Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: THINX Underwear for Periods (Updated)

Disclaimer:  If you don't like talking or reading or thinking about periods at all, just stop here.  I purchased my own pair of THINX underwear to try them out for myself.  I was not asked to review, and all opinions and thoughts here are my own.

I read about THINX Period Panties on the news, because its ads causing controversy.  (I also had a lot of targeted Facebook and Instagram ads about them in my Newsfeed.)  I was really into the branding, because they were facing the public's discomfort with the word "period" and even the most mundane objects bringing menstruation to mind.

I don't like tampons, so I'd recently invested in a menstrual cup... but even that wasn't the most comfortable for me, especially in the early days as I suspect a visit from Aunt Flo is coming.  So these underwear intrigued me.  I wondered if I could use a "cycle set" to completely eliminate cups and pads and other products from my life entirely.  At a minimum, I loved that my purchase would trigger a donation to AFRIpads, which helps bring packs of washable and reusable pads to women in Uganda and other areas that need more sanitary conditions for women and their cycles.

Info from Thinx

I was excited to purchase a pair of THINX hiphuggers to test, but not about the $34 price tag... wowza!  But then I figured, if these work like they say they will, they'll be worth buying a set and keeping for a while.

Receiving my THINX:  My THINX arrived in a neat little package, with a claim of absorbing and blocking up to two tampons' worth of... yeah.  I knew they would be thick fabric, and have panels to help with the leak protection.  I liken them to swimsuit fabric in a way, because they feel thicker to the touch than your regular underwear.  That said, once you put them on, they're super comfy!

THINX Fit:  That said, their size chart is BONKERS.  I am a 10-12 normally, so a Large would seem to be right given their size chart.  But after reading many reviews, I ordered an XL... and I'm glad I did!  It was the right fit, and you can expect the fit to be snug given the work these need to do.  They have revised their fit so that it is true to size; I ordered more in size L and they fit just fine!

Testing THINX:  I decided that since I only had one pair, I would wait until my period started to try THINX on a light day, putting them on to sleep in overnight.  Then I would wash them, and test them on a heavy overnight.  Then I would wash them again, and test them during a light day at the end of my period.

Results:  Well, it didn't go as planned.  While my THINX worked super well overnight (no leaks!  clean sheets!  woohoo!  better than pads!)  so I threw on workout clothes and went for a short treadmill walk/run.  I figured I would toss the THINX into the wash while I showered.  Well, during the workout, the THINX definitely didn't hold up; I don't know if it was the sweat or the friction, but it didn't work.  I was super sad, and definitely not wanting to risk wearing them during the day.  I definitely wasn't at a heavy flow point, so they should have worked.

Later in my cycle, I wore them overnight again, and again no leaks.  I realized that for me, I wasn't confident enough in THINX to wear them during the day or solo.  I think they're perfect for when you're expecting your period to start or think it has ended, or for wearing overnight except on heavy nights.  I'm keeping my pair, but not considering buying another anytime soon, given the price.  I probably would have loved to have these in Iraq when I was in the Army, and bathrooms were fewer and farther between.

Update, May 2016:  I started to wear my THINX every cycle, wishing I had more pairs.  So I finally bought some!  I bought more Hiphuggers, as well as their Sport pairs.  For the heaviest day, a tampon + THINX is my perfect all-day combo for no leaks, but that's only on the worst day.  I actually wear THINX sometimes when I'm not on my period for air travel, because I just feel cleaner and better in them when I'm hustling and sweating and whatnot.  They fixed their sizing issue, and ordering a few pairs allowed me to take advantage of a their Cycle Set discount.  I've found that THINX have replaced my menstrual cup and tampons, as well as panty liners.  I still wear a pad sometimes, but those days are definitely ending with my THINX collection.

I do love how THINX has a charitable cause, as well as underwear that caters to trans men.  They also started an offshoot called Icon, which has underwear for women who "tinkle" form weak pelvic floors or other reasons, with purchase triggering a donation to the Fistula Foundation.  So while I give the underwear a C for effectiveness, I give the company an A for effort.

Have you, or would you, try THINX?

Disclaimer:  I purchased my own pair of THINX underwear to try them out for myself.  I was not asked to review, and all opinions and thoughts here are my own.

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