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Period Underwear 101: What is Period Underwear?

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

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Period Underwear for Beginners

Period Underwear for People Who Bleed

Period underwear is designed with moisture-wicking fabric that soaks up menstrual blood (about 3-4 tampons worth of blood). They are created to be comfortable and trap liquid in the crotch panel in their absorbent material (aka leakproof). Brands generally have an antimicrobial layer so that there is no odor attached to the underwear as you wear it.

When to Use Period Underwear

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As reinforcement: Sometimes, you want to have an extra layer of protection when using a tampon, pad, menstrual disc, or menstrual cup. Period underwear can help bring relief and peace of mind right when you need it.

At the start of your period: For some people who bleed, the flow may be a little lighter or is starting to pick up at the beginning of your period. Period underwear can hold 3-4 tampons worth of liquid which may be the perfect alternative to pads or tampons.

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At Night/Overnight: Sleeping while on your period can be an extreme sport for some folks. Since you can wear period underwear for up to 12 hours, you'll be able to sleep through the night without worrying about staining your bedsheets.

During The Fourth Trimester, aka Postpartum Period: Period underwear is discrete (unnoticeable through clothes), which can be a gamechanger for some folks. As your body is discharging lochia in the early postpartum period, period underwear (disposable or reusable) may provide much-needed comfort.

Post-abortion care: Having period underwear for post-abortion care can help with the care your body needs. Some people may experience light bleeding, and period underwear can be a relief.

What if I don't wear panties?

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There are boxer-brief style, full-coverage underwear perfect for people who feel gender-affirmed in briefs. These briefs or trunks can hold between 3-4 tampons and even have options that hold up to 8 tampons worth of blood.

How to care for reusable period underwear

Each reusable period underwear has its own instructions guide (read the cleaning instructions!). A general care guide for period underwear:

Etta's Embrace LLC how to care for period underwear

To close out, here is a reminder:


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