as much as five or more.
This is also the way in which many brands define their different offerings. Thinx is one of more well-known period underwear brands. And the company also has a line for tweens and teens called Thinx BTWN and another deed for bladder leaks called Speax.
It features a seamless fit and is made from nylon and elastane. This cheeky pair boasts an average 4. ModiBodi makes underwear for women , men and teens. Its period underwear is among its most popular pairs — this pair has earned an average 4. The Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini is meant for lighter flows, or about the same as two tampons. The bikini also is made with a stain- and bacteria-fighting lining, the company claims. Notably, period label Proof des underwear for different leaks, including these three options: postpartum , workout and maternity.
This thong is supposed to help with light leaks and erasing panty lines, and it has the absorbency of one tampon. The pair is made from what the brand describes as a breathable microfiber and features a lower rise silhouette. Along with period underwear, Rael carries its own collection of menstrual cups , p , tampons and panty liners. Absorbing as much as three tampons, this pair is meant to look like the everyday underwear you might be used to wearing.
In terms of fit, the company says this pair is stretchy while still hugging your curves. It currently comes in four sizes, Small to X-Large, and you can choose to bundle the underwear in a pack of one , two or three. This underwear has earned an average 4.
Saalt is probably better known for its popular menstrual cups. But the brand also offers its own kind of period underwear called Saalt Wear , including bikinis and briefs. The Saalt Elemental Mesh Hipster is its most top-rated pair, boasting an average 4. The pair is deed to absorb what two to three regular tampons can and acts as extra coverage for a tampon or cup, according to the company. The underwear is made from sheer mesh and offers a stretchy waistband with a mid-rise.
This pair currently comes in five colors, including Desert Sand and Quartz Blush. Aisle , which was originally named Lunap , also has its own line of liners , p and cups. For more coverage, the brand claims this brief can hold as much as four tampons — but it also comes with a booster that you can tuck into the ends of the gusset for even more protection or the same as two tampons. The pair is meant to be completely worn on its own — no p or tampons necessary.
Eco-friendly tampon and pad company Cora says it uses organic cotton in many of its offerings. Its period underwear is supposed to absorb the same as three regular tampons — but you can also opt to use it with your other period care products. The pair is deed to be flexible, especially for those with active lifestyles, according to the brand. It features a moisture-wicking core. In terms of fit, this period underwear sits at the natural waist.
The pair has earned an average 4. Made from nylon and elastane, the Super Hiphugger features a zigzag pattern at the waist. Period underwear stands out from tampons, p and menstrual cups because of its absorbency, according to all the experts we talked to.
Many of the period underwear out there will be marketed as period- or leak-proof — such as this high-rise panty from intimates label Knix — and while the undergarments can provide protection against leaks, leaks can sometimes happen. And another benefit of using period underwear instead of p? Unlike p or tampons, which are one-and-done after every use, period underwear is also reusable. Both Irobunda and Hauschka recommended changing period underwear once every 12 to 24 hours. The reusability of period underwear contrasts with the waste that can build in landfills from tampons and p.
All three experts we spoke to agreed that period underwear can be a useful option, especially because of its absorbency. But for those with heavier flows, it might be better as a backup for p or tampons, both Cross and Hauschka said. If you are using only the underwear as period protection, you may need the super absorbent for night time or your heaviest period days. It is helpful to try different absorbency options and different brands to see what is best for you.
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