The days of bulky pads and uncomfortable tampons are long gone. The 21st century has been a great time for periods so far, with the period industry turning out reusable, comfortable, affordable, and environmentally friendly products. One of the most recent up-and-comers in the period market is absorbent period underwear for tweens and teens.
The idea of period underwear is great in theory, but does it work in practice? Is period underwear for tweens and teens a viable option? We explore these questions and more to give you the info on period underwear for your tween or teen.
What is Period Underwear for Tweens?
First, what actually is period underwear? Basically, they are exactly what they sound like: underwear you wear on your period. While different companies make their period underwear with different methods, most consist of a regular looking pair of underwear with extra absorbent layers in the gusset. Some have leakproof layers, others have odourless layers, but the function is always the same: absorbent underwear that won’t leak during your period.
How Does Period Underwear Work?
Period underwear works much the same way as a pad, except instead of placing an absorbent layer over your underwear, it’s sewn into the fabric itself. By incorporating the absorbancy into the gusset, the entire absorbent layer can move with your body, absorbing any leaks that pads and tampons can miss.
We know what some of you’re thinking: isn’t that a nappy? Thanks to streamlined and stylish design, most period underwear is slim enough to be indistinguishable from normal underwear - no unsightly bunching to be seen. What’s more, the moisture-wicking technology means that you’ll likely feel dryer down there than when using a pad.
How Long Can You Wear Period Underwear For?
The length of wear of period underwear for teens ultimately depends on the make and the user’s flow. Most brands offer a range of absorbency levels, with light underwear designed for light periods, holding less than a tampon’s worth, and heavier underwear holding up to 4 tampons’ worth.
For the average flow, period underwear is designed to be worn all day, with overnight underwear to be worn while you sleep. This range allows you to continue your usual underwear habits without having to change throughout the day or night. Your tween should be fine to wear them on a school day, but we recommend she try them out at home first to get a feel for how they work for her unique body and flow.
Is Period Underwear Hygienic?
When used correctly, period underwear is just as hygienic as any other period product. However, just like any other period product, period underwear can become unhygienic when used incorrectly. The key to keeping your period underwear hygienic is to follow the washing and wear recommendations from the company you bought them from.
When investing in period underwear for tweens and teens, hygiene can become an issue due to lack of education. Make sure you have the hygiene conversation with your tween so that she is aware of the risks of thrush and UTIs and knows how to properly clean and wear her period underwear for the appropriate amount of time.
How to Wash Period Underwear
Keeping period underwear clean is what will ultimately keep everything hygienic. All brands have varying cleaning practices, but most follow the rules of common sense. Wash or at least rinse period underwear directly after use. How to wash period underwear is usually as simple as throwing in the washing machine on cold with the rest of the laundry.
Does Period Underwear Actually Work?
Now for the big question: does period underwear for tweens and teens actually work? Unfortunately, this question doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. Some people love their period underwear and never experience any leaks, others can’t stand them.
Many users recommend using period underwear in conjunction with pads, tampons, or menstrual cups, using it as more of an emergency barrier than their primary period product. They are also particularly praised for being perfect on those days leading up to or coming off your period to catch any unexpected spotting.
Overall it seems that the general consensus is that, even if your tween or teen can’t solely rely on her period underwear to catch her flow, it is nice to have an extra layer of defence there, just in case.
Is There Period Underwear for Swimming?
Believe it or not - yes! Not all brands offer period swimwear, but brands such as Modibodi, AWWA, and Ruby Love all create leakproof period underwear for swimming. Most of these don’t venture into heavy absorbency, but all should last a swim so that your tween or teen can stay active and cool on their period without stressing about leaks.
Where to Buy Period Underwear
Period underwear has been around for years, but until recently it could only be found online or in specialty stores. As period underwear for tweens and teens has become more popular, mainstream underwear sellers have begun stocking their shelves with absorbent undies. Now you even buy period underwear for tweens and teens in your local grocery store. Here are a few brands we recommend.
Where to Buy The Best Period Underwear Australia
The Bonds brand of period underwear is super accessible as it’s stocked at most Woolworths shopping centres. They sell a wide range of their ‘bloody comfy’ period undies in various fun styles, catering for light to heavy flows, ranging in price between $20 and $30.
One of the original Australian period underwear brands known for their all-inclusive products is Modibodi. Their prices start at around $20, rising up to $30 for their higher absorbency products and offering decent discounts if you buy multiple pairs in packs. They even have a range of period underwear for tweens and teens called Modibodi Red, coming in fun colours and designs your tween will love.
Another great Australian brand that sells period underwear for tweens and teens is Love Luna. On top of a wide range of affordable period underwear starting at just $15, they also sell reusable pads and menstrual cups, acting as your one-stop-shop for sustainable period supplies.
Looking for more variety? Here are a some trusted international brands that deliver to Australia:
Is Period Underwear For Tweens and Teens?
Ultimately, it will depend on your tween or teen’s preferences, but overall period underwear is a great place to start. Menstrual cycles can be tricky to manoeuvre in those first years. Having an unintimidating option that looks just like normal underwear and will catch unexpected leaks can provide a great deal of comfort and support to your tween as they learn more about their flow.
Looking for more articles on raising tweens and teens? Check out our blog.