I received these items at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
A glance at my monthly cycle app tells me that my period will start on Monday. Or will it? There was a time that my period started like clockwork, 25 days after the last one, at about 12:05 pm. Seriously. It was down to the hour. Alas, those days are over. I am now in the early stages of menopause, when your once-predictable period becomes not-so-predictable. Last year, I once went 75 days without a period (woot woot!), but last month I was surprised by my period after only 20 days (ack!). But this month, I’m ready. This month, I’ve got Thinx on my side.
You may have already heard about Thinx, and if so, I’m guessing you were either intrigued or grossed out. I was definitely intrigued. And skeptical. Underwear that were absorbent and leak-proof? Underwear that could replace pads and tampons and eliminate the need for panty liners? I did a bit of research. I read a few reviews. But still, I needed to see for myself. Even though I’m entering menopause, I probably have a couple of years of unpredictable periods ahead of me. And as a Diva cup user, I could definitely use a backup at times (some days, it’s just seems like I just can’t get the damn thing situated properly!), and I would really love to do away with the stash of panty liners I keep for leaks and light days. And then I thought about my 13-year-old daughter who uses pads because she just doesn’t feel ready to tackle tampons. I thought she might be disgusted by the period underwear idea, but I was pleasantly surprised to find she was game to try them. I mean really, who doesn’t hate pads? Next, I balked at the expense. With a price range of $24 to $38 (US!!) getting enough to see you through a period is a bit of an investment. And that’s where Maman Loup comes in. Being her “cool aunt,” Maman Loup and I chat regularly. About all kinds of things. When I mentioned Thinx to her, she was similarly intrigued and thought they’d be of interest to her readers. So here we are. On with the review!
We were given a period set to facilitate our review. Since my daughter was keen to try them out, too, I asked for two pairs of boy shorts for her (still wondering why I didn’t ask for one pair of hiphuggers) and two pairs of cheekys and one thong for me.
First impressions: the boy shorts are thick. Not training-pants-thick but definitely not as thin as regular lingerie. But as the daughter sagely pointed out, it would be more surprising if they weren’t thick.
The panties are well-made and cute to boot! I gave them a quick wash in the “delicates” cycle and hung them to dry. That was at about 5pm. They were not quite dry in the morning and the boy shorts were still damp. (Note: hung by a heat source, they will be dry and ready to wear the next morning.) Now all I had to do was wait for my period to arrive.
When my handy cycle app told me that it was D-day, I slipped on the thong and waited for Flo to show. Full disclosure. I’m a black cotton panties kind of girl. I never really got thongs. I mean, isn’t wearing a thong akin to walking around with a wedgie? Still, I couldn’t resist ordering the thong. Because I just didn’t understand how it could work, and I had to see for myself.
And work it did! Since I wasn’t entirely sure I would start my period that day, I didn’t have to spend the day with a panty liner “just in case”. I could just go about my day and if I happened to start bleeding, the blood wouldn’t ruin my underwear because they would just be doing what they were made to do—absorb the blood! And that skinny little strip made of 3 layers (antimicrobial moisture-wicking cotton, breathable PUL, and nylon/elastane) did indeed do its thing. Designed to hold up to one-half tampon’s worth, I was protected and comfortable until I was able to insert my Diva cup.
As for style, I normally wouldn’t choose anything with lace. Ever. But the Thinx thong with its stretch-lace waistband won me over. Even though I’m not a huge fan, I do have a thong or two for those times panty lines just won’t do. But I’ve always gone for the simple cottony kind. And while they leave you free of panty lines, the waistband can leave another unwanted line around your waist. That’s not something that my pre-babies twenty-something self would have had a problem with. But my post-baby forty-nine-year-old self is a little softer around the hips and waist, and I prefer not to emphasize that! The stretch lace waistband of the Thinx thong leaves you VWBL (visible waistband line) free!
The cheeky style is made to hold one tampon’s worth of blood which, according to the Thinx website, is about two and one-half teaspoons. I used the cheekys as back up for my Diva cup. There was a little bit of a kerfuffle with size selection when we placed our order so I ended up receiving one size S and one size XS (and that kerfuffle was between me and Maman Loup, btw). My hips measure 36”, the outside measurement for XS. Both pairs ended up fitting just fine although they both give me a bit of a wedgie. I’m not sure if it’s the style or the size and shape of my cheeks. The wedgie is slightly less pronounced with the size S. (Lindsay would just like to interject here to say that… isn’t that the point of “cheekys?” Don’t they kind of go in your butt? I’ve never understood this style of underwear.)
On day four, usually a light day for me, I decided to throw caution to the wind and skip the Diva! I was fine all day at the office and then some. Being a cotton-panty wearer, I found them a bit warm. I also have to admit, they were a bit odd to wear. When I thought about it. When I didn’t think about it, there was nothing to note—just like wearing regular underwear. It was not like sitting in a puddle. There was no extra bulk between my legs. So what was odd? Just the fact that every time I used the washroom I was checking them out. Are they absorbing everything? Yes. Is anything leaking anywhere? No. Do I feel dry? I think so.
And then it got to be close to 7PM. I’d had the cheekys on for just over twelve hours now. And suddenly, my period didn’t seem to be as “light” as it normally is. Luckily, I was at home or frankly, there would have been a disaster! The cheekys had reached their saturation point and off I went to change. My jeans were rescued in the nick of time—there was a small dot of blood on each side of the seat of my pants.
And here’s the key to wearing Thinx confidently: you have to know your flow. There was time when my daughter was a toddler when my flow became so heavy, it grossed me out! There’s no way I would have been able to rely on Thinx then! So, if you have heavy flow, you may want to use Thinx as a back up to your cup or tampon. Now that my period is down to only one heavy day out of five, Thinx work perfectly as a Diva backup on my heavy and medium days and then on their own at the very end of my period. The cheekys were perfect for those last two days of light flow.
Bottom line from me: thumbs up as a back up to a cup or tampons and on their own for light days. I would not recommend switching from a cup or tampons to Thinx alone for two reasons. One: if you miscalculate how heavy your flow is, you may end up in trouble. That means you not only have to pack an extra pair of panties with you but possibly extra pants as well! And, two: hmm . . . how can I put this delicately? If you’ve been using tampons or a cup for a while now (many, many moons, in my case) you will have forgotten what the sensation of menstruating is like. My day four experiment reminded me of that unpleasant sensation. And there’s just no going back to it!
Now for the boy shorts. The daughter found them comfortable (“they fit like regular underwear”) but was admittedly nervous about wearing them to school on her heaviest day. She’s never used tampons so the guidelines of how many tampon’s worth wasn’t very useful! But from the sounds of it, her period is not very heavy anyway. Now, if you saw our teaser post of the packaged panties, you may remember (but don’t feel bad if you don’t!) that the packaging for the boy shorts rated them at one and one-half tampon’s worth of fluid. Well, the website says boy shorts hold only one tampon’s worth. Not a huge difference but enough when you’re trying to figure out if the pair is going to keep you protected for a full day out of the house. I dashed off an inquiry to Thinx and got an answer back within 24 hours. Unfortunately, there was a printer error and boy shorts are indeed for light days, able to hold only one tampon’s worth.
She waited until she got home from school to be on the safe side. That gave her a good six hours in one pair and from her comments, they seemed more than sufficient. She wore them confidently to school on her lighter days with no issues.
Bottom line from the daughter: “they are ten times better than pads!” She has asked me if we can order more and get some hiphuggers this time, which are rated to hold up to two tampon’s worth. So, if that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is.
I will be laying out a small fortune to set her up with a full period set. I’ve never done the math to figure out how much I’m spending on pads for my daughter but I do know that she has forgotten to tell me she needs them until she needs them! And I can say for certain that it’s been years since I had to buy her new underwear!
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