Period pants have become a hugely popular menstruation product over the years. They are a great alternative to single-use products, they contain zero chemicals, are plastic free and will save you money in the long run. However, as with all newer products that come to market, there are myths that arise and there are particular ones that I feel most definitely need busting so I have decided to start tackling those eco/reusable myths that seem to crop up in order to help more people to take a more environmentally friendly step. First up, are period pants bulky?
Period Pants, Bulky?
In short, no. But where has this idea come from? Well, I imagine it is simply because people haven’t seen or felt them and assume that something the size of a large/heavy flow disposable sanitary pad is sewn into the gusset making the knickers thick, bulky and uncomfortable. And I can see how easy it would be to think that. The idea that something thin can be absorbent enough to hold around 8 hours worth of period blood is hard to imagine. But as you can see, it is thin, discreet and in no way bulky…
The Absorbent Layer
All period pants brands will vary in some ways from materials used to styles, sizing and flow ranges but what they will all offer is an absorbent layer within the gusset. The material on the pant itself is often made from cotton and has moisture-wicking technology which means your blood is drawn away from your body. From here it is locked into the breathable absorbent core which is made up of woven fibres that can usually hold up to 3 tampons or 2 pads worth of period blood in a medium flow pant (always check the brand’s guidelines when choosing a pant and the right flow for you).
This layer is not at all noticeable and is only slightly thicker than your ordinary knickers, they are most definitely less bulky than any disposable pad.
Here are some of my period pants by WUKA and Saalt:
The bottom layer/material will usually have a waterproof barrier made up of polyurethane to prevent leaks.
I can also show you period swim pants which work in the same way but instead of standard materials, they are made from the same material as normal swimwear (only to be worn on lighter days).
The period pant is incredibly comfortable to wear and extremely discreet. I have vivid memories of being on a heavy period at school and wearing the longest and thickest disposable pads available in order to deal with my heavy flow. I was so self-conscious, I kept wondering if people could see a bulge or an outline, I felt uncomfortable when I sat down and paranoid if I heard the plastic rustle or the tabs pull away from my knickers. In contrast, if I’d had period pants as an option back then I know I wouldn’t have felt any of these anxieties during my time of the month. Period pants are worn just like normal knickers, there is no need to add anything extra such as tampons or pads. They keep you dry and, just as importantly, scent-free for 8-12 hours depending on your flow and chosen brand (something that is quite significant about disposable pads due to their chemicals, perfumes and use of plastic). They also cling to your body and move with you so there is never any concern about leaks. You can go through your whole day as normal without having to change your pants or even feel as though you are on your period.
Other Benefits include:
- Never run out
- Washable and reusable
- Never get caught out when your period starts
- Lower risk of infections (no irritating chemicals/perfumes or overheating)
- No risk of TSS
- Zero waste = better for the environment!
Period pants are definitely not bulky, that is a word I would save for disposable pads. If you are after a period option that is good for your vaginal health and good for the planet then a period pant is what you need.
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