Flow Intimates 101: All you need to know about period underwear
We hear you! The most challenging thing in the world is starting a new habit, doing something different than you usually do. And you may think you have enough on your mind when you get to that first day of your cycle.
Honestly, periods revolve around a lot of emotions, sensations sometimes even discomfort and stigma.
This is actually why we created period wear in the first place - we need a no nonsense, comfortable menstrual alternative to those products that have to be inserted into our bodies, and definitely something better than disposable pads (whoever invented those things?!).
This article is for you who’s still a little reluctant. Who’s still waiting to take the first step.
And we acknowledge the first step to creating a new habit is the most difficult. But we’re here to tell you - it’s worth it. So let’s get to down to smashing every single question or doubt you might have.
And if it all still seems mind boggling - you know our email.
Let’s dive in.
What is period underwear?
It looks and feels like your regular underwear but comes with a built-in menstrual pad made of different fabric layers.
This means you bleed directly into your undies as the padded part will absorb the blood and afterwards you rinse and wash them.
No need for extra pads - but you can combine them with a cup if you’re a heavy bleeder (and be excited that we are developing a heavy flow undie).
Why is period underwear amazing?
There are two perspectives (we bet even more!):
1) The absolute COMFORT. Not inserting anything into your body. To not worry about where your pad went or if it’s time to change that tampon to avoid any health risk. To be able to bleed freely, and feel secure.
2) Saving the environment a lot of waste, skipping all the disposables. When we ask our community they say it’s a real gamechanger, and that they would have loved having them tried them even earlier.
How does it actually work?
It’s kind of an old technique. Using fabrics for your period. But today the fabrics are soft, safe, often organic and there’s a polyester layer to make sure, you do not bleed through.
Technically they are built with three layers: The top layer, the wicking layer, will lead the moisture away from your body and down and into the second layer which is a kind of towellike fabric woven to hold your blood.
Next layer and third layer is a polyester membrane that will keep your trousers clean. No blood can penetrate. And that’s the technical part.
The rest is just regular underwear.
Made to make you feel you while bleeding.
How do I get started?
First thing is to choose your style.
Then find your size - are you in between sizes go for the larger one.
Click. Order - and have them delivered (or pick them up).
The first thing you’ll do is try them on wearing your own underwear underneath. Do they feel comfortable?
If yes, it’s a keeper! Toss them in your washing machine and line dry.
When your period is knocking you’ll be ready with a drawer full of clean flows.
Bleed into them
Hang them to dry, and back at it.
When should I start wearing my Flows?
When you know your period is about to arrive, just put your undies on.
They’ll feel like your regular ones so you might have worn them for weeks already (not to sound like your parents, but of course change them every day).
As soon as you start bleeding, you can do so directly in your Flows.
What should I do on my first day of period?
Take really good care of yourself.
Maybe cancel your plans. Maybe cuddle on the couch. Watch a romcom or dive into the box of chocolate leftover from the holidays.
And go find your Flows in your drawer.
They will feel like a regular little hug around your bottoms and who wouldn’t like that?
How do I clean them?
When you’re done with you flows you should rinse them in cold water till the water runs clear.
The cold water will break down the blood’s structure and this will make cleaning them easier.
If you’re not ready to do a load of washing just yet, hang them to air dry.
If you have a load ready, put your Flows in a little washing bag for delicates to protect them and then wash with similar colors on 30 or 40 degrees.
This will both prolong your Flow’s lifetime and you save the environment a lot of energy - skip the high temperatures.
Today’s detergents are full of super effective enzymes that will get your clothes clean without the high temperatures. Promise.
Hang them to dry, and then do it all over again. Rinse, wash, wear - repeat.
When should I change my underwear?
This really depends on your flow.
Both Flow 1 and Flow 2 are for moderate flow, and we are four menstruators in the office who have the same rhythm with changing.
On our heavy days we change in the morning, afternoon and at night time.
The other days we usually change in the morning and night time.
How will I know when to change my underwear?
You really do get a sense, just like you do with your disposable pads.
When the blood stays on the surface of your undies it might be a sign, that they are ‘full’ and can’t absorb any more blood.
You can feel that they’ve gotten slightly heavier, after a few times use, you will get a real sense of this and know exactly when it’s time to change.
How many pairs should I buy?
This really depends on your flow and/or if you have your own washing machine.
With a more heavy flow you might feel the need to change more often than with a more moderate flow, and you can even more quickly wash a load if you have your own machine.
But we’d say that 5 to 7 pairs will get you off to a really great start!
Can you help me figure out my size?
Flows are pretty true to size, but if you’re in between sizes we recommend sizing up.
Is it actually better for the environment?
When choosing period underwear you are saving the environment a lot of waste.
About 90% less waste during a lifetime of periods compared to a disposable alternative like pads or tampons.
You can read our article here for more information.
Who benefits especially from period underwear?
We’d say everyone!
But there are some menstruators who will benefit even more from period underwear: Teens and people with physical or mental disabilities.
For some it’s not an option to handle or change a tampon or cup for example - this can be due to physiological reasons.
For some inserting anything into the body can be linked to great pain. We all have different experiences and needs but period underwear can truly be amazing for most menstruators.
This might answer some of your questions - and if you’re ready for the first step go find your Flows here.
And if you’re still reluctant please send us an email; firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you with that next step.