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Step aside old, fading granny pants designated for your monthly menstruation - hi-tech period pants can offer a complete alternative to tampons, pads and cups - allowing you to flow freely. Yep, it’s part three of our plastic-free period series.

So this week we're talking period pants. Compared to menstrual cups and reusable menstrual pads - these may seem like a new product on the market. But did you know - pants we we know them today - were created to meet our monthly needs.

In 1928 "sanitary bloomers" were being advertised as night wear during your period. Before that women's underwear was usually open between the legs! By 1935 pants were being sold for non-menstruating days as well!

How many pants have you sent to the underwear graveyard?

Now 'fess up - how many pairs of pants have you relegated to the underwear graveyard due to leakages and staining? Reusable period-proof pants might be the earth-saving and pants-saving alternative you were looking for!

Hi-tech period pants

Many of you may have heard of THINX as they've been marketing aggressively with provocative ads in the last six months (or perhaps that's just my echo chamber after searching for so many period products!) but there are also a range of other brands in the same market including; WUKA , Pretty Clever Pants, Dear KateS  - for a full list check out Menstrual Cup Reviews list

The main differences between the brands are those that have a waterproof barrier so no leaking - but not all of them offer high absorbency - so that's what you'll need to look out for when making your choice. WUKA include a range that can hold up to x4 tampons worth (approx 20ml), THINX x2 tampons worth (10 ml) and Dear Kate x1 (8 ml) tampon's worth. Dear Kate boasts 0% plastic in their range but market themselves as a backup in addition to your other menstrual products and a replacement to pantyliners against discharge. So it really depends on your own personal flow, if your period is light they can often completely replace your other products.

Most brands come in a range of sizes and styles from hipsters, high waist full briefs to shorts and thongs. Some of the larger pants, hold more blood, up to two tampons worth in the Thinx range, the thongs are recommended for lighter days holding one quarter of a tampon. Thinx have just launched organic cotton pants that are supposed to be more breathable. Dear Kate and Thinx have subsequently added to their range with 'Go commando' yoga pants and training shorts respectively - no more dodgy sweat patches, VPL or chaffing. Just let it all flow.

Caring for them doesn't sound too strenuous, THINX suggests rinsing first, wash in a mesh laundry bag with your other delicates in a cold wash and hang dry. That's it. Fabric softeners and dryer sheets are a no no across the different brands.

They don't come cheap either - with THINX and WUKA starting at £25, Dear Kate as £33/ $44 USD / $55 AUD. Go-commando yoga pants are at full price at £75 / $99 USD / $130 AUD  and THINX training shorts are £50 / $65 USD $88 AUD. There are often discounts when you buy a set and there are often coupons available for your first purchase as well - so do hunt around.

However, credit to these brands most in our research offer a 40-60 day no-quibble money back guarantee and others offer one-year warrantee.

Extra benefits

Did you know what one in three women who have had a baby suffers incontinence? Many of these high tech pads can absorb pee as well - meaning we can sneeze or laugh without worrying and still feeling good in their pants. They can also be used for postpartum discharge and endometriosis flow. Yep, it's messy - but it happens, let's be open about it.

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