Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Period Pants

*This post is going to contain a whole load of TMI (too much information) about periods. If you’re a prude, or my dad – click away now please!*

If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen that I spent my last period trying out some WUKA period pants which were kindly gifted to me for review. Having been a passionate moon cup user for over two years now (seriously – it changed my life) I was really intrigued to give them a go and see how I got on. Here’s what happened, what I thought, and the answer to a lot of questions that were thrown up over on my Instagram feed.

WIN: head over to my Instagram now to win yourself two pairs of WUKA period pants. Giveaway closes 9pm 6th November.

Period Pants

So, period pants. These are essential pants (knickers really but we like alliteration) that have a built in absorbent layer which offers menstrual protection and is designed to act similarly to a sanitary pad. They are made to be used as your sole period protection (although some people also choose them as ‘back up’), and they are a reusable alternative to the throwaway options most of us have been using for many years. Brilliant for the environment as well as your vulva! The following info is specifically about the WUKA pants that I tried, but most period pant brands are pretty similar.

WUKA Period Pants

WUKA, which stands for Wake Up Kiss Ass, is a small start up company founded by Ruby who’s an environmental scientist. Ruby is originally from Nepal where the word for periods is Nachune which literally translates as untouchable (!!), and they are dedicated to creating an environmentally friendly product that makes the users feel comfortable, confident and ready to kick that ass instead of hide away.

How Do They Work?

WUKA pants are made up of four layers of fabric – the inner and outer layers are made of a soft breathable fabric which wicks away moisture, the central layer is designed to adsorb the blood, and the leak proof layer is still breathable but prevents leaking. I was gifted 2 pairs of the WUKA Heavy which can hold over 4 tampons worth of blood and is recommended to be worn for around 8 hours or overnight.

They have been specifically designed to avoid leaks, prevent odour and reduce bacteria growth. The pants can be used for periods, light bladder leaks, postpartum bleeding and endometriosis. Currently they are available in sizes 4-20, but they are generously cut and their 20 would fit a standard size 22. As a small start up their long term plan is to offer more sizes, as the demand increases. Visit the WUKA FAQ page to learn more, and also check out their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

I was really impressed by how soft they felt, and there was no kind of crunch or rustle from the absorbent layers which is much thinner than I expected – about the same thickness as a normal sanitary pad. Take a closer look at them over on my Instagram highlights.

So How Did It Go?

To give this review some context – my periods were incredibly heavy during my teen years and I would regularly bleed through multiple sanitary pads within an hour. Since using my moon cup I have found that my periods have changed drastically – they seem much lighter and they last between 3 and 4 days instead of a week+. No I can’t explain it but that’s the experience I’ve had using a menstrual cup, and lots of people on my Instagram agreed.

So back to my WUKA pants – I used my period pants on day two of my cycle which is usually a medium flow. I wore them for 8 hours (from around 12 until just after 8) while I was out and about running a few errands, and then wore the second pair overnight. I also had a bad cold so coughed and sneezed a lot which really put them to the test (gross – soz but good to know!).

Comfort

I found them pretty comfortable and the absorbent layer came up nice and high at the back which I liked as I often find the blood goes quite high when using sanitary pads. Personally I found they were cut a bit lower that I would normally choose, and I would prefer something more high waisted, especially with that period bloat, but they were comfortable enough. You can definitely feel something slightly thicker between your legs but again its very comparable to wearing a pad. I wore them with leggings (black obviously – just in case!) and nothing was visible externally – but when I asked someone to give my bum a cheeky squeeze he did ask if I was wearing an adult nappy haha.

Mess

As someone who has been using a menstrual cup for a while now, I definitely had to readjust to the feeling of the blood actually coming out – something that you do avoid with the cup. I could feel it every time I sneezed or coughed, and at first I did worry that they would leak each time it happened – but they never did. I also wondered if it would be messy when using the toilet, but the fabric seemed to do a brilliant job of wicking away the blood and there was very little mess at all. When I have used pads in the past I’ve often ended up with blood over my inner thighs, further up my bum and on the toilet seat, but I didn’t experience that with these pants at all.

There was no smell at all, even after nearly 12 hours wear overnight. After wearing the first pair for about 6 hours I did start to feel a little bit squelchy – so I think that’s a sign they probably needed to be changed although I do think I was hyper aware of that feeling as it’s very different from using a cup. Overnight they were super comfy and I slept really well.

What About Washing?

WUKA pants can be machine washed at 40 degrees and then either dried on the line or on a radiator – no fabric softener, no tumble dryer and no ironing (who is out there ironing their pants?!). Had a few questions about whether or not to wash them with your other washing… Once I took mine off I gave them a good rinse in the sink until the water ran clear*, and that way I felt happy to chuck them in a normal wash. I dried mine on an airer and they actually dried quicker than I thought they would (no heating was on in the house yet either!).

*if you’re up for it try giving your houseplants some of that water. A lot of plant food is made up of the same kind of stuff – works wonders for my Monstera!

How Long Do They Last?

WUKA states that their period pants will last around 2 years as long as you follow their washing instructions, although they will gradually become less absorbent. They cost £24.99 a pair so it’s a pretty decent deal overall. I was trying to work out how many pairs you’d need (see my Insta highlights for that complicated math equation) and I think if you’re solely using pads you’d want around 5/6 pairs so it is an investment. You could get away with less if you planned on using these alongside something like CSP (cloth sanitary pads) or a menstrual cup.

My Overall Thoughts

Overall I was really impressed with these WUKA pants, and they’ve definitely made me view period pants as a really good option at that time of the month. Ultimately I don’t think they can tear me away from my menstrual cup, but I do think they’d be great for the days or nights when you just don’t fancy using the cup. I think they would be really brilliant for those who aren’t into the idea of a cup (although I would really urge you to give it a go!), and great for young girls and teens who don’t want to faff around with CSP at school but want something reusable.

Period Pants Pros

  • Even with the lower cut I found these pants comfortable and they looked fine under clothes which is important to me
  • They lasted over 8 hours easily for me with no leaks and no smells, which means they should hopefully be able to last a whole day at work and you can avoid having to change them whilst out
  • It was actually so nice to literally just pull up my pants and be sorted, and not worry about emptying and inserting a cup, or changing a pad or tampon
  • They seem to have washed really well, the whole process was easy and they are tucked in my drawer for next month
  • Obviously there’s a huge benefit to the environment if you’re comparing the pants to disposable pads or tampons
  • It’s great that these can be used for postpartum bleeding and incontinence too (unlike a menstrual cup)

Period Pants Drawbacks

  • I think if you’re used to wearing something external like sanitary pads then there really aren’t many drawbacks. For me as a cup user I wasn’t too keen on the feeling of the blood coming out – but I think that’s just something I would adjust to
  • It was much less messy than I thought it would be, but the cup means absolutely no mess for me as everything is internal which I like. There was a lot of conversation on my Instagram about sex on your period – for me using a cup means we can mess around down there and there isn’t any blood (sex with a moon cup in isn’t recommended, check back next month for my review of the Nixit which is a menstrual cup you can safely have sex with)
  • I’m quite spontaneous, and I felt very aware that if for some reason I decided not to go home that evening then I’d have to find some other kind of period protection since I didn’t have the spare period pants in my bag. When I am out with my cup that’s all I need – and I can empty and reinsert whenever I want. Not that I plan on jetting off on an impromptu holiday, but if I did the moon cup requires very little forethought
  • Along with the above, if you did need to change your period pants whilst out, you’d need a wet bag or similar to carry the dirty ones home to wash. It’s totally doable and similar to the process for cloth nappies, but it just requires more thought and I fear I am a bit too forgetful for that.

Other Brands of Period Pants

Modi Bodi (up to a size 26), Thinx (up to a US 24 which is a UK 26, available from ASOS up to an 18/20 only), Cheeky Wipes (available up to a 16/18) and Flux undies (up to a 28/30)

Has that answered all of your period pants related questions? If not leave them below or send me a message and I’ll do my very best!

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