My history with WUKA Wear
I have been using WUKA period wear for a year now and I have to say I am so pleased I decided to try them out and then make the change to sustainable period underwear.
Since I first ventured into the world of period underwear and having an eco-friendly period, I can quite confidently say that my period has changed for the better. I am becoming more and more aware of my body and flow, since there is nothing getting between the menstrual blood and my body.
I can more accurately predict when my period is going to arrive - I swear I've had less accidents - and also be confident when it's finished. Honestly I wish I'd made the switch earlier.
I must admit when I was first trying them out I couldn't help but think of a post I'd read about someone else trying period underwear and 'free-bleeding' where they said 'so I'm just supposed to put you on and bleed into you?' Effectively, yes!
It does sound weird when you put it like that but honestly, you can't feel the blood in the underwear and there's no 'wet nappy' feeling either. The pants are designed so that all the menstrual blood is drawn down into the four layers of the pants and doesn't sit on the top layer which is next to your skin.
If I'm being honest then the yes, occasionally you'll feel wetness there and the built in pad in the pants will seem heavy, but that's usually when they need to be changed so for me it's a good indicator.
At the time of my first post last year, I only had the 2 pairs to use which I quickly discovered wasn't really enough, as I was having to use tampons or some cotton/reusable sanitary towels in between washes.
And whilst this wasn't a problem, I'd become used to the pants themselves and the way my period was when I using them. so when I had saved up (yes, initially they're more expensive than tampons but overall they're priceless as you use them time and again) I bought some more.
I now have 7 pairs of WUKA wear period pants, three pairs of Cheeky Wipes period pants and several cotton sanitary towels. Although I tend to use my WUKA wear pants as much as possible because I love them so much and they work really well for me.
It's good to have back up pants as when you wash them, they can't be placed in the dryer so need to be left to air dry. (I place mine on my towel rail in my bathroom) I find 7 pairs to be enough.
Although I'm eager to buy more so I can grab a new pair when I need them and not worry about what I'm to use.
(One thing I would say here is that I can sometimes get confused a to which pair are for my light days as the writing on the back has worn off with time. But by holding them up to my other pairs, it's easier to tell.)
I've also been on holiday with them and whilst they're convenient, next time I would also pack some of my cotton sanitary towels for ease when out and about.
Questions about period pants
How often do I need to change period pants?
This entirely depends on your own flow but as a guide with WUKA wear I use the lightest pair on day 1 which is light for me.
Depending what time of the day I start I can either use between 1-3 pairs in a day.
As a guide the light pair hold 1 tampons worth and the heavy pair about 4 tampons worth and can be worn overnight.
What are the best period pants?
Again this is personal choice as there are so many on the market, but I really love WUKA wear for style and ease of use. Although I have since tried some more pairs from Modibodi and aboslutely love them too so you could also try this brand too?
Can you wear period pants all day?
If you have a light flow then you could definitely wear a heavy pair all day then switch out for a clean pair overnight. Personally for me, on my heaviest days I change every 2-3 hours hence the need for 7 pairs!
This is definitely down to your own flow though and whilst at first it may seem daunting to make the change, once you do you'll become more aware of your flow and be best able to know how many pairs you need on certain days.
How do period pants work?
With WUKA wear there are four layers of fabric:
An inner/outer fabric made of soft, breathable and moisture wicking luxurious Lenzing MicroModal fabric.
Central layers include an absorbent layer which is uniquely used in their underwear which absorbs blood and interlocks it.
Leak proof layer which prevents the blood from passing through the underwear but allows air flow so it's breathable and prevents sweating.
Are they hygienic?
Absolutely! The inner layer of fabric has antibacterial properties which helps prevent odour and bacterial growth. It's also washable at 40 degrees (and below!).
Do you smell?
I can categorically say absolutely not. The antibacterial properties help to reduce the odour and growth of bacteria.
It is advisable however to change and wash your underwear if you do start to smell the blood; if they're left soaking for more than a few hours, your underwear can end up smelling like must and mildew!
A good tip here to remove any kind of smell is to dilute some white wine vinegar in a thin layer of water and soak them for 20 minutes before washing (and adding more vinegar in a ratio of 1:5)
Adding essential oil to your wash will also help with this.
How do I wash them?
It couldn't be simpler! Place them in with your other clothes and place on the washing line or on a radiator/towel rail to dry. It helps if you do an extra spin at the end of the wash to get rid of any excess water though. I do this and have found it massively reduces drying time!
DO NOT wash them with fabric conditioner tumble dry them!
What do I do with them when I'm out and about?
This is where their washbags come in to their own. Able to hold two period pants they're perfect for when you're out of the house and need to change. This can be tricky as you're essentially changing your underwear - depending on where you are you may not be able to do this fully!
Hence why I also use reusable cotton sanitary towels - easier to change but still eco-friendly and good for the planet!
Do I rate them?
I think by now you'll know this post is a positive one for period pants in general! By far the best thing I've found since the switch is that I am no longer suffering from vaginal dryness.
When using tampons, not only would they soak up the menstrual blood, they'd also take away any natural lubrication I had, leaving me to feel quite dry towards the end of a period.
With period pants this is obviously a thing of the past and I for one am incredibly grateful!
Having used period pants(and cotton sanitary towels) exclusively for a year, I can quite honestly, hand on heart say, that I will NEVER go back to disposable period protection!
Everything from the environmental aspect to how the pants themselves look/make me feel leads me to believe that these are by far the best form of period protection for me.
I'm yet to really try any other brand of period protection - although I have used 2 pairs from Modibodi and they're fast becoming my new favourites!
I will continue to tell people how good period pants can be as a form of period protection. At first they may seem scary and unusual but I promise you that there's nothing to be worried about.
So if you're looking to switch up your period protection, I can highly suggest trying a pair of period pants.
* I'd also like to add here that I've also tried and used cotton reusable sanitary towels on/off for a good few months and these are also a fab alternate to the disposable ones. I found some on Etsy to begin with but then I also won some from Bloom & Nora which are actually my favourites because of how thin they are.*
So I hope this post has helped if you're looking to make the switch to alternative period protection.
Let's start a conversation and come out from behind the cloud of shame and embarrassment!