How comfortable are you around your monthly cycle? I feel fortunate that I’ve figured out some things over the years that make being a menstruating person a lot easier. But it was a long, long process—one that I wish had taken a bit less time. I used tampons for years before switching over to a menstrual cup, a sustainable option that is pretty much reusable forever. (I’ve used mine for many years and it performs no differently than day 1.) But my heavy flow meant that even a trusty menstrual cup couldn’t guarantee no leaks. I have felt so uncomfortable stuck at a desk at the office, back when I had a corporate job, embarrassed to keep going to the bathroom.
So when Modibodi asked if I’d be willing to try a period underwear, I was eager yet skeptical. It was hard for me to believe that underwear that feels and looks like regular underwear could really replace a menstrual cup or a tampon. I received a pair of Classic Bikini in moderate to heavy flow ($25.50) and washed it in advance to “activate” the technology before the first wear.
The company is built on the idea of sustainability and women’s empowerment. 90% of their fabrics are preferred (recycled, biodegradable, minimally processed) or better (renewable, recycled, biodegradable, responsibly grown). Their packaging uses FSC-certified paper and I am happy to report, truly minimal. (Remember back when I called out PACT Organic’s terrible plastic footprint?) Instead of plastic poly bags (like PACT, tsk tsk), Modibodi uses biodegradable poly bags, which I was super happy to put in my compost bin. Of course, every underwear (designed to last three years) replaces hundreds of tampons.
The underwear is made with bamboo, viscose, and a little bit of spandex. Note: although it’s partially made of biodegradable fabric, the presence of spandex means it isn’t compostable—but for me, this isn’t an issue. (It’s supposed to last three years, not one time!) The underwear feels very breathable and natural, even the absorption padding. Putting it on without any other protection (bye, menstrual cup!) was an anxiety-inducing experience—but I quickly got used to the sensation. First, it was lovely to have my period and not feel something inside my vagina or just outside of it. It was really like wearing a regular underwear. I won’t go so far as to say I felt “cute,” but I did feel more like my normal self, not my “period day 1” self.
I continued to be impressed by how quickly the underwear wicked away moisture from my skin so that my body could just let things flow, as nature intended, instead of trapping it in a contraption for hours before dislodging it and throwing it out. My one complaint about the menstrual cup is that it can get pretty annoying to push things up and out for days, and I usually get fatigued of that aspect before my cycle is over.
The cleaning aspect was super simple as well. Once your underwear has reached its absorption limits, you just handwash it and wring out the excess blood, then throw it in the laundry before wearing again. (Hang dry for best results.) While I was washing my underwear, I went back to the menstrual cup with normal underwear, and already missed the freedom of a period underwear.
Alas, a period underwear is not 100% leak-proof. You do have to be vigilant and stay aware of how much absorption it has left. For me, this was no big problem—I was working from home, so as soon as I realized it had reached capacity, I just took care of it. Plus, this only happened on the heaviest one or two days, max. I am totally okay with fortifying my Modibodi with a menstrual cup on the heaviest days, and using just the underwear on lighter days.
So how do I really feel about my period underwear? Let’s just say that this goes under those things that I wish I’d discovered WAAAY earlier as a woman, along with premium shampoo and conditioner and menstrual cup. Good hair, peaceful period. These things are, like, the basic rights of all womenkind. I can’t wait to welcome my next cycle with serenity of mind, having gifted myself with the best tools for this natural part of being a woman.
Get more like this—Sign up for our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!