Does period-proof underwear actually work?

Our digital features editor gives them a try (and answers all the questions you probably have)

I’ll admit the first time I heard of underwear you could literally have your period in, my initial thought was ‘ew, no!’

But after trying THINX, I’m converted.

Well, for some aspects of my period any way. Like, those few days when you’re stuck wearing your ugliest pants and panty liners just in case it starts (and let’s be real here, it never starts until you decide to wear white underwear.) That’s a total proven method in my case, any way. The moment I don a pair of white knickers… boom, it arrives.

Or, how about those last few days where you’re too light to comfortably wear a tampon, sanitary pad or menstrual cup? For those days, period-proof underwear is actually pretty perfect.

And considering that the average woman spends this many years on her period, anything that makes it easier helps.

So, how does it work?

thinx

The black ones don’t look dissimilar from bikini bottoms. The inside may be a comfy cotton but the outside is that same fabric which reassures me that, yes, they are waterproof and no, they won’t leak.

The crotch is slightly padded with some sort of absorbent technology magic but I wasn’t immediately convinced.

You’ll read on the back that you have to hand wash your pants before tossing them in a cold cycle (without using bleach or fabric softener) so I do that before trying them and as you can’t dry them in a tumbler, you have to let them air dry over a radiator.

I did notice that they take longer to dry (obviously) compared to other knickers so bear that in mind before you actually need them.

I decided to wear the heavy duty knicker: the hiphugger (which basically fits like a full brief and even has a lace trim so it looks pretty on unlike the rest of my self-named ‘period pants’). I put this on day two, which is my heaviest flow day but I was feeling brave.

The hiphugger holds up to two regular tampons worth of flow so I felt confident to wear it for a good few hours and it really did the job.

It did feel a bit odd knowing it was all just in my pants and I was running to the toilet a lot to make sure it hadn’t leaked through.

I ended up taking them off after around five hours and this wasn’t because I technically needed to but I was feeling a little uncertain about them and wanted to see what the pants would be like to clean.

I shoved them into my sink and gave them a rinse under cold water which actually wasn’t as messy as I thought, although it does get a little more graphic if you give it a good squeeze.

Once done, I threw it into a cold 30 minute wash and chucked in some other (light and dark) bits to see what would happen and they were all fine.

I was more curious about how the hell their nude-coloured pants would work but I can now reveal that the interior is still black. And, THINX even have thongs which they claim can hold up to one regular tampon too.

You can’t wear them with pads but they will also do the job if you’re wearing a tampon or cup and want the extra insurance but for me? I’ll definitely be wearing mine when I’m expecting my period and during those lighter days when I’m done wearing ugly period pants. Bring on the revolution!

Reading now

Popular Life stories