Starting with reusable pads from Charlie Banana and Lunapads, I instantly fell in love with real cotton. I was tired of noisy plastic wrappers and all the waste. Tampons - although totally convenient - weren't comfortable when they absorbed all the lubricating moisture of those tissues. I also couldn't believe how soft and absorbent cotton pads could be.
Then of course came THINX. A company with a brilliant product that found me on Facebook (damn FB algorithms and cookies... they know what I'm in the market for...). I was a little deterred by the price, but over the years I had already bought three diva cups (lost one during a move, the dog chewed up another - don't ask how she found it... she's a cleaver pup and at the time had an insatiable appetite for socks, underwear, and anything that smelled like dirty socks or underwear.). I also knew that this was something to invest in, for myself and to spread the word to other women.
I bought two pairs of small Hiphuggers and packed them for our trip to Italy when my next period was due to come.
** If you're wondering about size, I'm about 110 lbs, 5'4", the small is a little snug, but it's a good snug!
Well, a few things happened when I wore them:
First, I couldn't believe how comfortable they were! I wished all my underwear were this comfortable and absorbent. Ladies, I'm sure you understand. Sometimes even when we're not menstruating, there are certain days - especially in the time between the end of your period and ovulation - when you feel like you're leaking fluids. It's real and it happens.
Second, I wore a pair during the heaviest day of my period. This wouldn't have been a huge mistake had I timed how long I'd be wearing them for. It turns out, I had a much heavier day that I was expecting. Heavier than I'm used to. I also wanted this to be a true test so I didn't use the Diva Cup this time around.
Thinking about how often I need to change my Diva Cup, I thought I could go 8-10 hours in my THINX or so without needing to worry. I was extremely mistaken. After 4-5 hours I was still completely comfortable. My mistake was thinking I could then go on a 3-4-hour bike ride without the Diva cup or changing my pair of THINX.
The combination of long duration of wear, my heaviest day of flow (and way heavier than usual), and sitting on a bike for 3+ hours was enough for my THINX to leak. I was devastated. It's been a long time since I've felt sad about having my period. But leaking through my Lululemon shorts on a bike ride through the Tuscan countryside with my new husband almost had me in tears.
Luckily my husband works in sports medicine and knows exactly how to get blood stains out of clothing! Seriously... he was a genius. My lulu shorts were saved!
As for my THINX, they are still my most favourite pairs of underwear EVER, and even more great that I can wear them on lighter days with no need for anything else, or as backup with a Diva Cup. They may have leaked, but it was definitely situational.
I've used my THINX since that first cycle and haven't had any issues. They are also fantastic for wearing during sleep when you have your period.
I also want to point out that during this whole experiment, it was rare that I ever felt damp or wet, making THINX not messy at all to use! Washing is also simple. Rinse with cold water right after wear, then throw them in the laundry with your gentles and hang dry. It's amazing how much fluid they actually can hold.
Would I recommend them to other women? Absolutely! But if your periods are heavy, be prepared to change out a pair after 6 hours or so. Get your hands on a zipped water-resistant carrier bag, like this one from Lunapads which has 2 zipped sections, one to keep clean menstrual wear in, and one for dirty. And yes, of course I bought the "Dandy foxes" print... This is "Healthy Fox Adventures" after all!