Period Underwear FAQ

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. Check out our full article on how period panties work!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Can period panties replace sanitary pads?

Yes. There are several variations of panties to suit your protection needs. Some claim to hold more capacity of fluid than others, or protect a larger area. Purchasing a few panties can replace using sanitary pads throughout the day.

Are period panties sanitary?

Yes. As long as they’re cared for properly. Make sure to wash them regularly, and well, to avoid leaving behind blood stains that could start to smell. You should rinse them as soon as you are able to, until you get a chance to place them in the wash.

Do Period Panties work for heavy periods?

Yes. There are period panties that claim to hold a higher capacity of fluid (or higher tampon count), and have a larger area of protected coverage. For heavy periods, we suggest purchasing panties that offer coverage from the front waistline to the back waistline.

Where can I buy period panties?

There is an abundance of period panties offered online. It is the easiest place to find them. However, make sure to read their reviews, as some panties do not absorb as well as others.

What is the best period underwear?

That is up to you to decide. There are so many styles, variations, and price ranges, etc. that may persuade you to buy one over another. It’s all up to your individual preference. 

Do period panties really work?

Yes. Provided that you use them to their specifications. If you are trying to use period panties that are meant to hold a single tampon’s worth of blood for a heavy flow, the results will not be in your favor!

Period Panties Usage FAQ

How often do you need to change period panties

As frequently as needed. They will need to be changed according to your flow, and on the suggested capacity of the panties, as to avoid overflow, or compression leaks.

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 Flux and Thinx, you’ll need to wear a tampon, pad or menstrual cup along with the period panty.

Can I wear period panties with pads that have wings?

Yes, unless the period panties are a boyshorts style.

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.

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?

Yes, but you need leak proof swimwear. Regular menstrual panties aren’t made to be used as swimwear, so no they can’t be worn in the pool or when swimming.

Can I wear my period panties for 24 hours?

It is possible to wear your panties for 24 hours, depending on how light or heavy your flow is. However, when blood is exposed to air for any length of time, it can start to grow bacteria. In turn, bacteria will cause a foul odor. If your period is moderate to heavy, you may consider changing your period panties more frequently, to avoid overflow or compression leaks.

Can you wear leggings with your period panties?

Yes. Most period panties are not as bulky as a disposable sanitary pad. There are several design cuts to choose from, that even include thongs. You probably wouldn’t even know that a pair of panties are ‘period panties’ just by looking at them. 

Caring for your Period Underwear – FAQ

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.

Do period panties smell after a while?

Leftover blood can start to grow bacteria and may cause many foul odors. To avoid this, make sure to rinse and wash away all traces of blood before using or storing.  

Can I put my period panties in the dryer?

You can, but it is not best advised. In order to prolong the lifespan of any pair of period panties, the best thing you can do is air dry them. The heat from a dryer can cause the waterproof lining to shrink, bunch, or melt.