Ask Shelley: Is Period Underwear A Good Option?

The upside and downside to period underwear and reusable pads.

I am wondering if Shelley recommends period underwear? I use pads mostly but am thinking of switching to period underwear because I saw them online. I don’t like tampons, so I feel like the underwear would be similar to the pads but more comfortable. They are quite expensive though so I want to make sure it’s a good idea first – Anna, 17

Shelley says:

You have two options here reusable pads and period underwear. They are both made of reusable absorbent materials and need to be correctly washed after each use. Reusable pads are shaped like disposable pads, and usually have fastenings like buttons or snap fasteners to secure to your underwear, not adhesives. Period underwear have the pad part built into where you would usually place it and come in varied designs and styles.

The main appeal of these reusable period supplies is environmental; you save so much waste not disposing of pads and tampons every period. But you can also save money, in the long run. These alternatives are definitely more expensive up front, but ultimately save you money, as you use the same set over and over rather than a new box of pads or tampons each month. The downside is the washing, as you always need to do a separate cold wash with no fabric softener, after having rinsed your underwear/pad as soon as possible after use. There are lots of online shops to buy these products, and lots of Irish health stores also carry popular brands.

Whatever is right for you is best to use and learning what is right for you comes from trying to use it!”

Check out more advice on periods and puberty in our Ask Shelley series here.

If you’d like advice on mental health, stress or worries, you can ask Dr Sarah. Check out some topics she’s covered here. 

If you’ve got a question you need help with, you can DM us via Instagram or email editor with the subject line Ask Shelley or Ask Dr Sarah.


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