Period panties – if you haven’t yet heard of them, the time is now. Healthista finds out more about period underwear, its benefits and our favourite brands
The buzz surrounding period panties continues to grow, but if you’re still unsure exactly what period underwear is, we’re here to explain more plus we want to share with you the brands we trust and have tried for ourselves.
On average, one woman will use approximately 11,000 disposable sanitary products during her lifetime.
That’s quite a shocking statistic considering that just one disposable pad contains the same amount of plastic as four plastic bags.
one disposable pad contains the same amount of plastic as four plastic bags
‘Plastic bags take up to 500 years to decompose in our landfills, before breaking down into micro plastics that pollute our oceans, rivers, beaches and contaminate our water,’ warns Paige Fashoni – Founder of FLUX Undies.
‘By switching from conventional period products to reusable eco-friendly period products like period pants, you can reduce your menstrual waste by a whopping 99.5 per cent!’
Not only are period panties toxic free and give us one less thing to worry about when it comes to the cocktail of toxins we pollute our bodies with on a daily basis, but ultimately they allow you to do right by the environment due to their sustainable qualities.
Here’s why you should ditch the commercial brands and modernise your sanitary practices…
You’ll avoid toxic ingredients found in our current sanity products
‘Testing of conventional disposable sanitary towels and tampons over the years have found several harmful toxins and chemicals,’ reveals Fashoni.
‘The main toxins include pesticide residues, dioxins, parabens, plastics and fragrance chemicals. These have been linked to a number of different issues, such as cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive harm and skin irritation’.
READ MORE: Menorrhagia: a gynaecologists guide to heavy menstrual bleeding
You’ll avoid the risk of toxic shock syndrome
‘Toxic shock syndrome is caused by a type of bacterial infection, specifically Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria,’ says Fashoni.
‘While there’s no single cause, there are some things that can increase your risk, including the use of tampons. When tampons or other period products like menstrual cups, are left in the vagina for extended amounts of time, this can create a breeding ground for bacteria, and when the bacteria gets out of hand, it can cause toxic shock syndrome.
‘The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can come on very suddenly and can include high fever, vomiting and diarrhoea. It is a serious infection which requires urgent medical attention.
when the bacteria gets out of hand, it can cause toxic shock syndrome
‘You can reduce your risk of toxic shock syndrome by removing internal products like tampons and menstrual cups regularly, or by using period products that are external, such as sanitary towels, reusable period pads or period underwear’.
You’ll also be helping the environment
‘Using reusable options such as period underwear can be kinder to your body as products like ours at FLUX Undies are soft and gentle on the skin, containing no toxins or chemicals,’ Fashoni advises.
‘You do need to be careful when looking as some period underwear can contain PFAS or silver, used as an antibacterial application.
‘As mentioned before, reusable period products like our period underwear are kinder to the environment as they can be used month after month, replacing hundreds of disposable pads and tampons from going to landfill’.
READ MORE: Periods and exercise – How to sync your workout to your menstrual cycle
Healthista’s favourite period panties…
#1 FLUX Undies
FLUX Undies are a British-based period pant pioneer. Producing sustainable, comfortable period products designed with function in mind.
Kinder to your skin, the materials they use are Oeko-tex certified, meaning they are free from any nasties and safe to put on your most delicate and intimate parts.
They are also PETA-approved vegan products – the undies derive from 100 per cent fabric and are cruelty-free.
Prices start from £16.95
We love Modibodi for its seamless range, using the softest most breathable materials.
The combination of Modifier Air Technology and Merino wool, provides super moisture wicking absorbency, is soft on skin, naturally antimicrobial and anti-odour for extra freshness.
Prices start from £17.50
Saalt is the world’s first plastic negative period care brand, with a line of performance period underwear that absorbs up to three regular tampons worth of period flow – wow.
Moisture-wicking, antimicrobial layers and a leakproof barrier as well as being super comfortable and the most stylish period wear we have ever seen.
What makes Saalt Wear different is its moisture-separating gusset technology that wicks away wetness to keep users feeling drier, longer.
Prices from £32
What about Menstrual Cups?
More people are now recognising the environmental and personal benefits of switching to cups as well as period panties.
The menstrual cup uses less, wastes less, and is cleaner to produce.
One menstruator generates an average of 7.3 pounds of period waste per year, and as mentioned above will use over 11,000 disposable, one-time-use menstrual products over their reproductive lifetime.
One menstrual cup diverts 3,000 tampons or pads from landfills and our oceans over ten years of use. This doesn’t even consider the strain on natural resources that the production of so many tampons creates, and the carbon footprint of all that manufacturing.
Menstrual cups are not only an earth-friendly product, they offer an overall more comfortable period experience.
The Saalt Cup is made of 100 per cent medical-grade silicone that is safe to use, hypoallergenic and naturally bio-compatible, and because it doesn’t dry you like tampons or leave a wet environment like pads, using the cup lessens the chance of irritation or infection while also maintaining your vagina natural PH.
They are odour free, comfortable, and reliable, since the cup can be worn for up to 12 hours to workout, travel, and go about your day. Cups also last up to ten years which translates into less waste and potentially over £1,000 in savings.
Saalt Cups are available in two different sizes, catering for adults and teens.
Saalt’s answer to keeping perfect hygiene and preventing infection
We believe the best way to protect yourself from toxic shock syndrome is to start with education and the correct use and upkeep of menstrual cups.
It’s important to clean and sanitize your cup regularly, and avoid the use of inserted period products if you have cuts, sores, or an active infection of any kind.
Maintain proper cup hygiene by:
- Boiling your Saalt Cup for four to five minutes (no more than seven minutes).
- Or wiping it thoroughly with 70 per cent Isopropyl alcohol to sanitize in between periods.
- Washing your storage bag by throwing it in with a load of laundry.
- Cleaning your hands thoroughly before inserting or removing your cup.
- Rinsing and cleaning your cup with cold water or a Saalt Menstrual Cup Wash during your period.
Take a break from your menstrual cup if:
- Your cup feels like it may be too big. Signs of this include overstretching your vaginal tissues when inserting and removing, causing tearing or bleeding unrelated to your period.
- You have a scratch, sore, or cut in your vaginal tissue.
- You have an infection such as bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, or an active sexually transmitted infection.