My New Year's Resolution for 2020 was to be more eco-conscious, and so far I think I'm doing pretty well.
I bought the beeswax food wrap, I have the reusable straw and I have steered well and truly clear of unethical fashion — but until recently my wasteful period habits remained unchanged.
Don't get me wrong, I've tried in the past. There are some wild products out there (sea sponge in your hoo-ha anyone?) but I figured the menstrual cup couldn't be that different to a tampon in terms of insertion. I absolutely could not get it to work. I fiddled, I folded, I got into all sorts of positions but I personally just couldn't win.
I think my concerns heading into what is essentially a free-bleed into underwear were fairly standard. For starters, could I even trust them? Typically, my period lasts about five days, with the first couple being fairly heavy. Testing the undies out over those heavy days was a little nerve-wracking and I definitely wore a lot of black — but it was totally fine. There wasn't even a close call.
I think it helped that Modibodi have a guide rating their undies from 'light' to 'heavy' flow days, letting you know how many tampon's worth of blood each holds, so it makes it easy to pick an appropriate pair.
Just for the record, I go to the gym a lot and I wore the undies with no problems. Although they do also soak up your sweat so you're going to want to wash them pretty fast once you're done.
My next concern was being stuck with a squelchy feeling between my legs all day (I'm so sorry I used the word squelchy). Remember that London marathon runner years ago who chose to free bleed because it was uncomfortable for her to run with a tampon? For some reason, period undies always remind me of her, because at the time I was like QUEEN, but also could not get over how messy and damp that must have been.
Turns out, this was also a non-concern for me. It's so weird because the undie padding is a lot thinner than a pad, yet it feels so much dryer even at the end of the day.
My final concern was with washing them. Two-to-three tampons worth of blood is no small amount, and I just didn't believe I could simply chuck them in a regular wash with all my other clothes. This concern was mostly quashed by my sister scoffing at me because she washed my nephew's dirty poo diapers in regular washes and there was no issue. Honestly, this is the only reason I gave it a go.
She was not wrong, though. Modibodi's care instructions say to rinse them in cold water until the water runs clear then wash them on a cold, delicate cycle without fabric softener. If I'm totally honest though, at this point I've even washed them without rinsing first with all whites and it was all totally fine. As a pro tip, I've also found that hanging them inside out dries them much faster.
Anyway, as I said, I'm absolutely a convert now and have been telling everyone with a uterus they should absolutely give them a go. Although, they're actually also for incontinence, so maybe I should just be telling everyone.