Period Underwear: The pros, the cons and everything in between!!

Okay, let’s talk periods. Yup, yup, yup, I’m going there. But I’m not saying a word about my own kiddo because OMG that would be TMI big time and I really prefer she doesn’t disown me for the rest of our lives. But it might be a good idea to have a pair or two of period underwear in the house as some of your daughters are approaching the most magical day of their lives (cough cough, total bullshit).

MOM: Congratulations, your body can make a baby now!!!! You can’t remember to hang up your wet towel after you shower, but apparently nature thinks you’re old enough to take care of a small human being. WTF? 

(P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and can earn from qualifying purchases when you click on my links)

So back in my day, there were two choices when you got your period. Tampons or pads. My mom happened to be out of town when I got mine for the first time and tampons were the only thing in our house, so tampons it is! All I remember is carefully examining the illustration on the instructions to learn how to put it in. So you put your foot up on the toilet, wait what? Does ANYONE put their foot up on the toilet to put a tampon in?!! Wait, maybe women do do that. Now I’m second-guessing the way I’ve always put a tampon in. 

But nowadays, holy crap are there a lot of options. Pads, tampons, menstrual cups, period underwear, period bathing suits, or you can be really cray-cray and do what that artist lady did and knit a blanket from your hooha and watch it turn ombre! Oooooh look at all the shades of red. Note, do not let your daughter choose this option if you ever want her to have a partner in P.E. class ever again. 

Anyways, I have to tell you, when I first heard about period underwear I was like WTF? Bleeding straight into your underwear on purpose? All sorts of gross thoughts went through my head. Like are you just sitting in your period blood all day? But then as I learned a little more, I started to change my mind. Maybe just mayyybe this new underwear is a good idea. So I bought some. And I have to tell you, there are some WONDERFUL things about them, and there are also some NOT SO wonderful things.

So here goes, here are the pros and cons of period underwear and feel free to add any I missed to the comments:

Pro: They are literally the easiest way to deal with a period.

It’s as simple as sliding on a pair of underwear and badabing badadboom, you’re ready to go. There’s no wrong hole or right angle, there’s nothing to peel off or stick, there’s no bulky thing that looks like you’re wearing a diaper, and there’s no fear of anything getting stuck in there. 

Con: They are NOT cheap.

We’re talking AT LEAST $20 each. I’m used to spending $20 for a whole pack of granny panties at Tarjay, so this was a bit of sticker shock to me. 

Pro: They’re reusable.

Remember that price thing I just mentioned? You buy period underwear once and use them over and over and over again, so guess what you’re NOT paying for over and over and over again? Tampons. Well, until they make reusable ones. Ewwwww. 

Con: You need A LOT of pairs.

I mean when I first started looking into them, I was like sure I’ll pay $20 for a pair of underwear if they can do this. What didn’t occur to me was how many pairs you’ll need! One for the daytime, one for night, and then you have to wash them and let them air dry because that’s what the directions say and there ain’t no way I’m putting them in the dryer to “see” if they work after. And if you’re like me and don’t feel like doing laundry every night, you need at least four pair. Minimum.

Pro: They’re good for the earth.

I mean sure I know tampons are small, but think how many of those plastic applicators are sitting in our landfills. Unless they get recycled to make something useful like flip-flops or water bottles. Barf. 

Con: You probably still needs to learn how to use tampons.

And once you use period underwear, you might be more reluctant to learn. But you still have to know how because of swimming. I mean yes there are menstrual swimsuits, but they’re not cheap and the description says if your period is more than light, you probably need a tampon too. Plus, if you get your period unexpectedly, you need to be able to buy or borrow a tampon and use it because you probably can’t whisper to the woman in the next stall, “Excuse me, do you have an extra pair of period panties I can borrow? Please, I’ll give them back when I’m done.”

Pro: They’re pretty F’ing amazing.

They really work and the lining is black so you don’t see the blood, and there are multiple brands and they come in cute styles and colors, although remember, plain neutral colors might be best so you can wear them under anything. I went with Thinx so that’s the one I can vouch for, but I’ll bet the other brands are great too.

Anyways, there you go. Next up, the menstrual cup!!! Just kidding. I mean I’m sure plenty of people love it, but I prefer to fill my shot glass with tequila, not the lining of my uterus. Each to her own! 

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There are 9 comments for this article
  1. Paula at 10:24 am

    These are AMAZING!!! My daughter just turned 12 and I bought them for her last year. It is all she wears now…Amazon offers much better prices for them. She started last year during school and I was so happy she had a pair on…although she still came home early because…well…it was still scary for her even after talking about it.

  2. Lori at 10:34 am

    How do they handle heavy flow? I always had EXTREMELy first day flows, usually involving clots. I can’t imaging wearing that for the day. Just curious. I also imaging it needs quite a bit of hand washing (scrubbing) to get them clean between use. Are you mamas stuck doing that, or have your young girls learned to scrub their own undies? I am just curious about these.

    • April at 11:07 am

      Just plan on changing mid day. I have two heavy days and I wear the max absorption from thing and change mid day. If changing is not an option I use with a tampon.

    • Dawn at 9:38 pm

      They are actually pretty good, although they don’t last all day (not for that super heavy flow), but they are good “back up” for when you get the break through bleeding from using a tampon. I wash mine in the washing machine but don’t dry them and they are fine.

  3. Alecia Watson at 10:41 am

    I have never tried period panties so I cant vouch for that, but I can say I used a menstrual cup and I LOVED IT. (Past tense because I had a hysterectomy so there’s no plumbing to leak anymore). It does take some practice to get it in correctly and also to remove it to empty it without your bathroom looking like a massacre, but once you get the hang of it, its great!

  4. Jillian T Hudgins at 11:11 am

    My 11 year old loves them. We got the thinx starter pack. For her really heavy days we still use a panty liner during school hours just in case. Thank god for no oops leaked through my pants have to wrap my flannel around my waist. Got to love the 90s grundy look. I am looking into the swim suit. We went to the Waterpark with her class and she started and lucky I was there to scrub out her bikini bottoms before anyone saw. Period bathing would have saved her but it’s like $100 ekkk. I usually buy her a few on justice when they have the $10 sale. BTW the cheap ones on Amazon suck and they are grey in the croch area and stain. Go with a name band and black liner

  5. Jeri Perez at 1:08 pm

    I just started using them last summer at age 44 and I’m so mad that I waited that long because I’m not going to have a period for much longer. I adore them! No serious hand scrubbing – I take them off before my shower and run the crotch area under the water and squeeze it out. I wash them in a lingerie bag and take out before drying. But I actually have dried them before too. I can’t wear tampons, they’re very uncomfortable for me, so going from pads to the period underwear was not difficult. My periods aren’t that heavy so I’ve never had to change them in the middle of the day before. I bought a starter pack for my 12 year old in preparation for her period, and she keeps one in her backpack in case she starts her period at school.

  6. Tori at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for doing the research on these! I saw a brand a few years ago (Knix) and shared them with my sister in law because my niece has CP and I thought these might be extremely helpful! I never asked her if they had tried them!!

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