Period Panties | FAQs
1. General Questions
What are period panties?
Period panties are undergarments that provide protection against leaks during your menstrual period. Depending on which brand and style you choose, you may have a waterproof lining or an extra-absorbent lining that prevents any accidental leaks from a tampon, cup or pad getting through to your clothes. Some period panties assist with keeping pads in place and also act as shapewear.
How do period panties work?
Period panties guard against leaks either by offering extra absorbency, a waterproof layer or both. Some also have stretchy material that provides mild compression to help with cramps. Others have pockets where you can add a heatpack to soothe cramps. Most period panties are meant to give you peace of mind as back up against accidental leaks during your period. A few brands are designed to be worn in place of pads or tampons entirely.
Do I need to wear period panties with other feminine hygiene products?
For the vast majority of menstrual panties, the answer is yes. Many can be worn alone if you’re only experiencing spotting, but with the exception of a few types, such as LunaPanties and Thinx, you’ll need to wear a tampon, pad or menstrual cup along with the period panty.
How do period panties help me save money?
Period panties can save you money over time because you’ll prevent ruined clothing, sheets, mattress pads and mattresses. You can also save on the cost of panty liners since most period panties can be worn on their own as washable pantyliners.
Can I wear period panties with pads that have wings?
Yes, unless the period panties are a boyshorts style.
Is there any risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) from wearing menstrual underwear?
Unlike tampons, there’s no risk of TSS from period panties since they are worn externally. Additionally, most period underwear is designed to wick moisture away from the body for exceptional hygiene.
Can I wear period panties every day instead of regular underwear?
It is possible to wear period panties every day if you need the extra protection. Some women find that the panties with the waterproof lining aren’t as breathable as they’d like, and they wouldn’t want to wear those every day. Overall, it’s a matter of personal preference.
Do period panties look like medical contraptions?
No, most are designed to look just like a regular pair of panties. Some are seamless and tagless for extra comfort. Some menstrual underwear features a pocket on the front panel where you can insert a small heat pack to soothe menstrual cramps.
2. Who Can Wear Them
What‘s a good age to start wearing period panties?
Period panties are an excellent item for girls to start wearing during adolescence when they are expecting to start menstruating and beyond. Leaks that happen in school can be especially embarrassing and period panties are excellent at preventing that from happening. So many women say they wish they’d had period underwear when they were in school! Any age is a good age for a menstruating woman to wear period panties.
Can I wear period panties if I‘m prone to frequent yeast infections?
Yes, period panties breathe better than the plastic material that most disposable pads are made from and should not contribute to an overgrowth of yeast.
Can I wear period panties for incontinence or light bladder leakage?
Yes, period underwear with waterproof layers can be an excellent solution for light incontinence.
Are period panties recommended for pregnant women?
Yes, they are recommended for pregnant women. In fact, many women find them to be invaluable both before and after childbirth. They’re ideal for postpartum bleeding and are softer and less irritating than disposable pads.
Can I wear period panties in the pool?
Menstrual panties aren’t made to be used as swimwear, so no they can’t be worn in the pool or when swimming.
3. Care of period panties
How should I care for period panties?
The exact care instructions will vary based on the materials and construction of each brand of underwear. But the majority of period underwear can be machine washed. It’s usually for the best to air dry period panties especially ones that contain PUL waterproof lining. As a general rule don’t use fabric softener when washing period panties because it will make the fabric less absorbent.
What are period panties made from?
The type of materials varies and is usually similar to the fabrics in ordinary panties expect there may be triple layers of absorbent cotton material or a layer of waterproof material such as PUL.
What is PUL fabric?
PUL stands for Polyurethane Laminate, and it’s a type of laminated material. Most PUL fabric is waterproof, so it is ideal as a waterproof lining in period panties. It’s also frequently used in cloth menstrual pads and to make leak-proof outer coverings for cloth baby diapers.
Do period panties leak?
Period panties are designed not to leak; however, not every brand is leak-proof. If you want panties that are absolutely leak-proof, look for brands that have waterproof linings made from PUL.
Are period panties stain proof?
Many brands of period panties are touted as stain proof and are made with fabric specially designed to repel stains. Anigan is one such brand. Thinx is made from a special fabric that’s treated with silver to make it anti-microbial.
How long do period panties last?
Period panties should last just as long as any other pair of underwear, except PantiePads which are designed to be disposable. Just remember that most period panties need to be hand or machine washed gentle cycle and air dried.
4. Help with choosing
Which period panty should I choose?
Naturally, it’s a very personal decision. If you are in a situation where it’s not easy to get to a restroom quickly, such as if you attend school or are planning to travel, panties that offer a waterproof PUL lining are a good choice. Otherwise, panties with extra absorbency may provide enough protection against leaks if you don’t like PUL (Check our page top 10 period panties).
Why does it seem like so many period panties are sized small?
Many brands of period panties are made for the Asian market where period underwear are more popular than they are just about anywhere else. If you don’t usually wear Asian sizes, order two sizes larger than your normal size if the brand states their panties are sized for the Asian market. For example, if you normally wear a US size small, you would need to order the panties in an Asian size large. Most brands will let you know if you should order in a larger size or not.
Are there any disposable types of period panties?
Yes, PantiePads are meant to be worn once and thrown away. They’re made from biodegradable materials that are designed to have zero impact on the environment.
How many pairs of period panties do I need?
The general rule of thumb is to own enough to cover every day of your period, plus one extra to wear the day before your expected start date. Period panties are awesome to wear in the days before your period to protect your clothes.
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