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I Tried Period Panties For The First Time

Follow the instructions, guys!
PHOTO: istockphoto

For the past two and a half years, the menstrual cup has been my choice for when I am surfing the crimson wave. This was a personal choice because I wanted to reduce my waste, and disposal feminine hygiene products contribute greatly to my monthly waste output. There are other options for reusable products like washable pads and period panties. Period panties are usually advertised as a substitute for traditional feminine hygiene products without the bulk and all the hassle of getting things on and off or in and out.

I had heard of period panties before, particularly the American brand Thinx. I did want to try it out but I wasn't too keen on paying a leg for shipping a few pairs, and I was happy enough with my period cup to forgo that. When I heard that there was a local brand in the market, my curiosity piqued. I bought a set of three from Mirko PH (@mirko_ph) to try. It cost P675 for the pack, and it arrived within four working days.

Disclaimer: The instructions on the box say to use it with a pad, tampon, or cup. But I was feeling gutsy and decided to use it without the support of other period products. My mini-experiment was to see how well it would hold up on its own. Foolish, really.

My first impression

The fit is pretty snug and it sits just below my belly button. It’s not seamless so don’t wear it with thinner fabric if you’re conscious of panty lines showing. The underwear itself is made of a spandex blend, is less breathable than normal cotton panties, and has a double lining in the crotch and butt area but it’s not uncomfortable.

Panty 1: Day 1

I decided to try it out on its own during my first day, which is usually a light to medium flow so I wasn't too nervous about it leaking (too much). I brought my cup along just in case it couldn't take it anymore. I spent Day 1 sitting on my office desk, the usual 9-sawa. I did check on how it was holding up occasionally, and it was doing pretty okay although I noticed it wasn't too absorbent compared to a pad. By the end of the day, and as my flow got stronger, it did end up leaking through and staining the inside of my jeans. If I had been wearing a thinner material, no doubt, tumagos na.

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So wearing it on its own the next day was out of the question. But I was warned so... (Follow the label, guys). I decided that I would wear my menstrual cup (without the period panties) for the next couple of days to avoid any accidental leaks as my flow is usually pretty heavy during those days.

Panty 2: Day 4

My period usually lasts five days, with the tail-end of my period being barely anything. My flow by the fourth day is very light so I was confident about using it on its own again. And as this was a Sunday, I didn't have to be away from home too long. As suspected, it survived the day without any leaks.

Panty 3: Day 4 (night)

I don't know if it's just me but I've noticed that my period is significantly weaker at night. So if my fourth day was light, then it's night version was even more so. I wore the last pair to bed during the last night. No leaks this time, too!

I usually handwash my underwear to remove any stains first before throwing them in with the rest of the laundry. And these hand wash well enough, and dry quickly.

The verdict

If you're looking for added safety while on your period, I'd recommend investing in a few pairs. In terms of lessening your waste, this particular brand can still be a good starting point since it acts as a panty liner, and you can save a lot of non-compostable and non-recyclable liners from ending up in the landfill.

As instructed on the box, it really is best used as a supplementary product versus using it alone–especially during your heavier days. So if you're prone to leaking through your pad, tampon, or cup, Mirko is a good safety net. On its own, I would recommend using it at night (on lighter days, of course) or when you're spotting. But remember, don't use them on their own and follow instructions.

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Mirko Period Panties are available online, and sometimes they have a booth at bazaars. You can follow them for updates and order via their Instagram page (@mirko_ph). One pair is P250 and a set of three is P675 (these are prices prior to shipping if you buy online). They carry only one style and color but carry sizes from S to XL.

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