Now Is a Great Time to Try These 5 Menstrual Products

One afternoon when I was in fourth grade, the girls were whisked away to watch a video about periods, pads, and tampons. That’s about where my public education on menstruation began and ended—a secret discussion that boys couldn’t be privy to. It was, from that moment forward, ingrained in us that it is somehow embarrassing to get your period.

It isn’t, of course, and some of us at WIRED talked at length about our period flows and habits, and tested new menstrual products to find the best budget- and eco-friendly alternative methods. It can be scary to try something new, but it’s actually a perfect time to switch things up, since the pandemic has created a homebound reality for a lot of us. If you’re remote learning or working from home, you won’t have to worry about being uncomfortable or potentially leaking in public until you’ve got a system down.

Updated February 2021: We added several more brands of period underwear we tested. We also added the Nixit menstrual disc.

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Senior reviewer Adrienne So and reviewer Louryn Strampe also tested and contributed to this guide.

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Period Underwear

The Best Menstrual Products Period Underwear Cups Pads and More

Photograph: Modibodi

Period underwear absorbs blood without feeling damp, and it doesn’t transfer it to your clothes. It’s a great place to start. Most period underwear isn’t cheap, but you can save money in the long run by not having to stock up on so many tampons or pads. Start out with a pair to see what styles you like; eventually, you can get enough to last your whole cycle.

I’ve tried period underwear from six brands, and they mostly feel like any other pair of underwear. Even when I used the heaviest protection, I didn’t feel like I was wearing pull-up diapers (or even a pad for that matter). Period underwear can also be used for slight incontinence, regular discharge, or postpartum bleeding. I like it so much that I’m not going back to my old routine.

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