Even though 51% of the world’s population menstruates, it’s a taboo that some don’t even fully understand. Meanwhile, feminine hygiene products are taxed as if they were luxury goods and the industry creates literal tons of waste each year. The culture facilitates the continuation of these problems, and women around the world are unnecessarily spending more money and making more waste because of it. In short, having a period sucks.
Diva cups are a viable alternative, but, let’s be honest, they’re intimidating. They seem messy and hard to use, and no matter how many times I hear that they’re not, it’s a hard mental barrier to cross. I decided instead to try Thinx, absorbent underwear that can hold multiple tampons worth of blood. Boasting anti-bacterial fabric and a slim design, they’re supposed to act feel just like normal underwear.
I tried three pairs to start, the thong, cheeky, and hi-wasted pair. I spent the majority of the first day paranoid that they wouldn’t work; I was prepared to be disappointed. I wasn’t, but that didn’t mean I was any less paranoid the next day. The third day I wore them was a slow Saturday that didn’t ask much of me, so I wore them all day. I was still convinced something bad would happen. By the end of the day, they still felt like normal underwear, not diaper-ish or messy. I pushed their limits by sleeping in them, going a full 24-hours of wearing them, and while I was still leak free in the morning, they were obviously at the end of their rope. I wouldn’t recommend wearing them for that long if you have a heavier flow. The worst part about my experience with Thinx was the self-induced anxiety, and I’m sure many people will also be skeptical even after reading this and the slew of other reviews of them. I don’t blame you. After learning to trust them, I actually forgot that I was on my period, which is the ultimate goal, and I hope other people can experience that same feeling.
Washing them was surprisingly easy. I already baby my lingerie because most of it is lace or handmade, so I’m accustomed to the rinse, gentle cycle/ hand wash, and hang dry routine. I washed my Thinx with my other lingerie and they didn’t stain or otherwise damage the other pieces; plus, they seemed completely pristine after washing. It was as if they weren’t full of blood two days before (sorry, not sorry).
Though this is less important, these are actually cute underwear. I especially love the sheer panels of the high waisted pair, they seem retro and chic, and high wasted anything look terrible on me (I’m already curvy enough, I don’t need help accentuating my hips).
These are a revolutionary product for three reasons. As I mentioned above, they’re the obvious choice of you want to live a more sustainable life. These washable, clean underwear allow users to forgo disposable products and as they become more popular, will not only improve quality of life, but reduce waste. They also make menstruation less taboo. It’s always shocking to see how many adult humans have misconceptions about the female reproductive system, and part of that is because there’s a stigma to discussing or researching this. Women’s bodies are treated like secrets, something we’re not supposed to know about — a holdover from our Puritanical beginnings as a country. They also sell a boyshort made for trans men and other genderfluid individuals who menstruate without much disruption to their everyday lives. While trans rights still have a long way to go, this is not an insignificant step.