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The Truth About Thinx Period Underwear: Do They Really Work?

3 pairs of Thinx period pants taken by Cherrelle Slaney
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Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a menstrual cup girl first and foremost, but I absolutely had to take the opportunity to try something new when the lovely folks at Thinx sent me their period undies to try. I wanted to be able to give a comparison of the menstrual cup vs period underwear, so I decided to ditch the cup for my next period and give the Thinx a go. After using the Thinx for the duration of my period I’ve been able to give a full review of my experience.

What is period proof underwear?

What exactly are period pants? They’re a type of underwear with a built-in absorbent layer for catching your menstrual blood. Think of it like panties with a built-in, reusable sanitary towel. They can be worn on their own or with a tampon or cup for extra protection. You simply wear, wash, dry and reuse.

My first impressions of these were amazing. They’re so well made! To use the word “sturdy” for a pair of knickers might seem a little odd, but these are just that! They’re a really good quality which I was impressed with. The fabrics are soft and the absorbent layer was nowhere near as bulky as I was expecting. I was sent the All-Star Set which includes 3 pairs of Thinx underwear in 3 different styles. I have the Hiphugger, the Cotton Brief and the Sport.

As I already mentioned, these are really well made and so, so comfy! I honestly expected the gusset to feel quite bulky, since this is where the absorbent layer is, but wearing the Thinx just feels like a regular pair of pants. You know how sometimes when you’ve got a pad in and you’re quite aware it’s there? Well – Thinx don’t feel like that at all. One of the reasons I gave up with disposable sanitary towels was that they would make me sweat, which in turn would lead to general uncomfortableness and itching, but I have found the Thinx pants are much more breathable so you don’t get any of that.
3 pairs of Thinx period pants taken by Cherrelle Slaney
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Do Thinx work?

Admittedly, I hadn’t realised that Thinx are available in different absorbencies (total oversight on my part). I opted for the regular absorbency when in hindsight I should have opted for the Super absorbency. I got about 3-4 hours wear out of a pair of the Regular on my heaviest days. The Super claims to hold double the amount of blood.

I didn’t get any leakage from the Thinx pants, but after a while I started to feel wet. This told me that I needed to change. Even with this little oversight on my part, NO LEAKS! Amazing!

How to wash period underwear

Washing is something you definitely need to consider before buying a product like this. I tend to be a disorganised mess when I’m on my period, so I did have to revert back to my cup for a day while I got into a washing and drying rhythm.

They are easy to wash, it’s just a little time consuming. I just threw them in on a 30°c wash with a couple of scoops of bicarb instead of washing powder. This isn’t a necessity but my skin can be quite sensitive and bicarb is gentler than regular washing powder.

Since I only had 3 pairs of Thinx I was needing to change them every few hours. It did feel like I was constantly washing them and they take quite a long time to dry. If I’d had the more absorbent ones this wouldn’t have been such an issue since I could wear them for longer.

I like to rest as much as possible during my period. The washing and drying cycle created an extra job for me to have to do, compared to using m Mooncup. I’d say they’re definitely a more high maintenance option that a menstrual cup.

Changing them was fairly hassle free, although I didn’t quite consider the fact that I would have to take my trousers off to get the pants off. It’s not really an issue, it just kinda threw me the first time I did it. It’s the equivalent of having to get undressed to go for a pee when you’re wearing a playsuit – y’know?

I don’t see that changing your pants in a public toilet as being as issue. You would need a wet bag to store the used pants in until you get home, but I don’t consider that to be a biggie when it comes to period problems. In fact, one of the questions I get asked most often about the menstrual cup is how to clean it when you’re using a toilet with communal sink area. Using something like Thinx pants totally eliminates this common menstrual cup problem.

How much do Thinx cost?

I really liked wearing the Thinx, but I do feel like it’s going to be more of a considered purchase than a menstrual cup or disposable towels. One pair of pants isn’t going to be enough. In my opinion, ideally I’d have liked to have maybe 5 or 6 pairs on the go which is going to cost you around £140 for that number.

 

That said – it would absolutely be worth the investment for someone who can’t, or doesn’t want to, use a menstrual cup. Since a pair of Thinx can last for around 2 years, it’s an average of £5.38 per period. It’s a bit more expensive than the £3-£4 you might usually spend on sanitary towels each month, but it’s definitely worth it for the extra security and comfort they provide, and that’s without considering the environmental benefits.

 

I plan on using my Thinx pants as a supplement to my Mooncup. There are some days when I don’t feel like having anything inside me, so the Thinx will be ideal for days like this. I also plan to use them for the last day or so of my period where my flow is a lot lighter. I honestly can’t fault the quality or the comfort of these pants – and if I ever had to give up my menstrual cup, these would be what I would opt for.

3 pairs of Thinx period pants taken by Cherrelle Slaney
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12 Essential Things You Should Know About Moocup

Cherrelle Slaney's hand painted with black nail polish holding a Mooncup menstrual cup.
I feel like I’ve just kinda become known as The Menstrual Cup Lady amongst my Instagram followers since I’m always banging on about my favourite period product, the Mooncup. The amount of DM’s I get to say “what is a moon cup?” or “how do I use one?” is unreal. I love that you guys all come to me with your period cup queries, so to make things easier I decided to write a post on the most common Mooncup questions I get asked.

What is a Mooncup menstrual cup?

Let’s start with the basics. A Mooncup is a soft, silicone, funnel-shaped menstrual cup which is inserted into the vagina to collect your period blood, similar to the way you insert a tampon. Note: while the Mooncup is similar in that it is worn internally, really it’s nothing like a tampon. In my opinion it’s much, much better.

Menstrual Cup Benefits

The Mooncup is reusable, which means it’s saving an awful lot of menstrual waste from entering our landfills and oceans. In fact, one Mooncup can save up to 11,000 tonnes of waste. So, there’s a pretty good environmental argument for switching to a menstrual cup from disposable period products.

Aside from this, there’s also the economical argument. How much do you spend on tampons and pads each month? It adds up, right? The Mooncup has a price tag of around £21 – and I know that is a lot more than you would spend on tampons and pads in a month, but the Mooncup can be reused over and over again. In fact, the Mooncup can last for up to 10 years if looked after correctly, which gives you an average cost of 16p per period.
Cherrelle Slaney's hand painted with black nail polish holding a Mooncup menstrual cup.
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How long does a menstrual cup last?

The Mooncup is reusable, and if looked after properly it can last for up to 10 years. That’s a whole lot of money saved and a lot less menstrual waste going to landfill. It’s a win-win for your purse and the planet.

What size should I choose?

Mooncup comes in two sizes. Size A and size B. You should opt for size A if you are 30 and over OR have given birth vaginally whatever your age, and you should opt for size B if you are under 30 and have not given birth vaginally.

How to insert a menstrual cup

The process is fairly similar to how you would insert a tampon, with a few extra steps. Haul your leg up onto the toilet seat or the side of the bath. Then, you fold the cup in half so the top ring of the cup looks kinda like a “C” shape. Then simply insert it into the vagina and it will pop open inside of you. This creates a vacuum seal to catch all of your blood.

How to fold a menstrual cup

If the “C” fold isnt working out for you, here are several other ways to fold a menstrual cup.
Click here to see Mooncup’s folding guide.

How long can you wear a menstrual cup?

Mooncup recommend 8hrs of wear based on their research into menstrual hygiene. Most other cup brands say you can wear for 12hrs. So what’s the difference?

I got in touch with Sophia Jordan, a Mooncup Advisor, to ask why. Sophia told me “our recommendation to empty and rinse the Mooncup menstrual cup every 4-8 hours is based upon safe practise for users, as opposed to the capacity or potential performance of the Mooncup® vs. other menstrual cup brands. This recommendation is for safety and hygiene reasons – to prevent the potential build-up of bacteria or odour.”

How to remove a menstrual cup

To get the cup out, you should pinch the bottom of it to break the seal, then wiggle it from side to side while pulling down gently. It should not hurt or create a tugging sensation. Breaking the seal before you start to move the cup is really important.

How clean a menstrual cup

To empty the Mooncup you simply remove it and pour the contents down the toilet. You then need to rinse with water. You can use an unscented soap if you wish, but be sure to rinse very, very thoroughly if you choose this option as it can cause irritation in your vagina if not rinsed well.

When your period is over you can sterilise the Mooncup ready for your next period by boiling it in water for 5-7 minutes. You can also sterilise by using a sterilising tablet or solution (the kind you would use for sterilising baby bottles). Milton is the most common brand of this type of sterilising method, but other brands will work fine too.

Can I cut the stem on my mooncup?

The Mooncup has a stem which is about 1 inch long. You can use this to easily locate your Mooncup. However, some people find this stem to be uncomfortable (I’m one of those). The stem has little increments marked out on it, so you can trim the stem to a length that is suitable and comfortable for you. I personally chopped the whole thing off which made it waaaayy more comfortable.

My menstrual cup is stuck

First of all, remain calm. The Mooncup can’t go anywhere once it’s inside you. It’s in there somewhere and you WILL get it back out. Insert you forefinger and thumb into your vagina until you feel the bottom of the Mooncup, pinch and remove. If it’s easier, you can use one finger and run it up the side of the Mooncup to break the seal. Hooking your finger over the top of the cup can help to pull it down.

If this doesn’t work and you’re really in a pickle, you can call the Mooncup team on+44 (0)1273 673845 and they will be able to help you.

How do I clean my cup in a public toilet?

There may not always be a sink at our disposal when you empty your Mooncup. This is especially common for those who use a toilet with a communal sink area at work. Fear not, you still have some options here.

The first option is to wipe your cup with some toilet paper before you re-insert. I’m not a huge fan of doing this, but I have done it on occasion when I’ve been caught short.

Alternatively you could take some bottled water into the toilet with you. Use this to rinse the cup over the toilet and re-insert. This is my preferred method of cleaning when a private sink ins’t available.
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Cherrelle Slaney's hand painted with black nail polish holding a Mooncup menstrual cup.
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Everything You Need To Know About The Ziggy Cup Menstrual Disc

Cherrelle Slaney holds an Intimina Ziggy Cup in her hand.

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If you’re an avid menstrual cup user, you might be confused when you first see the Ziggy cup. In fact, it doesn’t look like a cup at all. So what is this oddly shaped period device?

 

The Ziggy cup is a flat-fit menstrual cup. It works similarly to a regular menstrual cup in that it sits inside the vagina to collect your period fluid. However the shape is vastly different from what you might expect when you think of a menstrual cup.

 

In fact, it’s not really a cup at all. Although it’s called a “flat-fit menstrual cup”, another (and in my opinion better) term for this type of product is “menstrual disc”. These terms are used interchangeably. So, flat-fit menstrual cup = menstrual disc.

 

The Ziggy cup is made by a company called Intimina. It retails for around £35 making it slightly more expensive than a menstrual cup, but it is competitively priced in relation to other menstrual discs on the market. I personally think it is well worth the price tag. Keep reading to find out why…

 

One thing I love about their products is the carrying cases they come with. The Ziggy comes with a silicone pouch for storage. Similarly their Lily Cup folds down into a simple, discreet carrying case. Ideal for throwing into your handbag.

 

One thing that struck me about the Ziggy cup is how thin the base is. I mean, it’s like paper. It’s seriously thin. I was worried I might just tear my finger straight through it. I can confirm though, after several uses, It’s definitely stronger than it feels.

Where does a menstrual disc go?

Now, I was in no way involved with the designing of this cup, but I am willing to take a pretty good guess at why that bottom is so paper thin. Comfort – and not just your own comfort. You might not be the only person feeling the Ziggy cup while it’s in use. The Ziggy cup is different from a regular cup in that you can wear it during sex. Yes, Intimina boldly claim that the Ziggy is ideal for “mess-free period sex”.

 

It sits in a different place from a regular cup which is what allows for penetrative sex whilst wearing. Rather than sitting low down in the vagina, a menstrual disc sits much higher up. It really doesn’t take up much room at all in your vaginal canal.

 

The Ziggy should sit right near the base of your cervix. There’s no suction to keep it in place like you would get with a regular cup. It stays in place by tucking just behind your pubic bone. Yes – I realise that sounds daunting and that you have absolutely no bloody idea what or where your pubic bone is. I had the same reservations, but actually, it’s incredibly easy to insert.

Inserting the Menstrual Disc

If you’re used to inserting a menstrual cup, you’ll know there are several ways to do it. With a menstrual disc there is no fiddly folding to do. You simply pinch the disc in the centre and insert. This is the only way to fold your disc, in comparison to the many ways of folding a menstrual cup. It might take you a couple of tries to get the angle right, but you just keep sliding it upwards until you reach your pubic bone.

 

I find it hard to explain where your pubic bone is, but you’ll be able to feel when the disc tucks in behind it. This is what keeps it securely in place.

 

As with all things, practice makes perfect. You might not get it right the first time. The more you practice the easier it will become. You might find a little water based lube helps get it into place. I always keep lube in the bathroom for inserting my cups. It just helps to make life that little bit easier.

 

I definitely did not insert the Ziggy disc correctly the first time I used it. It leaked and I got really bad cramping. Ultimately, it was a bit of a disaster. In the name of menstruators everywhere, I soldiered on. I’m onto my second period using a disc now and I definitely feel like I’ve got the hang of it.

 

While getting the disc in was easier than I had expected, getting it out is like a whole other ball game. The Ziggy cup does not have a stem or string, so removal of the disc must be done manually. This means getting your hands dirty (literally) and fishing around in your foofoo until you find it.

 

This can feel a bit daunting. especially since it sits high up near the cervix. It’s obviously not an impossible task, but definitely something worth considering if you’re used to removing a cup with a stem.

 

Another thing to consider with a menstrual disc is that the sides are low. Unlike a regular funnel shaped cup, a menstrual disc is more prone to spilling upon removal. I have read several articles recommending that you remove the disc in the shower so you can wash up right away.

 

I’m not sure how convenient this would be in reality. While the disc boasts a high fluid capacity (well over double that of some menstrual cups) I actually found it needed emptying more often than a cup. I don’t know about you, but it would take up a huge portion of my day to jump in the shower every few hours to empty my disc. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Sex On Your Period?

While the menstrual disc might not seem as wonderful as it’s cup shaped counterparts, the one selling point that makes it stand out is that promise of mess-free period sex. That’s right, you can have sex during your period – without the mess! Because we all want a little of that in our lives, right?! I honestly thought it sounded too good to be true – so I tried it out.


The mess-free period sex I had expected wasn‘t entirely mess-free, but I think this was down to user error. I switched out my Mooncup for the Ziggy just a few minutes before we got down to it. Because of the different placement of these two cups, I think there was some residual blood in the vaginal canal which was too low down for the Ziggy cup to catch (remember the Ziggy sits high up in the vagina).


Obviously gravity does it’s thing and the only way for that blood to go is down. Had I been going about my day, that residue would have ended up in my panties. Since I was jumping straight into bed with my other half, it ended up on the sheets.


That said, during intercourse the Ziggy did not move. At all! Neither one of us could feel it which I thought was a little worrying. I was convinced it had fallen out and that it was probably rolling around somewhere in our bedsheets. I was wrong.


Once all was said and done, I checked on the placement of the Ziggy. Still 100% in place. The amount of mess we did have was very minimal. And when it came to emptying, the underside of the disc was completely clean, telling me there had been no leaks.


I am certain that, had I given myself a little more time after changing from Mooncup to Ziggy, there would have been no mess at all. I will update this blog post once I’ve had the chance to try it out again, but so far I’m quite impressed.

Menstrual Disc VS Cup

Overall, I wont be ditching my other cups and reaching for the disc for every bleed – but I will be reaching for it when sex is on the cards. This was a massive selling point for me. I think it makes it well worth the investment just to be able to have “mess-free period sex” as an option.
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5 Amazing Things You Can Do With A Menstrual Cup

Cherrelle Slaney's hand painted with black nail polish holding a Mooncup menstrual cup.

If you’re someone who bleeds, you might have heard of a menstrual cup. They’re a reusable, sustainable alternative to tampons. They’re becoming increasingly popular and gaining traction for good reason


A menstrual cup is a reusable silicone cup, which sits inside the vagina to catch your menstrual fluid. They are safer, more economical and more sustainable than a tampon making them a really versatile option for people who bleed. Because of their long life span, the average cost of some menstrual cups can be as little as 16p per period. This is a huge saving in the long run compared to a box of tampons at around £2-£3.


Switching to a menstrual cup is also better for the environment. It is estimated that one menstrual cup can save up to 11,000 tonnes of period waste from entering our landfills and oceans. While these benefits sound flipping awesome! Can you still live your normal life while wearing a cup? Keep reading to find the answers to some of the most common menstrual cup questions.

Can you pee with a menstrual cup in?

Yes! You absolutely can pee with a menstrual cup in. The cup goes into the vagina. Your pee comes out of a separate hole called the urethra. If you find it difficult to pee with a menstrual cup in, it could be that the cup is putting pressure on your urethra which is making it difficult. Adjusting the position of your cup should eliminate this problem.

Can you poop with a menstrual cup in?

In short, maybe. Some companies discuss this openly with a resounding “yes” while others seem to be a bit more hush-hush about it. It’s difficult to determine what the general consensus is from cup manufacturers on pooping with a cup in.

In my experience, it is possible but not always comfortable. Since your back passage and vaginal wall run quite close to one another, it is possible that your poop could cause your cup to shift it’s position. I much prefer to take the cup out while I poop. Give everything a good clean (including your hands) before reinserting your cup.

Can you have sex with a menstrual cup in?

It depends on the type of cup. Penetrative sex with a regular menstrual cup is simply not going to work. Don’t even try it. Both parties could end up getting hurt.

 

That said, you can buy “flat fit menstrual cups” or “menstrual discs”. These products sit in a different place to your regular type of menstrual cup. Their shape allows for penetrative PIV (penis in vagina) sex while wearing. What’s more, menstrual discs are often marketed with the promise of “mess free period sex”. I can confirm, they’re really bloody good!

 

The Ziggy cup from Intimina is one of my favourites for when you feel like getting down to it without all the period mess.

Can you exercise with a menstrual cup in?

Anything you can do, I can do bleeding. One of the great advantages of a menstrual cup is that they still allow you go about your daily business unhindered. You can still do your regular exercise whilst wearing. Run, walk, swim or even lift weights with a menstrual cup – no problemo!

It’s worth a quick mention that you might not feel like doing your regular exercise when you’re bleeding. That’s okay too. Listen to your body and take it easy when you need to.

Can you sleep with a menstrual cup in?

Most menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours. This makes them the perfect fit for sleeping in. Even if you like to sleep for a long time (like me!).

 

When you’re on your period, you might find you need more sleep than usual. In which case, you might find that an 8hr wear tampon just doesn’t cut it! Menstrual cups can usually be worn for longer than a tampon meaning no interruptions to your beauty sleep.

Do menstrual cups cause TSS?

TSS, or Toxic Shock Syndrome, is a rare but potentially fatal condition often associated with tampon use. While it’s true that any device inserted into your body can cause bacteria growth, TSS risk is significantly lower with menstrual cup use.

Tampons can leave small fibres behind when they are removed which can encourage bacteria growth. Menstrual cups are made from silicone which will not break apart, meaning no nasties left behind. The only known cases of TSS linked to a menstrual cup occurred because the menstrual cup was not inserted and cleaned correctly. With proper use, menstrual cups are a very safe option.

What is the best kind of menstrual cup?

There are several options when it comes to menstrual cups. You might have to try a couple before you find the right option for you. Some are softer or harder than others which can impact comfort and performance.

 

My personal favourite is the Mooncup. It’s a fairly firm cup, which means it holds it’s shape well in the vagina. This is important as it allows to cup to retain it’s shape and create a proper seal to avoid leaks. Softer cups can be compressed more easily by your body. If they don’t open up into their proper shape they can’t form that all important, leak proof seal.