If you have heard of THINX underwear before, you know what they are. However if this is all news to you, let me break it down for you: they are period-proof panties. Yes, panties in which you can period on and in. And now you might be wondering “what the actual fuck? This is a thing?” It is real and it is most definitely a thing. Trust me, when I first came across THINX, I thought the exact same thing. I thought it sounded unhygienic and just too far-fetched. And now, here I am wearing them.
I am 31 years old. For more than half of my life I had been using mainstream panty liners, pads and tampons during my menstrual cycles. I hated all of them. Panty liners were (and still are) for the days of expectancy and the light days. But they never stay in place, often bunch up and ware basically useless (yes, even the ones with those raved about wings). Tampons never felt comfortable to me and they always seemed to exacerbate my painful cramps that accompanied my flow. I really only wore them when I was going to be active or if I was wearing an outfit where a thong was ideal. Pads were definitely more comfortable for me but even then, after a couple of days I was itching to get out of them. That soggy diaper feeling is not one of my personal faves. But as far as I knew, these less than ideal options were my only options.
A couple of years ago I started noticing conversations involving menstrual cups. And even though the option was introduced, I never really considered them until recently. Once I was serious about trying a different eco-friendly alternative, I landed pregnant. That is one way to solve the period issue. Not having a period for over 19 months combined was such a delightful treat. My Aunt flow moved back in once my daughter turned 10 months and alas, that was my opportunity to make a move.
So I purchased a Diva Cup. I’m not going to lie, I had my reservations. And again they were in regards to hygiene, comfort, and functionality. The first few insertions were a learning curve but I got the hang of it pretty easily. It’s been about 5 months now using the cup and I do like it. I don’t love it but it was definitely the best option I had come across thus far. I am still experiencing some discomfort and pain with occasional cramping and do find that upon insertion, the cup also does irritate things a little just as the tampons had. If it is really uncomfortable, I readjust and find that the discomfort subsides after a few minutes once things settle. I also find it to be a challenge when I’m out and about and that cup needs to be emptied on the ASAP. It is definitely a bit of an inconvenience to use in public restrooms. Aside from those points, I love that it was a one time (well, yearly) purchase and that it is natural, safe, and functional.
A few months into my Diva Cup journey, I saw a review for THINX underwear. My curiosity got the best of me and I read the blog post. I was surprised, shocked, appalled, and intrigued. I had no idea these existed. I dug deeper. I knew to ignore my acute hesitation and reservations because I had thought the same about the menstrual cup and I’m now a cup user. I’ve got a mind that is wide open and my sense of adventure often leads me to trying new things, period panties included. I ordered the hip hugger style because I’m that kind of gal. They do offer about 8 different styles of underwear though, absorbing up to 2 tampons’ worth of blood depending on the style. These antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant undies can be used in place of panty liners/ pads and also replace or be used as backup to tampons or menstrual cups.
My online purchase journey started off with me feeling uneasy and unsure but as soon as I received my email confirmation I was suddenly excited. Frankly, I was sad that my period wasn’t expected anytime near the estimated delivery date. I was eager to try out these magical panties.
After a very quick delivery, my underwear arrived. I opened up that package up faster than a kid would unwrap a bike for his birthday. I immediately noticed the look and feel of the panties. They were a classy and comfortable pair of hip huggers. They felt nice and smooth and the lace band along the top gave it such a feminine touch. These were no Fruit of the Looms’. They honestly resembled and felt like a high quality, specialty lingerie. They are made with 4 thin layers of fabric including cotton and a waterproof layer. Due to these 4 layers, they are a tad bit thicker than your average pair of panties but they are still very breathable and functional for everyday living.
I did order a size larger than I normally would because I had a feeling the material would be a bit snugger. There is nothing more uncomfortable than a pair of way too tight undies, am I right? Needless to say I was thrilled when I tried them on and they were the perfect fit. The outer seam of the hip huggers are quite thick though so I knew right away that panty-lines would most likely be visible through most if not all outfits.
Alright, alright on to the big question-did they work? You bet. They definitely worked. My cycle is generally pretty light with the exception of one or two heavy days. My personal plan for the period proof undies were to replace the liners I still had to wear when my flow wasn’t yet Diva-cup heavy. I decided to test mine out overnight before and after my heaviest day. And they were a dream. From night to morning, there were no leaks, no discomfort, and no fuss.
The only unfortunate part is that after washing them, they need to hang dry. And since they are a thicker pair of underwear they do take longer to dry than your average lingerie would. This put a dent in my wanting to wear my THINX every day of my period dream since I currently only have the one pair. I also noticed that after washing them for the second time, my lace trim on the top was already fraying a bit which was definitely disappointing to see. I now question how long they will actually last me. I was sad to see they didn’t hold up to the quality that they both looked and felt, especially at that price point.
SUMMARY: THINX underwear definitely works. And the relief of remaining leak-free during a period is a great feeling. I loved the freedom. It was the feeling I have been longing for my whole life as a menstruating female. I loved that my vagina could just…be. It was nice to let my womanhood just do its thang and breathe while doing it. I didn’t have to worry about any discomfort or any mess. I would definitely recommend it for those who are like me and have lighter/spotty periods that don’t necessarily require a lot of tampon wearing or menstrual cup use. They are also superb for overnights.
For those with really heavy flows where you’d only really be using this as a backup… I’m not sure it would entirely be worth it. THINX underwear is a pretty penny and we would want at least a couple of pairs but ideally enough to get through a cycle. Although I understand the cost is nothing compared to the price we pay over a lifetime for disposable tampons/pads, it is still a hefty bill to front for panties that we will just bleed into. Personally, I will be experimenting further and will probably order other period-proof underwear from different companies. I hope to find some that can hold up a little bit better in the quality department. I have heard about a few other brands that are even more affordable and that also have great reviews. Due to my light menstrual cycle, the functionality of these magic panties are a dream and I’d love to find a set that works just right for me.
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”