How To Choose Your Period Underwear Style
Every woman can relate—period days can be pretty uncomfortable and annoying most of the time. You probably have tried experimenting on different products and items that you thought could help eliminate or even reduce the discomfort you feel on your heavy days but to no avail. But don’t lose hope just yet; there’s a relatively new product that might be the solution you’re looking for.
Period underwear isn’t really a new product, but it’s gaining popularity quite recently, thanks to the several social media ads that are being shared online. Add to that the pressing issue of menstrual hygiene management among women. And so, period underwear is on its way to becoming a thing (if it’s not yet actually there,) and for good reasons.
What is period underwear?
Before you delve into the process of choosing your period underwear style, it’s crucial to find out first what it is and what it can do to ease your menstrual concerns. In a nutshell, this intimate piece of clothing is designed for women to use when menstruating. It works just like any other period product, such as tampons, cups, and pads, that’ll keep you dry and leakproof on wet days. (1) The only difference is period panties are what they look like—panties.
You wear period underwear on your menstruating days, as they’re supposed to absorb blood with the help of an added absorption layer that’s typically made from microfiber polyester. In addition, the underwear comes with a moisture barrier that makes you feel dry and comfortable as you go about your usual day. (1)
Another significant difference is that period underwear is washable. This is definitely a game-changer if you’re looking for an eco-friendly way to care for your menstrual needs. For this reason, more and more women are opting to switch to period panties. (2)
Finding the right fit
Since it’s gradually becoming mainstream now, period underwear is available in different types, styles, and options. If you’re a first-timer, you might find it tricky to choose one that you can be comfortable with. But with a bit of research and maybe asking around from people you know are already using this product, you’ll begin to learn more about period panties and how to pick the right style for you. (2)
Since period underwear is almost like your regular one, one of the essential factors to consider when choosing a style that works for you is the fit. You may have heard that some women think wearing this kind of underwear looks and feel like wearing an adult diaper. Don’t worry, though, because the panties come in different sizes that would fit teens, tweens, and adult women. (3)(4)
If you’re shopping online, you can check the size chart provided by the brand to get an idea of the panty size you need. To ensure you won’t end up getting the wrong size, take the time to measure your waist and hips and refer to the chart for the sizing equivalent. For example, if your hip measures 37-38 inches, that’s generally under sizes 2-4 in US size charts. (3)
Choosing based on your menstrual needs
When you’ve already found the right fit and size, the next step is to consider your menstrual needs so you can choose the suitable period underwear style. As you know, pads come in different types based on how heavy or light your menstrual flow is. That’s also how it works when selecting period panties.
One rule of thumb you might want to follow is always to check the underwear’s level of absorbency. Using this as a guide will help guarantee you won’t end up feeling uneasy, particularly on heavier days when you know your flow can be a little unpredictable. Now, if you’ve been used to wearing pads or tampons, switching to period underwear may be tricky when you’re not sure if it can handle your menstrual needs. (4)(5)
To give you a head start, here’s an absorbency and flow guide you could take note of:
- For heavy days
Monthly periods typically consist of at least 2-3 heavy days, although that still depends on your own experience. Heavy days call for high-absorbency panties to ensure you won’t be feeling any discomfort, or worse, having leaks any time of the day. Look for products that are leakproof and ideal for overnight use. The absorbency level should be really high, perhaps about 3-4 tampons’ worth of menstrual blood. (4)
High-absorbent and leakproof panties can be worn without any backup. This means you no longer need to double up on pads or tampons, even during your heavy days. You’ll surely feel a whole new level of freedom and comfort once you get used to your period underwear. (4) (5)
As for styles, you can choose from classic bikinis to hipsters, hip huggers, and even boy shorts. No matter what your lifestyle or choice of daily activities may be, there’s a period underwear style that’ll suit your needs. (5)
- For moderate to average flow
When your heavy days are coming to an end, you’re almost heaving a sigh of relief because you know your monthly nightmare is almost over. Now’s the time to switch to medium-absorbency panties that are more flexible and lighter. You need something that’ll make you feel more comfortable while working, playing, and everything in between. (6)
Look for panties made from breathable materials, such as bamboo or organic cotton. These materials are stretchable enough but without the sagging part. If you have sensitive skin or you tend to sweat a lot, cotton is one of the best options you have. (6)
You can also choose from a range of styles that won’t make you feel like you’re wearing your grandma’s underwear. Because your flow is now more predictable, you can wear the undies all day and even all night, too. The absorbency should be about up to two regular tampons’ worth, but with enough protection to address spillage or leakage concerns. (6)
- For light days
Better days are coming, and a lighter menstrual flow is proof of that. At this point, your period is sashaying its way out of your monthly calendar, and you couldn’t be any happier. You can move around more freely and confidently. To give you extra confidence and flexibility, go for period panties with cheeky details in case you’re feeling sensual and ready to let your sexy side resurface. (6)(7)
Light days would typically call for 1-2 tampons’ worth of blood, and that’s totally manageable. You need leakproof period panties that are breathable, absorbent, and discreet. You’ll be surprised to find intimate wear you can use on light days and still play with patterns and laces. Some women even choose to wear their period panties, even on regular days. That’s how comfy and lightweight these undergarments are. (7)
All underwear styles are available for lighter day options—from hipsters to bikinis, thongs, hi-waist panties, briefs, boy shorts, and even bodysuits. You can wear it all day, all night, and for any activity you may feel like doing. (4)
Period underwear for tweens and teens
If you’re yet to learn the ropes, all the more that you need to pay extra attention when choosing a menstrual product. Pads, tampons, and menstrual cups aren’t your only options, and you’re lucky because there’s an array of selections you can choose from. A tween or teen like you (or your daughter) is somewhat stuck between wanting to feel cute and comfortable, and that’s perfectly understandable. (4)
To help you navigate the unknown world of teen menstruation, period underwear offers protection and comfort to make sure you won’t encounter any period mishaps along the way. You won’t need to shy away from your usual cute panties with extra charm and innocence because you can pick from a variety of teen-friendly lines and styles available. (6)
You can go seamless or mesh, depending on the comfort level you prefer. Choose from different patterns and colors so you won’t need to feel more mature than necessary. If you’re not a big fan of sensual or sexy underwear options, you can pick a gender-neutral style and color to make you feel more at ease while transitioning to puberty. A basic boxer brief or boy short, for instance, can give a ‘barely there’ feel that won’t limit your movements and on-the-go lifestyle. (5)
Period underwear for everything in between
It’s natural to think that your activities may need to slow down when you’re on your period, at least until the heavy days are over. Thank God for period panties since you won’t need to change anything from your routine even when you’re menstruating. As long as you can pick the right style and absorbency level, you can go about your groove just as you would on any regular day. (4)
Working out, for instance, won’t have to stop when wearing training shorts that are leakproof and super absorbent. Another gym favorite is the air bikini-style made from ultra-thin micromesh that keeps you dry and leak-free while sweating and moving around. Also, if you’re about to go on a beach trip with friends or family, you can wear period-proof swimsuits and bikini bottoms. (4)
Conclusion: Period underwear is the revolution
If you used to have doubts about period underwear, you’re most likely changing your mind now. After knowing the different styles and possibilities you can try, you’ll surely agree that this undergarment is almost the answer to all your menstrual problems and needs.
To recap, choosing your period underwear style boils down to a few essential factors, including material, size, absorbency, your menstrual flow, and daily needs. Now that you know better, you can surely be more confident the next time you’re shopping for this menstrual product.
- “Period Underwear: What to Know”, Source: https://www.webmd.com/women/period-underwear
- “Period Underwear Changed My Life—and I’m Never Going Back”, Source: https://www.wired.com/story/rave-period-underwear/
- “What Is Period Underwear and Does It Work?”, Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/does-period-underwear-work/
- “17 Period Underwear Options for Any Situation”, Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/period-underwear
- “10 Best Period Underwear of 2022”, Source: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health-products/g27421796/best-period-panties/
- “The 16 Best Period Underwear Styles, According to Women Who Swear By Them”, Source: https://www.glamour.com/gallery/best-period-underwear
- “Best period underwear for 2022”, Source: https://www.cnet.com/health/personal-care/best-period-underwear/