As National Period Day [10th October] approaches, new insight reveals how interest in sustainable period products, such as menstrual cups, reusable tampon applicators, reusable sanitary towels, and the popular period pants, has dramatically increased over the past year.
Following a 66% increase in searches for the term “period pants” in the last 12 months¹, a new study from period wear manufacturer Iceni Silver reveals that over half of Brits (53%) find pads and tampons uncomfortable. Still, they have significant concerns about ditching them for reusable period underwear.
Following a nationwide survey, Iceni Silver reveal the top four main concerns² around using period knickers:
Smell – 51.4%
Hygiene – 49.3%
Price – 45.9%
Practicality – 33.8%
The new research indicates that over half (51%) of those aware of period knickers said their main concern around switching from disposable products is the fear of bad smells after not changing the underwear for several hours.
The second most common concern about reusable period wear, according to the study, is hygiene. With 75% of women3 likely to have at least one yeast infection during their lifetime, nearly five in ten (49%) survey respondents said they’re concerned about how clean reusable period knickers were.
Although you can make a saving of around £85 by ditching disposable sanitary products by owning just three pairs of period pants, the new insight reveals that over two-fifths of (46%) Brits find the price factor of period knickers a significant concern.
Survey respondents also shared candid insights with Iceni, with one participant, in particular, advising they would find it embarrassing if they were seen to be wearing period knickers, with a further one in six (15%) stating that male relatives/friends/partners already make fun of periods as it is.
Period Underwear Case Study
Eco Expert blogger, Georgina Caro, switched to reusable period underwear several years ago. Discussing her thoughts about period wear is, she said, “I have always suffered from heavy periods, but since switching to reusable period pants, my periods have not only been lighter but less painful. On a heavy day, I can wear my heavy flow pants for up to 8 hours without any issues. I have never leaked through them. With the nighttime disposable pads, I would leak through every night and have to have to lay on a towel in bed.”
“Period pants have been life-changing for me. They fit really well to your body, and you can completely forget you’re on your period, unlike when you wear disposables. They are far more comfortable than disposable pads and don’t make you sweat as they’re made of breathable material. Switching to reusable period wear was one of the best decisions I ever made. My only regret is that they weren’t around when I was younger. They would have made my whole period experience much easier.”
Debunking the main concerns highlighted in the study, Francesca Hansen, Co-founder of Iceni Silver, says: “Ahead of National Period Day, we wanted to speak directly with Brits to find out what period products they are currently using and what is potentially holding them back from switching to reusable items.
“We found the results to be really interesting and they highlight how many Brits are still hung up on myths around wearing the items such as how hygienic and expensive they are.
“Foul odours should not be a concern whilst wearing period wear. As long as the underwear is cleaned thoroughly and left to dry before wearing again, the underwear should stay clean and fresh.
“With hygiene problems such as yeast infections and toxic shock syndrome being a considerable risk with people wearing sanitary products for long periods of time, it is understandable why some people may be apprehensive about testing out period knickers.
“Our period knickers contain anti-microbial fabric; unlike sanitary pads that leave the blood on the surface, they fully absorb the fluid to keep you feeling dry and clean all day long.
“The concerns around practicality are not that shocking, as the survey also revealed that almost two-thirds of individuals suffer from heavy periods and symptoms. We want people to know that there is a variety of period wear on the market made to fit an individual’s unique cycle. This can range from managing mild incontinence or light flow to holding up to 40 ml of fluid, the equivalent of 12 regular tampons or eight heavy tampons. So you can wear your period knickers throughout the day without fear of leakages.”
Vanessa Smith, Co-founder of Iceni Silver, said, “Period wear is absolutely the future of menstrual products. They are a highly effective, practical and sustainable alternative to sanitary wear and a perfect option for young girls who are just starting their period and are just getting to grips with how to manage their cycles.
“We developed Iceni Silver after we noticed a serious lack of period products made for women and girls with active backgrounds. As the mothers of very sporty daughters, we felt that there needed to be more products on offer that would prevent them from having to miss out on sports on such a regular basis.
“We also noticed a serious lack of products on the British market, with the majority of large period wear brands based and manufactured in either Australia or the US. We use British designers and make our products exclusively in Great Britain.”
To find out more about the study, and why you should ignore those myths please visit: https://icenisilver.com/blogs/news/period-knicker-myths
SEMrush data correct as of the 6th of October 2021.
Study of 154 Brits on their views and experiences with periods and period products
Data from Healthy Women Org on Yeast infections.