Period pants are quickly becoming a very popular reusable menstrual product but as with all new-ish products we often see misinformation being spread, opinions being divided and assumptions made without ever trying them. Due to this, I want to answer the most common questions or myths that I have seen crop up to make navigating the world of reusables a little easier and to feel a little more doable. In my previous posts I have covered do period pants smell and are period pants bulky? And today’s topic of choice is do period pants leak?
Why Do People Think Period Pants Leak?
In my personal opinion I think it is because they are called pants and before even looking into how they are made and how they work, people just go well those must leak then. I can totally see why someone would find it hard to believe that a period pant could hold around 8 hours worth of period blood… But I promise that they do.
The Problem with Disposables
I mean aside from the fact that they are single-use and bad for the environment, plus your bank balance, the problem I wanna focus on is something that isn’t that well known. The chemicals used inside disposable period products, such as pads, are specifically used and designed to really draw your period blood away from your body and yes they do a great job in keeping you dry but this overdrawing could be making you believe and feel as though your period is a lot heavier and more painful than it actually naturally is (of course one of the main benefits of making your period heavier is that you will have to buy more of their products. Something else to think about there) So, tying periods and leaking together is something we all tend to naturally do and this brings us back up to the first pointer of why people think period pants wouldn’t be up to the job.
How Do Period Pants Work?
All brands will vary a little bit in style, sizing and flow ranges (more on that in a minute) but they will all provide an absorbent layer sewn into the gusset which is designed to capture your period blood over 8-12 hours. The makeup usually looks something like this:
- Moisture-wicking outer layer to keep you dry
- Middle layers to absorb and wick away your blood
- Leak-proof layers to keep you protected whilst allowing your skin to breathe
All without any use of chemicals, plastic or perfumes keeping your vaginal health happy and balanced.
Different Flow Options
Another great thing about period pants is that the brands fully understand that every person menstruates differently and that our needs can change across the week during our period so they offer a range of flow options to suit everybody’s needs. If we take WUKA for example, they have created period pants in:
- Super Heavy Flow – can absorb 60ml blood, the equivalent of 12 regular tampons
- Heavy Flow – Absorbs 20ml+ period blood or 4 tampons’ worth
- Medium Flow – Ideal for periods that are less than 15ml a day, or would only use a regular pad or tampon
- Light Flow – Alternative to a pantyliner on your spotting or light flow days
So, even if your period starts off super heavy for the first couple of days, you should feel confident that your pants will do their job and you will be leak free.
Of course, if you are still unsure if period pants will be able to hold your flow level or if you want to put your mind at ease over leaks you could also wear a cloth sanitary pad inside your period pants just to give you another level of protection.
No Leaks Aren’t Always Guaranteed
Leaks with any kind of period product are a possibility, maybe you’ve used the item for too long, perhaps your period is unusually heavier this time around, you may have just given birth or be recovering from an operation, or you may suffer from endometriosis. There are of course always individual factors that will play a part and I am not going to sit here and say that period pants or any other reusable period product will be leak free 100% of the time all I can say is that I have never personally had a leak using pants (I have using cloth sanitary pads though) and I haven’t seen this come up as an issue among others I know who use them.
Other Factors That May Affect How Period Pants Perform
Period pants should ideally last you for a good number of years if you look after them correctly. Their performance in providing leak and smell protection can be affected if you don’t. Some factors that could lead to leaks include:
- Leaving them to soak – this will breakdown materials
- Using fabric softener – just like towels, this will affect absorbency levels
- Using a tumble dryer – regular use of a dryer can damage materials and fibres
- Not washing often enough
- Washing on very high temperatures – most brands will suggest 30°/40° wash
Care For Your Period Pants and They Will Care Right Back!
This is honestly how I see it. If you choose the right pant for you, if you follow the wear guide, wash them according to the brand’s instructions and take good care of them they will give you hours of leak-proof period cover for years to come.
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