If you have never ridden a crimson tide or been on your rags that means you are a man. Every woman «stains» herself. And there is only one way to «clear the skirts» — is to use blood. Menstruation shouldn’t be so taboo. Yeah, we bleed every month. It is inevitable to avoid leaking. But that can just make you do the laundry and that’s all.
A stain runs on a light blue denim skirt. I cover it with a handbag, sneaking to a restroom. A reflection shows all the damage. It is impossible to wash the skirt right now as anyone may get in the room. I reach out for a coat, covering my buttocks with the handbag. At home, it turned out that the skirt can’t be saved because the bloody stain comes off with the color.
I am fourteen years old and it seems to me that spoilt clothes are a little sacrifice to the gods of menstruation. It would have been much worse if some classmate had noticed my disaster.
In the late nineties during my period, I used only huge pieces of cotton wool which had to be torn and spread correctly. I had to check during every break if everything was okay. I don’t remember my first pad or tampon. One day they just became part of the life and made it much better. Of course, you have to be careful at that time of the month. However, you can’t compare it with the times when you had to use cotton wool or pieces of cloth and then to wash and re-use such rags. Eww! I didn’t even think of the improvement of these things. But then I found out about a menstrual sponge. I tried it and took an interest in feminine hygiene. It turned out, surprisingly, that manufacturing of menstrual products was not highly developed.
DON’T BE SHY!
The first tampon in its present form was invented in 1931. The adhesive strip on pads was created only in 1969. That was already 8 years after Gagarin’s journey into outer space. The menstrual cup has been sold since the eighties, but most people have never heard about it.
«Seriously?! Three major innovations in the entire 20th century? We get a new phone every single year, but you are telling me that 50 years have gone by between the invention of the tampon and invention of menstrual cup?», says Miki Agrawal, a founder and CEO of Thinx. «Luckily, today there are some great moves made in the feminine hygiene space».
Miki created Thinx panties. These are period-proof panties which can be worn with or without a tampon.
Miki wants not only to make our life more comfortable, but also to remove the menstrual taboo. At the age of 33, you can easily tell how diaper-like pieces of cotton leaked and ruined a cool and stylish skirt. When I was 14 years old I’d prefer to turn into ashes if somebody found out it.
I ordered the «magic» panties as soon as I heard about them.
I must say that the wait was long. Of course, five months are nothing in comparison with 50 years between the tampons and menstrual cups inventions. At first, Thinx tried to send the order to Kyiv, Ukraine, then to Shenzhen, China. I contacted with Maria from customer support service more often than with some of my friends. After all, I got the panties only in San Francisco. Nevertheless, Thinx assured that they were working on reduction of international shipping time to 10 days.
IT’S IN YOUR BLOOD
I ordered black Cheeky underwear. The panties have a thin lining and lace trimming. The fabric is glossy outside and cotton is soft inside. There is a bit thick gusset, but it is thinner than a panty liner. The panties fit perfectly. They don’t differ from the usual underwear at all.
«Test drive» of Thinx panties was rough. I moved out that day. Most things including my make-up bag with all hygiene products were already in the car. I stayed in the flat for a couple of hours to wait for the homeowner and return the keys. He was late for half an hour, than for two more. I sat on a beige couch, trying not to check every five minutes if the couch was still beige.
I had worn the period panties for six hours before I got to a new flat. I had no accidents and I didn’t feel like I wore a diaper. There was no smell, no discomfort. I would only note about the absorption. It seems to me that pads absorb faster.
Thinx Hiphugger underwear for «heavy days» holds up to 2 tampons’ worth. My Cheeky panties hold up to 1 tampon’s worth and are for «light days». You can wear them with a tampon or a cup just in case. Then they become more durable. As the Thinx website says, «no one knows your flow better than you, so you’ll be the best judge of what works!»
The Thinx underwear needs special care. You need to rinse it first. Then you can wash it in the washing machine with cold water, but you shouldn’t use any softener and dryer. The creators say that if using properly, the panties will be in use as long as ordinary underwear.
The main question is how safe this innovation is. Blood is perfect for bacterial growth. A gynecologist Dmitry Lubnin explained that it is necessary to create conditions under which blood wouldn’t mass up and stand too long in a vagina. That’s why a pad is better than a tampon or a cup. So, the period panties are also suitable for feminine hygiene. On the other hand, you have to change a pad every 4 hours, so that bacteria won’t reproduce and do harm. Does period underwear solve this problem? Shama Amalean, a co-founder of Thinx: «The antimicrobial layer is a safe, silver application which is the same technology used on medical end-use products. It lasts the life-time of the product provided the product is cared for as instructed. The antibacterial application doesn’t stop having an effect after a particular number of hours. So you can wear it all day and it will retain its effect».
It seems to me that the panties absorb less quickly than pads which can be a problem. «Some women have allergic rashes to feminine hygiene products even if they change them every hour», says Olga Loginova, a gynecologist. «Contacts with blood for healthy mucous membrane are not critical. Unfortunately, a lot of girls have gynecological disorders. So, it is better not to wear such underwear with tight jeans and pants.»
My final verdict — get these panties. You can wear this underwear during flights, traveling, hiking and other events for support in case of leaking. It is a «life jacket» for those who have plentiful bleeding. It is a perfect option for the first day of menstruation when you think «It might be today», but you don’t know whether it starts in an hour or in the evening. Such panties also make you environmentally-friendly as they help to reduce hygiene products waste which is great.
Of course, if you have a teenage daughter, you should order period panties for her. If you have a son, you should tell him not only about where babies come from but also about the female genital organs. Tell him that every woman, including his mother, rides a crimson tide. It is as normal and shameless as his emissions or spontaneous erections.
By the way, what will you tell your son to do if he notices a stain on a girl’s skirt or pants? Will he distract his classmates, pretending to have a faint? Share your ideas.
P.S. A new bloody articles are coming. I’ve tried Dear Kate panties and going to test a smart menstrual cup called LoonCup. I was promised to get it in January. Then the delivery was delayed until June. Well, I got used to waiting.
Photo: Thinx, Cilantro