I’m not afraid to discuss all things period. In fact, I do it all the time when I host my session at MommyCon! I stand in front of a decently large crowd and show people how menstrual cups work while wearing uterus leggings (to scale) for educational purposes. It was only natural that when a company came out guns a blazing with period panties- advertised to take the place of menstrual products completely- people were like “KIM! WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THINX?”
Like the menstrual cup, I wasn’t running towards Thinx period panties. I referred to them in private convos as the “blood diaper” and as a former tampon/current menstrual cup user they didn’t appeal to me AT. ALL.
I finally ordered a pair because curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to form my own opinion for future questions about them. My underwear, after using a $10 off referral code, cost a whopping $28. I went with the high waist since these are great for under leggings for those of us with junk in the front. If you’re good with thongs you can pay $24 ($14 with a $10 off coupon) but these have less absorbency. For your viewing pleasure I photographed my “granny panties” for the world to see. #noshame
According to Thinx their panties can be worn as a backup to other products or used alone. Considering they have the amount of liquid each holds (the style I chose holds 1 1/2 tampon’s worth) on their website and packaging I decided to go all in and try it without other protection. Here is a timeline of my day and how it went. I wrote brief notes during the day and have pasted them here.
11:40 Finally showered, cup out, put on Thinx. Day 2 of cycle and my heaviest day.
1:43 Bathroom and wiped- no residue on top layer but 3+ wipes to get all blood off. Wishing I had a bidet.
2:30 Couch time. Can’t feel anything wet but have that sensation of stuff leaving my vag. Praying not to bleed on my re-upholstered vintage couch.
3:00 Bathroom. Something on top layer- mucous blood clots about a nickel in size, dark around that where fluid was trapped inside, lots of blood each wipe for 3 wipes. Pulled panties back on and they felt damp/cold but after a minute not noticed due to body heat.
5:10 Done. A good bit of mucous on top layer, quarter size. No leaks but could tell it was more than time. Took off Thinx and went with a cloth liner plus handy cup.
I had predicted on Facebook that I could wear a Thinx 5-6 hours based on their chart and my average Day 2 flow. I was pretty spot on with my timing since I wore them for 5.5 hours! #patsback I should have put some money on it!
I’ll admit that the panties were shockingly effective. The high waist model were true to size and very comfortable- I actually washed them and wore them again as back-up with my cup for my last day. I’ve worn the period panties from Lunapads and Thinx were much more breathable and they look like regular underwear which I love. Not only do they look like regular underwear, but they are so trim that even hanging to dry no one would guess there were absorbent layers in the crotch. (Thinx should be cared for like cloth diapers in some ways… rinse after wear, cold wash, hang to dry and no fabric softeners. You can still wash with regular clothing but storing in a reusable small wet bag would be ideal until wash day.)
Odor. I almost forgot this part. I did periodical sniff tests (fairly close to the underwear I might add…) and for my 5 hours even at the last hour there were no foul odors or anything that screamed I had been wearing undies soaked with menstrual blood for the day. On the full day it was worn as backup it was the same story, though to be honest they probably had no menstrual blood because my cup and I are besties and it’s almost 100% effective with the exception of a few “wiping leaks.”
The obvious drawback of Thinx (and pads of any kind) is that they won’t absorb the mucousy portion of menstrual flow, so it just kind of sits there until you go to the bathroom. This is why menstrual cups will ALWAYS be my #1 choice for my period. I’m not a pads person and they don’t have the comfort or convenience of cups. The Thinx panties were effective as long, even longer, than if I were wearing a regular cloth pad so color me impressed.
Thinx are well suited for back-up, absolutely. They feel no different than underwear while being worn so if needed or not it’s not a burden to wear them. They would also be great for those spotty days (or for those who just have very light, spotty periods) when it’s not enough to wear a cup but too much to go without a liner. Overnights? Excellent. Wear as insurance for your sheets. I have worn thin cloth liners on occasion and plan to replace the day or two I wear those with a pair of Thinx since they’re so much trimmer and wear the same as regular underwear. The idea that these would work full time is not ideal- changing a pair of underwear 5 hours into your day just won’t work. If they’re only being used for backup then they can last the full day or perhaps the full day on very light days. Their website is quite helpful in understanding how these work.
Here’s the tough part. The price. GULPS. If you had told me in college that I would pay $28 for a pair of panties I wouldn’t have believed you. It wasn’t even close to being in my budget. Even now it’s not a price I want to pay but I see the benefits of the product enough that having 1-2 is a good thing. A full set for a cycle? I would need a big traffic increase on this blog to be willing and able to throw that down for panties. They have a “buy one give one” model where for each pair of Thinx sold they donate to Afripads.
Thinx has devised a brilliant way of marketing their products that lets you refer people so if you want to buy Thinx and want more than 1 pair but just can’t right now you can spam your friends until they buy a pair and save $10 which gives you $10 in credits. You can start with my code to save $10 on a pair and if I make sudden “THINX millions” after this goes live maybe I can order up a few for a giveaway. I had been in discussions with a PR rep from Thinx to do a post and giveaway, we even had a phone call, but they never followed through with their plans. For that reason I ordered my own but it’s been frustrating that my plans for an earlier review and giveaway were dashed. Despite that frustrating experience the product is a good one and worth sharing.