I am a member of the Women’s Grappling Network on Facebook and one of the issues frequently discussed is training during menstruation. Women have unique issues to overcome in a sport like jiu jitsu. We worry about our breasts incurring damage and the humiliation of our period blood seeping through our protection or through our clothing. Even worse, staining our partner’s clothing!
For my review of the Revelia Breast Protector, click here.
Many years ago, I wrote a review of the Diva Cup on Breaking Muscle. I have been wearing a menstrual cup for about eight years now and I’ll never go back to disposable products.
I like to pretend I’m not on my period and there is nothing like the cup to do that, however, I no longer use the Diva Cup because it’s so expensive and where it is clear, it becomes discolored quickly. I just buy the colored two dollar cups on ebay from China.
We all have different preferences and so for the sake of research, I contacted Thinx to ask if they would be interested in a product review. I didn’t request a particular pair, I figured they know best so I told them about our sport and they sent me the boy shorts and the sports styles for testing.
I took size XS and I am 5’0, 114lbs. Hips 34″, waist 28″.
- Tested and proven effective during BJJ on heaviest day
- Comfortable, luxurious fabric. See below for details.
- Sports panties have a streamlined fit
- High up-front cost compared to disposable products ($30-50 CAD per pair)
- Boy shorts can cause muffin top
- Some women find the sports panties ride up the bum
- Require special washing care
- Interior Innermost 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane
- Middle breathable PUL, 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane
- Outer 89% Nylon, 11% Elastane
- Trim 100% Polyester
Please note: I am now an affiliate for Thinx products. You will see their advertisement on my site so if you buy these panties through a link in this article or on my site, I will receive commission. All of the advertisements on my site were chosen carefully to suit my interests and the interests of our community.
So how do Thinx panties work?
I have to tell you, when they arrived, I was very surprised not only at how well they fit but how luxurious they are. The material is so soft and comfortable, I could literally wear them every single day and be in heaven. Still, I was worried about how comfortable they would be when menstrual fluid was introduced, regardless of the claims by the company.
The boy shorts are meant for our heaviest days and reportedly hold up to two tampons’ worth of fluid. That’s the part that I dreaded. The blood. I haven’t worn a maxi pad since 1988 when I was thirteen years old and first started my period. I still remember walking towards the lane of the bowling alley, ready to throw my ball and my friend Shelly telling me she could see my pad wagging as I walked.
As I put on these luxurious blood diapers, I had mixed feelings. Could I sit around in my own blood all day? Could I train with period blood leaking into my clothing?
On the first day of my period, I wasn’t 100% sure that it was going to start so I wore my cup to work and to training. I didn’t want to wear the period panties until I actually started because I only have two pairs and I didn’t want to dirty one.
The problem is, I’m forty-two now so my period only lasts three days. I have a light day with probably ½ tbs of fluid (you see, when you wear the cup, you have to empty it so you know exactly how much you bleed), then the second day is heavy for me, like 2-3 tbsps. The third day is probably 1 tbsp. This month, day two fell on a non-bjj day but I did go to the gym and did a light kettlebell workout.
BOY SHORTS – $52CAD
On the first day of wear, I could hear the absorbent crotch material of the boy shorts swishing as I walked. All I could imagine was the looks of confusion on my teammates’ faces as I shifted around, my pants whispering hello. But after about an hour, the material settled and they were nearly silent.
At the gym, I asked my friend if she could hear anything as I walked in a circle around her. She said no, not a whisper. Problem number one eliminated. The next problem for me was, if I bleed on these shorts, will the blood sit on the fabric and dirty my skin. I don’t like the idea of wet blood rubbing on my skin and then going to the bathroom and having a big mess to clean up.
This is what happened. I actually didn’t bleed much overnight. There were only minimal signs of menstrual fluid on the panties when I woke up. It looked as though it dried right away; I never saw wet fluid in these panties. The protective fabric was also very soft. It felt thicker than regular panties, but soft and flexible. Not rubbery or like plastic. I was aware that they were different but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
I drink lots of water and so I pee a lot. What was good about this is when I went to the washroom, that’s when most of the bleeding took place. I didn’t really feel a lot of bleeding as I trained. A little but nothing too bad. Later I rested and watched Vikings and didn’t feel much and then went out and repaired the lawn mower, mowed the lawn, added soil to my flower trough, fixed my hose, cooked and cleaned. Shopped.
I had an active day and the boy shorts held up very well.
The only thing I didn’t like about the boy shorts is the fact that I carry all of my excess weight in my thighs and my tummy so I did get a bit of a muffin top, as you can see in the photo to the right. In the rest of the photos, I’ve sucked in my tummy and used angles to pretend I’m in better shape.
SPORT PANTIES – $43CAD
This was a little uncomfortable mentally for me. On the final day of my period, I wore the Sport panties to BJJ. I was nervous the entire time that the amount of movement involved would cause the blood to move out of the absorbent area onto my clothing but it didn’t happen. My period was contained, the panties were very comfortable and I had a great training day.
As I mentioned, if you are using the Thinx on their own, you will need something to change into after BJJ because you will be very sweaty. I didn’t have to change after lifting because I didn’t really sweat, it was just a light day.
I enjoy the sports cut the most. They didn’t ride up when I wore them under my spandex shorts, though a woman in the Grappling Network said they do ride up for her in normal clothing. What I liked best is that they don’t cause muffin top and the fabric is beautiful. Unfortunately, the waistband began to unravel after I washed them in the machine without a gentle cycle bag and I had to contact the company. They were going to send me another pair right away but I told them not to bother since I got them for free, I just sewed them up myself. The boy shorts remain in tact.
If you plan on using these for your whole period, you may want to buy a five pack for the discount. There are lots of different styles and they will suit your different activities. I would probably wear the boy shorts or sport for BJJ and sleeping but they’re not what I’d choose to wear under skinny jeans etc. I probably should have requested the thong for no gi and casual wear.
Women in the Grappling Network group have said that they prefer the Hip Hugger panties and wear them in addition to traditional period products as well as for incontinence issues.
Have you tried Thinx? If so, what is your favorite style? Let us know in the comments below!