Does period underwear work?

Does period underwear work? It's a question I asked myself as I first started looking into period underwear as an option for my daughter when she starts her periods. Mine started when I was around 10, so I wanted her to be prepared in case hers started early too. I didn't want to recommend something that I hadn't tried, and I was really intrigued as to how and whether or not they work.

Firstly, what is period underwear and how does it work? The idea of period underwear is that it is super-absorbent and you can wear them without any other form of sanitary protection. You can bleed freely into the underwear and it doesn't leak. Then you rinse the pants out and pop them through the washing machine (without fabric conditioner). I ordered three pairs from Modibodi, two super-absorbent pairs for heavy flow or overnight and one pair of medium flow.

The underwear from ModiBodi is made from Bamboo, Merino Perform Wool and Microfibre, making it incredibly absorbent. The fabric is breathable, super-slim and odour-fighting, so you don't get any smell at all. You can purchase different absorbency levels of underwear for the varying days of your period.

modibodi underwear

I was incredibly sceptical and didn't anticipate that they would work completely. I thought they would leak, especially at night. I couldn't have been more wrong. They are a total game-changer and work like magic. I still can't get my head around how well they work. Previously I often used to leak at night as I have quite heavy periods. I would wake up the next morning, look at the sheets and sigh, then change and wash the sheets. The underwear has worked every single time at night and has surpassed all my expectations. There have been no leaks at all.

I know this sounds ridiculously cliched, but period underwear has changed my life. When I wear them it's like I am not even on my period. You can exercise in them. I can go for long walks in them and not worry about chafing from pads or a tampon leaking. The underwear is not thick and it doesn't rustle or make a noise when you move. It's really amazing. They wash well. I pop them in a normal washing load with the rest of the washing. Just make sure you don't use fabric conditioner as that can impact on the absorbency.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy them for my daughter. Modibodi do a Red range, aimed at children aged 8+. The underwear helps to normalise a period and also takes huge steps towards eradicating period shame. I was so, so embarrassed by my period and how my body was 'letting me down' by doing this every month. I hid it from my own family and my friends. I think because I went through puberty relatively young, I didn't really understand what was going on.

From a sustainable perspective, the underwear is not plastic unlike pads and tampons. Even the packaging was recyclable which was a huge bonus for me. Although the underwear is relatively expensive, you're going to be wearing it once a month for a long time rather than throwing away a few pads a day or a few tampons a day. The fabric they use is biodegradable too, so excellent for the environment.

I have since bought some extra pairs from Cheeky Wipes, but these haven't worked as well for me on heavy days, due to the absorbent layer not being quite long enough at the front for me, but I can wear them on the lighter days of my period. I have yet to try any other brands, but have heard great things about Wuka (a friend runs ultra-marathons in them) and Thinx too.

So, does period underwear work? In my honest opinion, not only does it work, but it's a total game-changer. It is better for you personally as the fabric is breathable, it's great for the environment and you can exercise freely and not worry about being on your period. I am definitely a convert, and period underwear is the route I shall be going with my daughter when she reaches that point.

Disclosure: Links to Modibodi and Cheeky Wipes are affiliate. I bought all the underwear myself and have not been gifted any products.