Does period underwear really work? We asked a scientist

published on July 9, 2020

After covering the ins and outs of menstrual cupsincluding how to get them in and outpeople asked if I could cover period underwear nextSo period and my undies I didOkay, I'm out in the world perioding into my underwearHopefully it's fine? I'm wearing black pants?Okay, there is a definite like hard wedgie situation happening in this g-string

But while going about my bleeding business,I wasn't really sure if I could trust these things with the deluge of day twoSo, I contacted a full-blown scientist from the CSIROto explain how fabric can hold a fluidAnd we even opened up the flow hotlineto invite people with all sorts of flows

To call in and tell us if and howperiod undies worked for them Flow hotlineHello, how's your flow?Flow Hotline, how can I help you today?Hey, how's it flowing?

And how have you found the period underwear so far?I really love them actuallyI've kind of went for the g-string style and loving them so farThanks for sharingBut first, some period underwear inventionsNow while these things may seem new

Thanks to all of those ads you might have seen around online andAnd some recent textile innovations have contributed to make them possiblethere are actually all sorts of inventions through historythat have combined the pad, the period and the pantyLike these catamenial chemises from 1917 by Brooklyn's Mr Max LebovitzOr, this charming sanitary napkin holder from 1928

In fact, there are all sorts of peculiar period-themed patents to be found onlineIncluding a tampon that vibratesOr this other one from 2012 that texts you about your periodOr, whatever this thing isBut textile innovation has come a long way since the chemises of 1917And the period undies that you see around today

Are actually made possible by a pretty smart combination of fibres and treatmentsSo these things combine fluid absorbent and fluid repellent materials together in one garmentBut what does that even mean? How do they even really work?Well, this is where we bring in the expert Sally the scientist from CSIROHi, I'm Sally Hutchinson and I'm a research scientists at CSIRO manufacturingMy area of research is advanced fibrous materials

So can you tell us what we mightn't know about these things?The underwear is made of three layers at leastSo the inner layer is a layer next to the skin,is a knitted layer that wicks the moisture away from the body quicklySo it's generally got a finish on it that makes it water repellentBut it's got lots of channels in it, that enable the fluid to move through it

And move away from the bodyThe middle layer is a really absorbent water-loving materialso it's able to hold on to the fluidAnd then the outer layer of the underwear is water impermeableSo it stops the water from leaking onto your clothesPeriod flow is usually actually not as great of volume as we think so it's only a few teaspoons in a day

And these materials are able to hold that quite wellAnd what about the steak thing? How does that work?I believe all of these products will have an antimicrobial agent added to themAnd this coats the fibresthen some of this material's released and it will kill the bacteria or the fungiand keep everything smelling nice because in the end, it's the bacteria or fungi that make the smell

But what does your everyday bleeder think? Well, this is where we throw to the Flow Hotline Flow hotlineSo tell me what your thought of the period underwearYeah, I do like them and I suppose because I do have a heavier flowI never solely rely on them except for maybe like on the last day of my periodI always use them with a menstrual cup

AhhhSo how have you found the absorption of them?If you don't have a very heavy flow I think they'd be fineAnd what experiences would you like to share today?I didn't realise but the gusset can actually disintegrate if you have acidic dischargeWhoa, bombshell

Which was a surprise!Any leakages?I suppose they have occasionally leaked when I first bought themand I I first bought them tonight, and I was sort of relying on them solely over nightSo that was just a matter pf learning how they could work for meI really love them actually

They're just like underpants They're greatAt least for me period undies came with a whole bunch of fun discoveriesand pros and cons to be honestOn the pro side they're night time appropriate so you can wear them instead of padsThey can be worn postpartum or on heavy discharge daysAnd they come in all sorts of different absorbency levels

So you can choose the right one for your flow at that timeSome of them hold up to a couple of tampons worth of bloodOn the con side, these things can take up to 48 hours to dryMine took around 24 to 36And this means you can't really get away with just one pair of period on these for your whole cycleYou're gonna need at least three in my opinion to get you started

One for day one for night a wandering rotation while they're dryingAnd finally, the sizing is pretty important on these thingsBecause they're made snug so they don't leak but they can also feel pretty tightSo make sure you do the research on the ones that you want to buyThat's it for todayIf you want more information on period undies head to the ABC life website

And please like, share, subscribe, follow all the things and I'll see you next time

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