Its the hotly anticipated blog post of the year, how did I get on with the mysterious PERIOD PANTS? Disclaimer: all thoughts are my own and I purchased these pants with my own hard earned quids.
Firstly, let me explain why I decided to try them. There are three reasons mainly, firstly because I’m aware that disposable sanitary towels are laden with chemicals that may effect our fragile menstrual cycle. Secondly because I ALWAYS leak, I’m sick of feeling like I need to check myself every half an hour if I’m not wearing something black, so this seemed like it could be a fix for this problem.
Lastly, I worked out that I’ve used over 5000 sanitary towels (and one poorly fitted tampon) since the first day I had a period at age 14. Thats 5000 manky, festering, period blood towels wrapped in a plastic packet, sat in landfill, maybe choking innocent seagulls and hungry rats. VILE. They don’t decompose, and we have alternatives! Alternatives that I hope my kids will use in the future to stop the filling of our planet with bloody garbage.
So what are the alternatives? I don’t know much on the tampon front, so I can’t help with that option, however we now have, period pants, reusable sanitary towels, or a cup. Now, I have an issue with anything stuck up my foof for any prolonged period of time, so the latter probably isn’t ever going to be an option for me. However, I was eager to try the first two and decided to dive in with the pants.
Now, I’ve seen some period pants about from a couple of different brands, but for just one pair I was looking at spending between £20 and £30, WTF! So when I came across these from Cheeky Wipes at a much lower price of £9 per pair, I ordered them immediately.
When they came they weren’t in any plastic packaging, bonus, and they arrived on the day of my period (I did have to use one disposable while I was waiting for the courier). On first glance they looked comfy, and I could see that the protective absorbent layer went all the way up to the front of the waistband, and all the way up to the back! Bonus! They felt kind of like swimwear, with a laced waistband, when I tried them on I was slightly disappointed they didn’t come up a little higher (I like to tuck in the gunt) but I wasn’t going to let that put me off.
Im not too heavy on my first day, but I do usually cramp and feel like absolute shite for a few hours at least. I decided to buy 3 pairs (theres a discounted rate for doing this) and my idea was to swap once during the day, then again in the evening, while washing the other two pairs ready for the following day. I had been wearing the pants for a couple of hours before I felt the need to go to the loo, one of the main questions when I told people I’d be testing them was do you feel wet. You don’t really until you go to the loo, and then once you pull them back up they’re kind of cold feeling rather than wet feeling. It did gross me out, I’m not gonna lie, but I think I got over that quite quickly. What I didn’t get over though, was the smell. Fuck me mate, literally knocked me out. I can’t even describe it, but all I kept thinking was “Is this what my period really smells like without all of those chemicals on the pads?!” it made me really self conscious and I had to keep asking Greg if he could smell me, luckily he couldn’t and I think it was because I hadn’t washed them before using, so it was like a new smell, mixing with period blood. Bleugh.
But still, I pushed on, and a couple of hours later I just felt like I needed to change, when I went to the loo I noticed that the last bit of blood wasn’t quite absorbed, so I whipped them off, and put a new pair on, and proceeded to rinse out the pants.
Now, the first time you do this, it’s gonna be gross, we aren’t used to touching our bodily fluids, but you just need to tell yourself its only blood, its yours, and you’re doing it for the greater good! Honestly, after the first few times I didn’t even think about it.
After wearing just the pants (another clean pair) to bed, I woke up to no leaks, such a relief. I usually either wear two pads, and I’m tossing and turning all night, all with a towel underneath me that wraps around me every time I turn over. Breaks me. This night, I slept right through, no leaks, no tossing and turning, and it suddenly dawned on me that I had had zero cramps, all day. No lower back ache, nothing. Coincidence maybe?!
After washing and drying my first two pairs ready for the next day (you can’t tumble dry them so I put them in the airing cupboard to dry faster) I was getting used to the pants. I felt really secure after a successful first day and now that I had washed them, that initial smell that whacked me in the face previously had faded thankfully, but there was still a scent there that was making me feel self conscious.
Day two is always my heaviest day, and unfortunately, before I’d got half way through the day, I pulled my jeans down to find I had leaked through. Now although it had done this, it wasn’t how I’d normally leak like a big old bloody red spot, it was more like my jeans had rubbed against the underside of the pants and because they were saturated it started to transfer, but it wasn’t visible from the outside of my jeans so I was ok!
It does say on the website that you should change regularly as you would with any other period protection, but some reviews had said that they had worn one pair of pants from morning til evening (at work, gym etc) so I did think they would last around 6 hours ish before they would be ready for a change. However, looking at that review from the perspective I have now, makes me want to puke. Fuck that, with my flow on day 2, theres no way I could’ve worn them all day at work, without changing, then through a workout and then only change at 8pm when getting home. No fucking way. On this day I definitely wished I had got another couple of pairs so that I wasn’t frantically washing and drying them and felt a little safer, knowing that I’m heavier on this day.
Today I wanted to do a workout, but still felt like my flow was on the heavy side, so instead of changing into a new pair of period pants when I woke up I went for some normal pants and a disposable pad, so that I felt clean enough to workout, and was clean again after with a fresh pair of period pants and a shower!
I then worked it like I did before, change half way through the day, and then again before bed, again I wished I had brought some more pairs. The smell was still slightly there, but I hadn’t leaked so that was a bonus!
This is when everything lightens up for me, I felt comfortable keeping them on all day until around tea time, when I wiped there wasn’t much there but wanted to feel clean so I popped another pair on and kept them on overnight. Realistically if I was busy I could have kept the first pair on a bit longer with no problems.
By now usually my period is just very light, not light enough to give up on a pad and I always have another random bleed before going lighter again and tailing off towards the start of day 6, but I literally had nothing there every time I wiped bar a bit of discharge (soz, hate that word), it was like the end of my period had come a day early, again, is it a coincidence or are the lack of chemicals actually effecting the length of my cycle?! I suppose I won’t find out until next month!
These pants would be an absolute game changer for anyone with a light to medium flow. If you are heavy/severe I would definitely back up with a reusable pad which is what I plan on doing for the first couple of days of my next period. The rinsing out and cleaning is something that is gross at the start, but you get used to it very quickly. The smell still lingered, I’m guessing I’ll have to accept that that is the smell my vagina exudes when its bleeding and doesn’t have the chemicals there in a disposable pad that would usually mask that, again, its something you get used to and I have a very honest husband that would tell me if I smelt like a rotten sewer while cutting about the house, so that gives me peace of mind. The only other thing I didn’t like was the style, I really do love pants that tuck everything in, its like a security blanket, even when I’m not on my period! So it’s made me want to explore other brands to see if there are some styles better suited to my body type, even if I do have to spend some more ££’s I think its worth it for the benefit of the environment, the health of my delicate flower and the non-leakage!
Amount of disposables used this period: 2
Period pants: Winning.
Next up…reusables! If there are any businesses out there that would like to collaborate with an honest review in return, please get in touch!