When I first saw Thinx, their size range was not large enough for me to partake. I was disappointed. I was hoping it would be a solution to some frustrating trends that I've had with my periods. For a while I didn't need to worry (thanks pregnancy!) but unlike some lucky gestators, despite exclusive breastfeeding, my body is determined to menstruate and make my life hell (thanks PCOS).
Whenever I've seen people talk about their periods and describe their experiences, I can't help but feel jealousy (with some exception). While mine has been nearly clockwork regular, I feel as though its severity and volume is greater. When people talk about only needing tampons during the heaviest part of their flow and nothing else I am extremely jealous. I cannot use tampons without some additional back up. I soak through even the heaviest ones more frequently than my need to pee. It's a good period if I haven't soaked through to my clothes at all. They last around 7 days, bookended by a day of spotting.
When people claim that switching to cloth menstrual products reduced the lenght of their period, I laugh wildly. I saw no such benefit (nor believe it to be scientifically related). I do use cloth menstrual pads for the environmental benefit and for my own health, as my skin responds better to cloth than disposable. I have minimal to no chafing and for the most part, unless I mispredict my flow heaviness, my cloth is more absorbent. I also use a menstrual cup, the collapsible cup from Intimina, though it's not perfect and I still experience leakage 3 out of 5 insertions. I'm on the hunt for one that fits my cervix and vagina best.
The whole point of saying all this is that even when using two menstrual products, I'm still experiencing leakage and overflow. It's frustrating and annoying, especially with kids and work and being out in public. I want a better solution.
So when Thinx advertised that their heavy flow underwear in a size that finally would fit me, I decided to take a leap and try it. I ordered three pairs, each one a different style. I was in between sizes and ordered down. First regret. I wish I ordered up for comfort.
I put on the first pair, a bikini style and with my flub on my belly, they wanted to roll down. So right away that pair isn't ideal until I lose weight. Okay.
Next I put on the boy shorts. I do like their fit but would likely feel better a size up. These I wore without my cup while I nursed Hazel to sleep last night. It was about 3 hours of free bleeding and the underwear handled it well. It was weird to not have anything that I felt was absorbent. But free bleeding into them at nearly my heaviest flow meant they were done after those 3 hours. Okay.
Next I put on the sport style, which fit better than the bikini. I put my cup in and went to sleep. I wore these all night, through what ended up being the heaviest part of my cycle. My cup was full and leaking and I leaked enough that I soaked the thinx through and bled onto my yoga pants I wore to bed.
I told you. I bleed a LOT. There were lots of clots as well (normal for me). Thankfully (?) Hazel woke up an hour early so I had time to shower to clean myself up and get a load of laundry started to clean up my bloody clothes.
So final thoughts:
No solution in sight for my heaviest days unless I make myself an adult cloth diaper or an absolutely massive area of absorption in my underwear because sometimes my butt crack channels the blood and I get a lovely single spot on my jeans in full view of everyone.
I do like the idea of the thinx and I believe they will be good for the tail end of my period, or for wearing while riding for the little bit of urine incontinence I have thanks to having two children (and I plan to see a physical therapist about that lovely memento from childbirth)
So in summary, good in theory, but not the best for those who have the Shining in their pants every month.
Bikini style with fun lace detail at the top.
Crotch area. Thin absorbing area, thinner than my cloth pads by comparison.