Period panties and cloth pads are re-usable products for when someone has their period. That means they can be washed and used many times, unlike regular pads and tampons that you throw out after using one time.
What do period panties and cloth pads look like?
Period panties usually look like regular cotton underwear but are a little bit thicker. This is because they have a couple of extra layers of fabric. These layers help absorb the blood that comes out of the vagina. Some period panties have removable inserts that go where a pad usually goes. (Over the lining of the pad, in the crotch area of the underpants.) This is so that you can put in fresh inserts and keep wearing the same underwear through the day.
Cloth pads are the same shape as disposable pads but they might look a little different. They are usually patterned or darker in colour and are made out of cotton. Some cloth pads have wings, which are little flaps that fold over the outside of the underwear. Wings can help keep the pad from slipping or bunching up.
Do they work? And are they clean?
Cloth pads and period panties work the same way regular pads do. They absorb the blood that comes out of the vagina. Most people who use them say that they work just as well as regular pads. They can be worn for up to 8 hours.
The one big difference between these and disposable menstrual products (like pads and tampons) is that you don’t throw out cloth pads or period panties the way you would regular pads. Instead, you wash them after each use. Sometimes people find cloth pads and period panties a bit difficult to use. This can be because you have to keep the used ones in a small bag or pouch until you can get home to wash them. They also might not like the way cloth products feel. That’s okay! There are lots of other options for menstrual hygiene products.
Cloth pads and period panties are hygienic, which means they are clean. You just have to make sure to rinse them and wash them with soap and water after each time you use them.
Why use them?
There are many reasons someone might want to use cloth pads or period panties.
- For those who are allergic or sensitive to disposable pads or tampons, cloth can be easier on your skin.
- If someone tried a menstrual cup but it didn’t feel comfortable or work well, cloth might feel better to use.
- Should someone want to stop using disposable products, cloth products can be re-used, so using them doesn’t create waste.
- As a back-up when wearing a menstrual cup or tampon.
Some people prefer cloth pads or period panties, and some don’t. It’s important to know that there is no “right” product to use for your period, except for the one that works for you! That could be cloth pads, regular pads, tampons, or menstrual cups. Check out the links below for more information on different kinds of menstrual products.