For some, getting their period each month is a pretty mundane, pain free event. For others, it is riddled with cramps, mood swings, sore boobs and all sorts of other bits.
Whatever your experience is like, chances are period undies will be a welcome addition to your monthly tool-kit.
Some like to wear period undies as back-up on Day 1 with a heavy flow, others to bed for overnight protection and some on Day 5 when their flow is so light using a tampon feels like a bit too much effort.
Whilst they won’t ease your period pain or stop your mood swings, period undies are a must have in your monthly routine for leak-free (and waste-free) protection, however you’re wearing them.
But "what are period undies?", you might be asking.
Great question. Here's some of the questions we've been getting asked, and everything you need to know.
How do you period undies work?
Period undies feature multi-layered leak-proof technology that wicks away moisture and absorbs odour. The multi-layered fabric works a bit like an old-school pad, however thankfully, fits and feels like normal underwear. Genius, really.
Do you wear period undies instead of tampons or period cups?
How you wear period undies is entirely up to you, and your flow.
You may choose to wear them on their own, or use them as backup protection with a menstrual cup or tampon depending on the level of absorbency of the undies and the heaviness of your flow.
If you’re not too sure, we suggest starting with a pair of high absorbency undies and carrying a backup with you (either an extra pair of undies or your current choice of tampon or period cup). Once you wear them a couple of times you will quickly discover what feels right for you.
Do I have to change period undies through the day like a tampon?
No, provided you’ve got the right absorbency for your flow, you shouldn’t need to change period undies through the day.
If you’re not too sure (or you’re someone who always likes to have a Plan B), we recommend carrying a wet-bag, such as Scarlet’s Period Proof Travel Bag, along with a spare pair, so you can change through the day, and rinse your undies when you’re home.
Do period undies smell?
Thanks to odour-absorbing technology, your period undies should not smell.
When washing period undies, it is important not to soak them too long (more than a couple of hours) or put them away until they are fully dried, as this could make them smell musty. It usually takes 24-48 hours for period undies to fully air dry.
How do I know which absorbency period undies I need?
If you’re currently a tampon user, you can use the absorbency guide and compare to your tampon use. Scarlet’s Light-Moderate absorbency period undies hold around the equivalent to 2 regular tampons, whilst the Moderate-Heavy absorbency holds around 3 regular tampons.
If you’re not too sure, we suggest starting with a pair of high absorbency undies and carrying a backup with you (either an extra pair of undies or your current choice of tampon or period cup).
Once you wear them a couple of times you will quickly discover what feels right for you.
How do I wash period undies?
When you get a new pair, it is best to wash period undies before use, as this will help activate the leak-proof technology.
After use, washing period undies is pretty simple – just 1. rinse, 2. wash and 3. dry.
1. Rinse in cold water until the water starts to run clear.
2. Wash in cold water with mild detergent (you can use a washing machine to do this, just make sure you don’t use any bleach or fabric softener as it may break down the natural fibres and weaken the performance of the undies).
3. Dry in the sun or tumble dry on low. Make sure you period undies are completely dry before putting them away. Due to the multi-layered leak-proof technology they may take a little longer to dry than normal undies, so it’s best to have a few pair in your drawer to get your through your full cycle.
What size period undies should I buy?
A snug fit supports the leak-proof technology to work at it’s best, so we recommend wearing your true size. You can check out Scarlet’s size chart here.
Which style Scarlet PeriodWear is best for me?
This is entirely up to you and how you prefer to wear them (or what you’re wearing them with) however this is how most people have told us they’re wearing them:
EVERYDAY – great for all day, everyday protection
BOYSHORTS – great for at-home, bedtime or under dresses (the Boyshort Teen is a great option under school dresses).
G-STRING – great for back up, spotting or lighter flows, especially when you don’t want a VPL
Have another burning question? Email us or DM us via Instagram @foryourbits
As everyone wears them differently, we asked four PeriodWear converts to share HOW THEY PERIOD.
Here is how they do it.
ALI K, @alikitinas
My period is super irregular, and can last anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks so my period routine is really needs based. On heavier days I use my Scarlet Period Cup (which I love) and a pair of heavy duty period undies. And I definitely need a hot water bottle on days with bad cramps. On lighter days I’ll wear my comfiest pair of period undies, I’m loving my new Scarlet Everyday Briefs for this.
ALI W, @aliwhittle_
Ever since I started using period undies, they’ve changed not only my period routine but my life! I love them for sleeping, nothing beats that comfort and ease. I’ll use my Scarlet Cup during the day in the first few days, period undies at night (the Boyshort style) and then swap between that and period undies for days 3-5.
I'm trying to be more sustainable in my everyday actions but I'm also pretty low maintenance and don't like a lot of fuss – that's why period undies have been a godsend. For me, I wear them every day and every night and choose the appropriate undies according to my flow.
"With my chronic pain, I use period undies all throughout my period. I struggled for a long time to find an accessible, easy, sustainable and also pain free way for me to cope with my period, period undies have been a lifesaver."
HOW DO YOU PERIOD?
However you do it, start here.