I’m a big fan of reusable period products. About two years ago I swapped to amenstural cup and slowly started to incorporate reusable pads into my cycle for the lighter days. Although I’m a big lover of my cup, having moved in with my partners family, and then going into lockdown where everyone is home all the time, I’ve found it hard to sanitize my cup without someone else in the kitchen seeing what I'm doing and I feel like every time I go to clean it, I'm sneaking around trying not get caught and when it comes to the privacy needed when emptying it down the loo, well there is never a peaceful moment as someone is always knocking to see when they can take their turn.
Trying to find a way to not resent my period during lockdown and after seeing lots of glowing reviews around period pads, I bit the bullet and decided to give them a go. As a plus sized girl I always try and do tonnes of research on brands where I can’t make a return, which is the case for period pants, and it usually makes me really wary about buying pricier products when I’m not sure if they'll even fit properly.
I had a look at all the big names in the period pants game, SheThinx, ModiBodi, Flux and HeyGirls and it's safe to say here are plenty of options no matter what style you like, from boxer shorts to thongs and briefs to big ol' granny pants. But for me it had to be a highwaist pair of pants and I wasn’t quite ready to spend £25 on a product I didn’t know if I would love.
My first pair of period pants was from HeyGirls who run a 'Buy One, Give One' scheme meaning when you purchase a product, they donate one to a person in need. I bought one of their highwaist options in this really pretty mesh instead of standarad black cotton which made the pants feel a little prettier than normal and they also hold up to 5 tampons worth of blood. The sizing is a S-XL system which means I did have to take a bit of a punt with these but for only £16 I thought it was worth it. When they arrived I used them on my heaviest period day and although they were a squeeze to get in, the actual period part felt great. It didn’t rub or chafe like disposable pads, I didn’t need to worry about wings or leaks or spills and they looked cute. If you're between sizes I would defintley recommend going for the one up for a little extra room and comfiness.
They work the same way as a pad but I found them to be more absorbent and they have a special layer across the top, so you don’t feel anything wet but you’ll know when it’s time to change them. It honestly feels like wearing normal underwear. Off the success of the HeyGirls pants, I did some more digging and discovered Love Luna, which is sold exclusively in Sainsbury’s (if you can ever get your hands on them as they always seem to be sold out). The reviews were great, they offered UK sizes which means instead of risking it on a ‘Large’ I could actually buy the size I needed and they were only £10. Less than half the price of the big period names and a thousand times worth it. I bought the ‘Period Full’ pants which hold 3-4 tampons worth and the sizing is perfect, they’re all cotton so not exactly pretty, but so comfortable.
I’ve used the Sainsbury’s ones for three periods now and I’m honestly in love – so much so that I bought a second pair from Love Luna and now use these at the start and end of my period with my cup in between for the heaviest part. The washing part of reusables was nothing new for me as I already do this with my reusable pads and all they need is a quick rinse in cold water before washing it at 30 degrees with the rest of darks. The thought of rinsing the blood out might scare you a little but if you've ever had to wash a leak from bedding or underwear it's the same process so don't panic.
I cannot stress how easy it is to use the period pants. No stressing about accidently dropping your cup in the loo, no worrying about the pads moving in your pants throughout the day or trying to remember just how long you've had your tampon in for. You just pop them on and crack on. I found the all cotton ones from Love Luna to be the ultimate pair of comfort pants and I can't recommend them enough. I know that even a tenner can be a bit much for something that won't see you through your whole cycle but even if you only use one pair, that's still about 3-4 tampons that you're saving from landfill each time you have a period and I definitely think they're worth it.
- Nellie, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator