“What are Period Pants? Are these better than single use pads and tampons?”

 “What are Period Pants? Are these better than single use pads and tampons?”

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Consider how inconvenient menstruating women find their'monthly periods' or'menses' to be. A modern alternative to sanitary napkins claims to eliminate the hassle of changing tampons, pads, or menstrual cups. Period pants guarantee women a product they can wear without worrying about leaks, pad changes, or contributing to landfills.Women and their menstrual cycles were mostly confined to private conversation until recently, when the science underpinning the biological occurrence and the commercial element of menstruation care products drove it out into the open.

Women do not ask for sanitary napkins from a pharmacy counter covered in a black cloak-like covering, as if they were making an illicit transaction. Much of the stigma around the normal body cycle has been removed by advertising and marketing. Women have utilised a variety of products to manage their menstrual flow. Menstruating women now have a new product to choose from, ranging from washable folds of absorbent cotton fabric inside ordinary underwear to commercially available sanitary napkins, tampons, the not-so-convenient and quite messy menstrual cups, and so on. 

What are period pants?

Period pants, also known as period panty or period underwear, are a pleasant adjustment and addition to the domain of menstruation. Period pants are going back to fundamentals, allowing you to use a garment that provides a dry, comfortable feeling without the guilt of adding another non-biodegradable pad to landfill sites. They're simply trousers that you put on when you're on your period. They have an absorbent gusset that absorbs and traps the blood. Period knickers come in a variety of styles and colours. The usage of a set of washable sections - cotton on the inside with an absorbent layer in the centre and a leakproof fabric on the exterior - maintains their fundamental design.

Three layers of absorbent fabrics are used in the ones available in India. Cotton or hemp are examples of such materials, which are worn during menstruation. They are cleaned, dried, and re-used. Period knickers in the United Kingdom feature a "three-layer gusset system," which includes a layer close to the skin that absorbs moisture and keeps wearers dry, a middle layer that absorbs blood, and an outer layer with an anti-leak membrane. 

"A cotton or polycotton mix, with an ultra-high-absorbency cloth stitched into the gusset" is the basic design of most of these period pants. It says that women can simply rinse the knickers in cold water before putting them in the washing machine with a regular load of laundry, but that the water temperature in the machine should be kept low because the synthetic fibres used in the gusset can degrade into microplastics and eventually seep into the oceans.

Period products statistics

  • Approximately 61 million Americans used sanitary pads and napkins in 2018, a number that is likely to stay steady in the future years. 

  • Most sanitary pads are made of plastic, which can take up to 800 years to degrade. 

  • In her lifetime, the average woman consumes 350 packs of plastic sanitary pads.

  • Up to 70% of women who are menstruating use tampons. In addition to tampons and pads, 20 to 50 percent of women use douches, sprays, and other hygiene products. 

  • Approximately twenty tampons are used by the 70% of women who use them every menstrual cycle. In their lifetime, women have an average of 456 periods, which equates to 9,120 tampons used.

Because of their reusability, menstrual cups are extensively utilised, particularly in Western nations. They also last for around 10 years. The use of reusable feminine hygiene items helps to reduce waste generated by disposable pads and tampons, which contain plastic, non-recyclable, and non-biodegradable components. Consequently, these products are labeled environmentally friendly. Most women in developing nations like India, South Africa, China, Thailand, and Indonesia are hesitant to use internal feminine hygiene products like menstrual cups and tampons, preferring instead to use sanitary napkins.

Are Period Pants better than single-use pads and tampons?

Women are becoming more knowledgeable about feminine hygiene products all around the world. The Asia-Pacific industry continues to favour sanitary pads, while the American market is progressively moving toward tampons and menstrual cups. Various types of sanitary napkins/pads, such as wings, excellent absorbents, thin pads, cotton-filled pads, scented pads, and so on, may be located in a range of supermarkets and even convenience stores, therefore expanding its worldwide market share.

With period underwear, there are no use-and-throw or single-use excesses. Period pants are a new frontier in modern menstruation, allowing women to menstruate without the waste of single-use products. Period pants are becoming more popular among menstruators as the negative environmental impact of single-use menstrual products becomes more widely recognised. Women are reacting to media stories and initiatives highlighting the environmental damage caused by the usage of disposable tampons and pads. Single-use menstrual products are a major source of plastic pollution: the average woman will use over 11,000 disposable, single-use menstrual products during her reproductive lifetime, and 100 billion period products are manufactured and discarded annually around the world, all of which will take more than 1,000 years to decompose. Period pollution is real, and because it's our collective goal to be more environmentally conscious in 2021 and beyond, investing in period underwear seemed like a good place to start. 

Because most of the chemicals in these products pollute groundwater and deplete soil fertility, disposing of them is a big concern. Incineration has been proposed as a landfill option; however, the operational expenses and additional environmental harm caused by harmful pollutants raise further concerns. One of the most significant obstacles to the expansion of the feminine hygiene products industry is environmental concerns. But it's not only the fact that they're good for the environment that makes them so amazing. They look and feel like regular underwear, but they absorb blood or discharge exceptionally well, making periods a whole lot simpler to cope with. Women don't have to bother about changing their tampons, and they eliminate odour, dampness, and make them feel cleaner. Women with incontinence, fibroids, or menopausal overflow, as well as those who choose not to use tampons for cultural or religious reasons, may benefit from period pants. Period pants are a discreet alternative to incontinence pads, especially in public restrooms.

There is no disposable element to period underwear, and there is very little plastic packaging. As a result, there is a significant reduction in environmental impact. Many period underwear companies have created their own extremely absorbent, chemical-free material. This is a fantastic feature for both the environment and period underwear users. Period underwear's only drawback is that it is not the most inconspicuous way of managing your period. Despite the fact that they are meant to seem like regular underwear, they are a little more apparent than your typical delicate, dainty underpants.

It's possible that the notion as a whole isn't genuinely revolutionary. Women wore "horrible rubber bloomers and aprons" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and period underwear is similar. Though period underwear may not completely remove the need for disposable items, lowering that requirement is a step in the right direction, as per a potentially fatal bacterial infection often related to tampon use. There are no tell-tale indicators that women are on their period when they use menstrual cups, but if they are not comfortable doing so, period underwear is a reliable, environmentally friendly, and sustainable alternative worth trying for the next cycle.


  1. https://www.asustainablelife.co.uk/a-beginners-guide-to-period-pants/

  2. https://www.statista.com/topics/4889/feminine-hygiene-market/

  3. https://onlinenursing.duq.edu/master-science-nursing/the-ultimate-guide-to-feminine-hygiene/

  4. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/06/heavy-flow-are-period-pants-the-revolutionary-solution-to-an-age-old-problem

  5. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/sep/01/the-rise-of-period-pants-are-they-the-answer-to-menstrual-landfill-and-womens-prayers

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