When it comes to menstrual products, I've never been 100% satisfied with the options available. Tampon applicators harm the environment, pads feel too bulky and mooncups - well, that's just a whole other story. So, when I came across period pants, I was both cynical and intrigued. I mean, they sounded undeniably similar to a nappy - like something women would have worn a century ago, before any innovation or women's liberation. Obviously, I had to try them.
I opted for three different styles of period-proof underwear, which has just launched into Selfridges. When I open them up, they were surprisingly streamlined. In fact, the material is practically the same thickness as regular knickers. While this was a relief on the nappy front, it also made me wonder how they were going to be able to protect me for the whole day. Surely, the blood would seep through such a thin piece of material?
Apparently not; the pants are made with a patented 4-layer fabric technology (moisture-wicking cotton, anti-microbial lining, super absorbent fabric and a leak-resistant barrier) for total protection, all-day freshness and odour control.
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Currently, there are three styles available. The Sport is the skimpiest style, and can hold 1.5 tampons worth of period blood - so, best for lighter days. The Hi-Waist and the Hip-Hugger styles offer maximum protection for the heaviest of flows up to 2 tampons worth.
My period is always heaviest on the first day, so I went straight in for the Hip-Huggers (which also gave me great streamlined hold, btw). Although I checked the back of my dress about 100 times during the day, the pants totally worked. The blood was absorbed immediately, so it always felt dry and at the end of the day, I simply rinsed them out and popped them in the machine for a quick spin.
For me, the only downside was the fact that, as with pads, you can feel the blood coming out (the blob-factor) whereas with tampons and menstrual cups, you can't. Oh, and the fact that you need at least three pairs to have on rotation, and they're £24+ a pair (although, it does work out cheaper in the long run as you can reuse them).