Not too long ago, if someone said the words ‘period’ and ‘panties’ in succession, I would have imagined something along the lines of those big ol’ knickers from Bridget Jones’ Diary – a big, practical pair that most menstruators own and whip out at ‘that time of the month’ for extra comfort and protection.

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But now, period panties have become something else entirely.

Panties for your period

Period panties have been getting attention online, but until recently they weren’t available in South Africa. They have now officially landed and I was sent a pair from Feel Good & Co to give a test run.

I won’t lie, I was scared. Even though my flow is moderate, I still thought there was no way a pair of panties would be able to absorb everything. And if they did, there’s not a chance I’d be feeling fresh by the end of the day. I was also expecting them to be decidedly not cute, so imagine my surprise when I opened my parcel to find these…

period panties, menstruation, menstruators, wellness, underwear, period, blood

Flowers not included

These are from the Australian brand Modibodi, and they are pretty enough to be worthy of a spot in my underwear drawer. They also come in different colours and fits, so everyone’s personal tastes are catered for. Talk about inclusivity!

What do they do?

They come in light, moderate and heavy absorbency and can be used either as an extra barrier to give heavy bleeders peace of mind, or instead of other feminine hygiene products so that you can free bleed right into them. The heavy option can absorb up to two tampons’ worth of blood(!). They are super-absorbent, stain-resistant, leak-proof and moisture-wicking, so they have everything going for them.

Putting them to the test

Even though my flow is moderate, I opted for a heavy absorbency pair, a decision I made out of fear. Can these things REALLY absorb menstrual blood and not leak right through on to my office chair? I was about to find out.

While the crotch of these panties is obviously padded, the first thing I noticed when putting them on was how comfortable they were…  Almost like a soft cushion for my vagina. Bliss! The biggest hurdle for me was a mental one – when I feel something coming out, my natural instinct is to run to the bathroom and check, which I did. Each time I went everything was A-okay. And even after wearing them for a whole day at work, there was no dampness, no smell and no telltale signs of having bled into my underwear. I know – I was shocked, too!

Would I use them again?

While I am a bit of a menstrual cup fan girl who may or may not be trying to convert any menstruator who crosses my path, my Modibodi undies are definitely going to be my new go-to briefs for my lighter days. There is something about allowing my period to come out the way Mother Nature intended that makes me want to chant feminist anthems.

Whether you need added protection when wearing a pad, tampon or menstrual cup, or want to bleed freely but still have to go to your job and not leak all over the office, period panties really do cater to everyone. Watch this space, because I reckon they are going to be huge.