Period pants: some say they're comfy, others say they can hold up to 2 tampons' worth of flow, and all of us know a huge benefit is that they will never, ever need to be removed by your GP. You know – tampons can get stuck. Knickers? Not so much.
But by far the biggest reason to start wearing period proof underwear is because they help reduce landfill.
DID YOU KNOW: Tampons take 6 months to biodegrade, plastic applicators take hundreds of years to decompose and, pads and liners are made from about 90% plastic?
Period proof underwear is washable and sustainable, and as technology continues to make them evermore wearable, they are sure to become one of the most common feminine hygiene products for all ages – particularly for tweens and teens.
So, whether you're a teenager beginning her cycle or are pre-menopausal we asked a selection of women to give their verdict on the best underwear for your period.
Cost: from $15
Nicky, 43, VIC uses Love Luna period underwear and will never go back. "I've started using the period pants for back up when I have my period and have a tampon in (I'm a heavy bleeder) instead of using a slim pad."
Nicky's days are busy running around after her three kids but Love Luna holds up. "I wasn't really worried about leaking and I didn't need to be as it wasn't an issue."
"I've also used the panties toward the end of my period when my period is lighter and they have been great. No leaking, great absorption and super comfy. I'll keep using them as they're a great alternative to buying pads and it's much less impact on the environment too."
Is there ever any sign of blood on the undies? "Not really as they're black, but you can see a little."
Cost: From $33.68
@realblanchedubois says, "I used to go through five to eight super tampons in one day before I found Thinx! Now I just wear a pair of hip huggers and change my tampon every four to five hours. I've never had an leakage when wearing my Thinx"
@mi_l_c says, "I've worn the black sport with a black bikini top and the cheeky nude under a one piece for days at the beach and not had any issues. At worst I had a particularly heavy flow and noticed maybe 4 hours after swimming that I could see blood on the nude side but not on my bathers."
Nisha S says, "I have used Thinx for two periods so far and I am absolutely in love with them. I hardly feel that I am having period and there no pain or itchiness in vagina. Can’t use them during first two days when I am at work as I would need to change them after 6-7 hours but they absolutely fantastic for using at home or during lighter days.
"I don't worry about staining bedsheets at night anymore... It’s a little bit gross to wash but considering the benefits, I really don't mind.. 3 cheers to Thinx for creating an awesome environment friendly product!!"
Cost: From $27.50 for light flow. (Free shipping on orders over $120)
Sharon Wood really wanted to try wearing period undies and was a bit nervous about how period proof they'd be as she experiences a heavy flow, "but they have never failed."
She tried Modibodi women’s sensual high waist bikini for heavy days and the classic bikini for lighter days.
Like most of us, Sharon's day is busy with working and running errands. "I was worried about [them] leaking and [being] smelly, but they have been awesome."
Sharon used the period underwear without any pads or tampons and they stayed fresh all day. "I would change to a fresh pair in the evening."
What about using them all night? "I really was unsure, but I have yet to have a leakage. And I sleep on white sheets! I make sure I put on a fresh pair before I go to bed."
Some things to know before you buy period proof underwear
Rel Vild, 48, has used Modibodi and Love Luna but she was less than impressed: "The [Modibodi] active pant uses natural wool fibre, which is absorbent but a little on the hot side. Seems to work OK, as I have a lighter flow. No leaks, but did feel very bulky."
Vild was less enamoured with the fuller brief, "I only wore it once. It has the full padding but I felt like I was wearing a pillow in my undies. No leaks though!"
As for Love Luna, she says, "The fit was so poor they kept creeping up my bum. I only wore them for about two hours and had to get changed because they were sooooo uncomfortable."
Some online reviews of Thinx say to order a size larger than you would usually so like any online shopping it's a case of trial and error. Most companies offer a 30 or 60 day money back guarantee which is helpful in finding a size and style that fits. Obviously the return policy is based on the period panties being the wrong size so make sure you leave the hygiene sticker in.
It takes approximately 6 months for tampons to biodegrade