When I was sick with horrific pelvic pain, I was also about 40 pounds lighter and spent most of my days in bed. My periods stopped altogether for a few years and, when I recovered, I got a rude awakening: they were back.
Before I had debilitating pain, I had icky pain... the kind that just made me a bit queasy or a bit reluctant to engage in vigorous activities like running. Because my pain was concentrated in my vulva and vaginal areas, I also couldn't use tampons: ever. They were always uncomfortable. So, when my periods returned after I recovered at the age of 29, my pelvic floor physical therapist urged me to try tampons. She was confident enough in my healing that she knew they wouldn't be painful for me now. And she was right: they didn't hurt.
But they also weren't my favorite thing. I didn't like the feeling of them, although it certainly wasn't painful. It just felt...unnatural. I eat a clean and vegan diet, but I couldn't figure out what was really in my tampons. Plus, I didn't like the feeling of holding something inside of me that my body was trying to shed. And I despised the way my vagina felt when I tugged out a not-fully-saturated tampon (which happened every time, as I have an IUD and my periods are really light). I know that many women lead happy and healthy lives with tampons as their sole period protection, and I think that's fabulous. My point is that they weren't for me.
I read about THINX online and thought they couldn't possibly work... but I couldn't resist the urge to try them. For those who don't know, THINX are a period underwear that can substitute for (or give back-up to) tampons or pads. They're reusable (so they scratched my environmentalist itch), they're made by a woman-owned company (scratching my feminist itch), and they're utterly natural (scratching my itch to have transparency for those things I put in or on my body).
They have several adorable styles, my favorites of which are the sport and thong ones. I ordered a thong and a hipster pair to start and was giddy when they arrived. The hipsters feel a bit like swim bottoms -- thicker than normal underwear, but not at all uncomfortable. They claimed to hold 2 tampons worth and to keep me dry. So when my period arrived 2 weeks later, I whipped them out, ever the skeptic but oh-so-curious. Bottom line? They work. I was dry all day. I had no leaks. Nothing smelled gross or felt gross. I used them solo (no tampons or other blood-catching contraptions), and at the end of the day, I rinsed them and tossed them in the wash as suggested.
I was sold after my day in the hiphuggers, but I still didn't know that they'd work for yoga or gym days. They would've been visible through my yoga pants and felt a bit bulky for a strenuous workout. But then I got to try the thong style! Also absorbent, dry-to-the-touch, stench-free, leak-free, and invisible under my yoga pants. These are even fancier than my typical underwear, so they look like I'm wearing my sexy skivvies, even when I'm feeling my least sexy. How's that for a self-confidence booster on otherwise cra[m]ppy days?
I'm THINX's biggest fan. I preach their wonders to all of my girlfriends and often whip out the pair I stash in the bottom of my purse to show off their stretchy, comfy, soft and sexy qualities. If you're dissuaded by the cost, don't be: I've been wearing the same "period set" (I have at least 7 pairs now) for about 2 years, and they're good as new -- so they're far cheaper than disposable products. Plus, the company has a charitable arm (think TOMS for period products) and exquisite customer service (when I've ordered a size that doesn't fit, they've just sent me a replacement without needing the non-fitting ones back, so I've been able to donate the unused ones!).
They don't pay me anything to sing their praises.
If you want $10 off your first purchase, you can do so by clicking here. It also gives me $10 to spend, but this deal's available to anyone who visits their website and gets their own code. Plus, I have enough period panties to last decades, so I'm on a THINX purchasing hiatus anyway. And if you don't wanna give me $10 I won't use anyway, then don't -- just check them out, I implore you.