Updated: Mar 16
The reality is the taboo around menstruation and period shaming have a massive impact on the types of period products available to us. A survey ran by Thinx revealed that 58% of women are ashamed of their periods and researchers in the US found that 72% of women admit to hiding their period products on the way to the bathroom. Another 70% of women said they asked a friend to walk behind them to check for leaks while on their periods. This seems shocking but also completely relatable because I have done both of these. When I have attended fitness classes with my boyfriend I have asked him to be on “period watch” just in case I experience a leak and it shows through my leggings. He is incredibly supportive about it and thankfully I haven’t ever had a leak during one of these classes. But the truth is many women feel like they need extra reassurance about potential leaks or problem which might happen during your period.
I have found that normal disposable pads and tampons haven’t made me feel as secure on my period as my menstrual cup and reusable pads. I went searching for eco-friendly alternatives (such as menstrual cups) and they work well for but to a while to get used to. Some people might find that they don’t want to swap to an eco-alternative because they don’t expect the same level of reassurance as they are used to. Everyone has their preference and what suits them best when it comes to their periods. But if you are interested in finding eco-friendly alternatives to disposable products, or your sick of ruining your pants from leaks, I might have found the solution for you. Period Pants! I know some people have a set of pants that they use especially for their period as they are already stained from previous mishaps. What I am talking about are pants to free bleed into.
I should just clarify what free bleeding actually means: “The premise of free bleeding is simple: You menstruate without using tampons, pads, or other menstrual products to absorb or collect your flow.” For this blog, I am using the term free bleeding because I feel like it is an easy way to explain just bleeding into your underwear. However, there is more to the context of free bleeding as a social movement to normalise periods, and that some people are forced to out of financial necessity. But I hope that you can understand why I am choosing to use it in this blog as it describes the situation quite well.
Period underwear is slightly different from usual menstrual products because it designed to feel more natural and look like regular underwear. One bugbear I have about using pads of any kind is that they are very unflattering, rarely stay in place, and quite noticeable. They also are hardly the self-esteem booster if you go from wearing your lacy undies which make you feel sexy and confident in a secret way, to having to put on your granny pants because you don’t want to ruin your other pairs. The risqué element of wearing sexy underwear can make many women feel confident and empowered simply because they are wearing it for themselves. “ It’s been proven time and again that you’re going to feel at your best when you feel good about yourself, and when you feel sexy.”
So on a week when are already feeling rubbish enough because are dealing with cramps, hormonal ache, bloating (the list goes on) you also feel far from sexy. So maybe period underwear can help. You no longer have to worry about pad lines or the rustling noise than disposable pads seem to make no matter where you position them. Most period pants tend to be black (Which in my opinion makes them sexier) and some are high wasted with lace panels. You can find a range of shapes, sizes and styles now. So even while you are dealing with cramps you can at least feel more confident and not have to worry so much about leaks.
When I have asked my Instagram followers why kinds of reusable period products they use, period pants are quite a popular answer. Many of my followers have told me that they find them more confident or that they didn't get on with using a menstrual cup and this works best for them. I have decided to get a pair my self to give them a try. I will leave a few links to some I considered buying but went for the HeyGirls lacy high wasted pants. This was because they looked like they would be the most secure and the most flattering. What I like about the HeyGirls pants is that I didn't feel like I had to choose practicality and comfort over style and how pretty the pants were. Because let's be honest, a sexy or cute pair of pants are always more appealing than the standard packs. But the main reason I prefer HeyGirls is that I love their scheme that every time you buy a product they donate one to someone who can't afford to.
It is important to remember that buying sustainable period products is a privilege and that some young girls and women are forced to free bleed without the security and hygiene of any menstrual products. Shopping from HeyGirls means not only am I helping the environment, but also a person who really needs it. So for me, this brand is quite well suited. I would love to know what you recommend as a good pair of period pants. let me know in the comments!
Period Pants that I considered:
1) Bikini Black pants £14.95-£16.95
2) Sheer Lace High Waister £16.95
3) Super Soft Cherry Pants £16.95
4) Lacy Brazillian Bikini Period Pants £16.95
1) High waisted £30
2)Super Cotton Briefs £30
1) Vegan Boy shorts £28
2) Classic Bikini £22