Tampons and menstrual cups were invented for a reason. At least, that's what I kept telling myself when I heard about the line of period-proof activewear from Thinx. I had never tried out the Thinx period-proof underwear myself, but I had heard incredible reviews about it, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to give the activewear a shot.
There are three different types of activewear you can get from Thinx: training shorts (£50), leotard (£45), and unitard (£65). I opted to try the training shorts and the unitard, which is basically a leotard with leggings. Just like every other Thinx product, you can see how much blood each activewear piece holds. According to the Thinx website, the training shorts hold up to two tampons' worth of blood, while the unitard holds half a tampon.
Here's what I learned after (bravely) trying out both of the products on my last period.
Free Bleeding Feels Strange at First
I started my period on Sunday evening, so when I woke up on Monday, I decided to wear the leotard. Since my period tends to be heavier on the second full day, I knew I didn't need a huge amount of protection for my strength-training workout. But still, I was nervous to put my trusty menstrual cup to the side and free bleed into the unitard. I had never done anything like this before, and I had visions in my head of leaving behind drops of blood on the gym floor, like a trail of crumbs behind me.
On Mondays, I do a lower-body workout, and this particular program consisted of hip thrusts, goblet squats, single-leg deadlifts, weighted hyperextensions, and a good amount of mobility work to follow. Although I wasn't going to be jumping around rigorously, I was still slightly terrified that the leggings wouldn't be able to hold in all my blood.
It was a weird sensation at first — I could feel the blood dripping from my vagina onto my pants as I was squatting. It felt totally wrong. I kept looking down to make sure I wasn't leaking on anything, and I set a towel down on each bench I used in order to prevent any accidents from happening. Luckily, everything went smoothly. By the end of the workout, I had almost gotten used to the whole free-bleeding thing, although I wasn't exactly a big fan, if I'm being honest.
They Really Are Period-Proof
The next day, my flow was a little heavier. Every Tuesday afternoon, I run, so I packed the Thinx training shorts, feeling a little more secure knowing that they can hold two tampons' worth of blood. I took some ibuprofen shortly before my workout because my cramps were starting to kick in, and I wasn't about to let them wreck my run. The session consisted of a lot of hills and speed play, so I didn't really have much time to worry about menstruating. I was so focused on finishing each interval and reaching the finish line in one piece that when the workout ended, I realised I had run a full hour without even thinking about my period-proof shorts.
I ran to the bathroom in a hurry to see if there was any leakage on my upper thighs or the shorts — and I found nothing. I made it! I was victorious! It's funny to think about now — when I initially opened up the package, all I could think about was having a sweaty, bloody accident. But this turned out to be the least of my concerns. And the fact that I went through the whole workout without ever thinking about free bleeding meant that I was getting very used to it.
Working Out in Them Is Really Comfortable
Whether you use tampons or a menstrual cup, there's bound to be a time when it feels uncomfortable during your workout. It either gets wiggled out of place or it's not fully inserted, and this can put a damper on your otherwise kickass workout. With this period-proof line, though, I didn't have to worry about any of that.
Free bleeding may have been weird at the beginning, but when you get used to it, it is the most liberating thing you and your uterus can experience. I could move in any way I wanted without worrying about displacing a menstrual cup, and I didn't have to deal with any discomfort. I honestly can't wait to work out again next month in these products.
They're Really Easy to Wash
Any time I purchase some kind of specialised workout clothing, I dread the washing process. Some products demand to be hand washed or washed in a delicate cycle with a certain kind of clothing net or magical soap — and I just don't have time to think about all that. Luckily, Thinx products are a cinch to wash. I just tossed them into a clothing net, stuck them in the washing machine with the rest of my dark workout clothes, and washed it in a cold cycle. Then I simply hung them up to dry. The next morning, they were as good as new!
They Look (and Feel) Like Regular Workout Clothes
I got quite a few compliments on the bodysuit, and people had no idea what the function of the one-piece actually was. Additionally, when I met my husband to go on that run together, he asked me where I got the shorts, because he really liked how they looked. This was a huge relief. As someone who loves to try out and experiment with different athleisure looks, I was glad that Thinx activewear didn't look like poor-quality clothes. Quite the opposite, in fact; they looked stylish, and I would certainly wear them on my nonmenstruating days.
To boot, they felt like any other high-quality activewear sitting in my wardrobe. The underwear part that holds your blood isn't thick at all, so you can't tell the difference. They just feel like any other leggings or shorts I've worn in the past. Only these have superpowers.