The average menstruator uses 11,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime. Single-use plastic-applicator tampons are the most common period option used today. For over 100 years, since they were first introduced in the US, plastic-applicator tampons have created billions of pounds of medical waste and have emitted several harmful chemicals, such as dioxin, into our environment. For menstruators looking for an eco-conscious and economical alternative to plastic-applicator tampons, period underwear is one of the best alternatives. Here is why…
Period underwear is regular underwear with special absorbent layers that allow you to free-bleed. Free-bleeding means you allow your menstrual blood to flow out naturally, without stripping your vaginal tissue of its natural secretions. For many, this reduces the likelihood of pH imbalance or yeast infections (win, win).
Once you get passed the anxious ‘will they leak?’ feeling, most people love them. They are highly absorbent and are meant to hold up to 4 tampons-worth of menstrual blood.
Sustainable and vulva-friendly
Heralogie is one of the comfiest and most sustainable brands we found. Their period underwear is made to be leak-proof, sustainably produced Tencel. The gusset lining (the part that touches the vulva) is 100% certified organic cotton, breathable and leak-proof. They pass Bloomi’s Clean Standard and is vulva skin-friendly.
Using period underwear
Period underwear is designed for full-day protection due to its high absorbency layers. Here is what we recommend you consider when making the switch –
Start off with a few pairs. In a perfect world, you’ll have one for each day you menstruate -you’ll thank us later for minimizing your laundry duties too. If possible, buy two absorbency levels to accommodate your flow changes: light and moderate, for example.
On heavier days, use one with moderate absorbency (holds about 2-4 tampons worth of menstrual blood). On lighter days, use the ones with lighter absorbency (holds 1-2 tampons worth of menstrual blood).
Washing period underwear
Unlike your regular undies, period underwear should get some special love.
- When you remove them, rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear.
- Place used underwear in a separate small load or use a washable mesh bag. Use a small amount of natural laundry detergent on a cold wash cycle (if the delicate cycle is available, use that too). To help sanitize and control odor, you can use a few drops of tea tree oil or vinegar with water in your fabric softener container.
- Hang dry to help maintain the elasticity and quality of the fabric. Once fully dry, store away until next time!
Overall, period underwear is eco-friendly, vagina friendly, economical, and overall tend to be more comfortable for folks who don’t want to insert products internally.