Read This Before You Try Period Underwear

Pads, tampons, and menstrual cups chat anyone? Our periods might not lead to the most glamorous of discussions, but hey, at least in this modern age we have options. And one of the alternatives growing in popularity is period underwear. According to Wired, period underwear is a more eco-friendly alternative to disposable pads and tampons. It's also a way to bleed freely without it feeling damp down there or leaking through your jeans.

Bleed freely? That's basically the antithesis of what we've been taught to do since the day of our very first period. So it's understandable why you might be nervous about things like odor or hygiene. But not to worry. Nicole Sparks, MD, an Atlanta-based ob-gyn, shares with Women's Health, explaining, "Period panties are sanitary and are designed with anti-microbial and moisture-wicking properties to prevent odors."

But surely it feels like you're wearing a diaper, right? Not according to reviews. Good Housekeeping explains that period underwear both looks and feels like regular underwear, but are designed with a special layer that helps avoid any potential leaks. They come in a variety of different styles from boy shorts to hip huggers. And even thongs for the brave (yikes).

Menstruation by the numbers

What about the cost? As shown by Wired, period underwear requires a bit of upfront investment. A pair averages between 15 to 45 dollars, making tampons appear to be the cheaper initial option for when Aunt Flo comes to town. But after doing the math for what protection against leaks will cost us in the long-term, we're suddenly not so sure. Huffington Post points out that tampons bought over the course of adulthood can add up, making a woman pay around $1,773.33 on average!

Since you don't throw out your new underwear like you would a pad or tampon, it's important to know how to care for them. According to Thinx, washing period underwear is quite simple. You can throw them in with the rest of your laundry and wash on a delicate setting in cold temperatures, and hang them to dry afterwards.

We're happy to have yet another alternative to help us during that time of the month. Now if only we could find a calorie-free option for those overwhelming PMS cravings!