I first learned about period underwear and Modibodi through an Instagram live with Shirley Conlon from her namesake brand and Natalie, the founder of Modibodi Middleast. To say I was intrigued would be an understatement, but I had SO MANY questions, and the one that topped them all revolved around the modernity of having non-disposable options for that time of the month. I mulled over the idea of period underwear for a while then decided to invest in a couple of pairs – I figured the best way to know what they are all about and get my questions answered is by trying them firsthand.
But why switch to period underwear in the first place, aren’t we better off using disposable pads and tampons compared to women in the olden days who did not really have options for their periods? Disposables are certainly more convenient, but from an environmental and sustainability perspective, period underwear are the innovative better option – in most parts of the world, we have come a long way from using cloth wads to absorb menstrual fluid, and a lot of thought and technology has gone into creating modern period underwear for it to function well, i.e keep us protected and dry. Modibodi underwear technology uses several linings in the (comfortably thin!) gusset, allowing for protection against periods, discharge and urine leaks; this makes them fit for a wide range of audience, from teenagers to older women suffering from incontinence.
I wish period underwear was a thing when I was a teenager – for the longest time I could not sleep on my back while on my period, because LEAKS! If you know, you know… So I find it really cool that teenagers these days have the luxury of period underwear – gone are the days where we had to figure out how to take a pad out of our bag and stuff it into our pockets without anyone noticing! For traditional women like me who favor pads over tampons, period underwear is a life changer. I have also read that women who use tampons or menstrual cups like using period underwear in the first couple of days to safeguard against potential leaks.
I have used Modibodi period underwear for over 14 cycles now and I can safely say I cannot live without them anymore. I had to get my head around the washing schedule to avoid using pads the first couple of cycles, but I was not very successful so I did end up buying a couple more pairs after. To be honest, the price is the only deterrent for initially investing in period underwear, but in the long run, the resulting feeling of not adding my share of pads to landfills is indescribable. If only I can do the same with pantyliners!
My favorite styles are the Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini and the Classic Boyshorts. I love how the gusset of high absorbency underwear goes ALL the way to the back, which provides comfort for sleeping on the back.
My questions, answered:
- Do period underwear work? YES! They work so well you won’t be able to go back to pads! Bid adieu to crunching, wedgies, leaks and irritation.
- Are they easy to wash? This process is obviously more time consuming than changing a pad and throwing the used one out, but it actually only requires a couple of minutes of getting up close and personal with your blood and just rinsing out the underwear, making sure there are no residues. I use my thumbs to rub the gusset of the underwear under cold (as cold as it can get in Dubai!) water to make sure all the blood comes out.
- Do they stink? In theory, no – as long as they are rinsed out after use and aired out to dry completely. I have had a brush with odor with my more absorbent ones that was remedied with adding white vinegar to a long washing cycle. Higher absorbency Modibodi underwear have 3 layers that will need a longer time to dry, and might actually seem dry when they really are not, so just give them extra drying time than you think they need!
- How do I know I need to change? The feeling is similar to that when you’re wearing a pad, it’s basically a feeling of heaviness.
- How many times do I need to change a day? Depends on your flow, and what absorbency you went for, give yourself a couple of cycles to figure out what works for you. According to Modibodi, light to medium absorbency underwear is equivalent to changing 2 pads/tampons, while the overnight/high absorbency is equivalent to changing 3 or 4 pads/tampons. I would say that these estimates are accurate.
Natalie is great at answering any questions and helping with sizes!