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A decade ago, women relied primarily on tampons or sanitary pads to protect themselves during their menstrual cycle . However, in recent years, the popularity of vintage panties, underwear designed to absorb menstrual blood, has exploded.
So what are menstrual panties? "Period pants are underwear with absorbent material incorporated," says Alla Vash-Margita, MD , director of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Yale Medicine. "They have a great function: they collect blood in an almost invisible way, providing freedom of movement and a certain degree of independence."
Wash-Margita claims that many of her patients use them because they are reusable, cheap over time, and environmentally friendly; they can be thrown in the washing machine and used again. In addition, she explains that some girls cannot tolerate tampons and "sanitary pads that are bulky and uncomfortable," others have tactile or sensory problems and cannot use pads or tampons, and some simply do not want to see blood on the pad or tampon. . Since vintage panties do not require "insertion" or "processing", and you can even avoid the visual appearance of blood by opting for a darker color, they are a great alternative.
"They can be worn like any underwear, but with built-in menstrual blood collection," he continues. "For many adolescents, young people and women, this is a great alternative."
Keep in mind that historic panties are not for everyone, according to Dr. Vash-Margita. 'Like any other product, a girl or woman should try it and see if it suits her,' she explains. "There are no scientific studies comparing different types of menstrual products, but in my experience with many patients, menstrual panties are a viable, environmentally friendly, and inexpensive option for controlling menstrual flow."
If you're thinking of trying menstrual cycle panties, consider these top options when shopping.
Due to their increasing popularity in the market, vintage panties are in abundance. And, if you haven't jumped on the train yet, you should give it some serious thought. "Menstrual panties are worth trying as an alternative to sanitary napkins, tampons and menstrual cups," says Dr. Vash-Margita.
Industry-shaking Thinx creates some of the most trusted and respected styles, and of these, their Air HipHugger ( see Thinx ) is our all-around favorite for everyday wear. It controls almost all boxes, providing 1.5 tampon coverage while remaining lightweight, low profile, comfortable and breathable.
But here's the thing: you'll need more than one pair of panties to complete the cycle. Therefore, we suggest trying several different styles. On days when you have the strongest flow, buy Modibodi Sensual Heavy Absorbency ( see Modibodi ) or The Hipster by Proof (see Proof ). A thong will come in handy when wearing tight leggings with other tight clothing, while something tighter will work for a sleepover.
What to look for in menstrual panties
While most vintage panties tend to be expensive, there are a few exceptions. It is important to remember that historical panties are not disposable. You will use them over and over again every month, and consider how much money you will save on tampons! But Sara Yamaguchi, MD, a board certified gynecologist at DTLA Gynecology in Los Angeles, recommends having at least one back-up pair if you decide to wear menstrual panties, which can drive up the price. "Women may want to have a spare pair with them just in case and change them early instead of waiting for them to leak," she says. Some vintage panties come in packages, which can make them cheaper.
As with any lingerie item, there are many styles and sizes available. Do you prefer shorts to briefs? Do you prefer more coverage or less? Or a sports version of something more aerodynamic? These are all the questions to ask yourself before starting your search.
After answering the questions, another important consideration is the type of material that can enhance the comfort and style of the lingerie. "They are made from a variety of natural and synthetic fabrics, according to the company," says Dr. Yamaguchi. "The outer layer is made of the same material as normal underwear, but the absorbent and moisture-wicking layer depends on the brand." Ultimately, it encourages people to find a pair that suits their needs and comfort level.
You should also consider your menstrual flow and choose your menstrual pantry accordingly. Like tampons, menstrual underwear comes in a variety of absorbency options. And, if you are buying more than one pair, you should consider choosing a variety.
Women should consider "the amount of discharge on their hardest day, as well as the presence of clots that can settle in their panties and not be absorbed," says Nicole Williams, MD, a gynecologist at the Chicago Gynecological Institute. "Some of my patients use a tampon or cup, and use menstrual panties as an alternative." Dr. Williams suggests testing your underwear for absorbency throughout the wear period to determine if the product is suitable for your personal needs.
What the experts say
'If you have very heavy periods, be sure to see your doctor to rule out serious problems like fibroids, endometriosis, or hormonal problems like PCOS. Don't change your menstrual panties all the time. ” – Nicole Williams, MD, gynecologist at the Chicago Gynecological Institute.
Frequently asked questions
Exactly how panties work is very dependent on the company, because each brand uses different types of material to achieve similar results. 'It seems like old panties have many layers of absorbent material that seem to absorb any liquid and hold it inside the panties, "says Dr. Williams. Most likely, the outer layer of the panties is made of a material similar to what someone is used to wearing with their regular underwear. But then the interior will be made of a different material to help absorb and maintain a woman's period. "They work like normal disposable pads because they have multiple layers to trap and retain menstrual blood, but they can be washed and reused," says Dr. Yamaguchi.
The regular panties that replace the need for panty liners will largely depend on a person's particular period and how heavy they can become. "While menstrual panties are unlikely to be able to replace your sanitary napkin on the toughest day, they will probably work well on days when it is tapering," says Dr. Williams. But menstruation can differ from one woman to another. So for some, menstrual panties are likely to replace the need for menstrual pads, cups, and tampons. "If you are a moderate woman, you may be able to wear menstrual panties your entire life," says Dr. Williams.
The amount of time underwear is worn will likely depend, again, on how much blood you are bleeding and what your menstrual day is. "While many manufacturers say eight to twelve hours, I recommend that my patients change menstrual panties based on their comfort level," says Dr. Williams. 'If you have a light flow, you can wear them like normal underwear throughout the day. If you have a stronger flow, you may need a spare pair or two. "
The length of a pair of menstrual underwear depends on your daily haircut. Panties have varying degrees of flow, and if you have a lighter flow, a pair of underwear can last eight hours or more. If your period is more severe, you may need to change your underwear several times during your period during your period.
Yes, men's panties are hygienic. They are formulated with antimicrobial materials to keep them safe and clean for women who can use them during menstruation.
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