How Do Period Panties Work? Your Ultimate Guide

How Do Period Panties Work? Your Ultimate Guide

How Do Period Panties Work? Your Ultimate Guide

Pads, tampons and menstrual cups have reigned supreme as the most popular period protection products for decades. But there’s a new player in the feminine hygiene game: period panties.

Period panties are a revolutionary way to deal with menstrual flow, and they’ve been taking the world by storm in recent years. But their relative newness and surprising functionality might leave you feeling skeptical. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to answer the question “How do period panties work?” Demystify the unknown and get the answers you need to make an informed decision about your period protection options.

What Are Period Panties?

Period panties are undergarments specifically designed to absorb menstrual flow and manage leakage. They look and feel just like regular panties and can be worn underneath your favorite outfits and everyday shapewear. But unlike standard underwear, they’re made of innovative materials that soak up menstrual blood and keep the wearer feeling dry and comfortable. They’re also washable and reusable, allowing for years of wear with proper care.

Lightweight and discreet, period panties can be worn alone or as a supplement to conventional menstrual products like pads, tampons and menstrual cups. The amount of absorbency varies depending on the brand and style of period panties, but many designs can hold the equivalent of at least one tampon’s worth of fluid.

How do Period Panties Work

The key to period underwear lies in their special design and construction. These undies are made from a combination of ultra-absorbent fabrics that lock in menstrual blood and keep your clothes safe from period leak accidents.

Leonisa’s period panties are crafted with a three-layer system for maximum reinforcement. Sandwiched between a 100% cotton gusset and an outer layer of stretch cotton is an impermeable membrane that holds onto moisture and prevents it from saturating the exterior. This coverage spans from the front to the back waistband of the underwear for complete protection against leaks, whether you’re sitting, sleeping or working out.

period underwear design

While our period panties are primarily cotton-based, they also feature elastane, polyamide and polyurethane for a secure fit. Other brands may use nylon, Lycra or polyester, but the basic principles remain the same: absorbency, leakage protection and comfort.

Who Should Wear Period Panties?

Period panties are suitable for anyone who menstruates or experiences spotting, regardless of age or lifestyle. During your menstrual period, period panties can be worn alone on light days, layered with pads for added protection, or used as a backup solution for menstrual cups and tampons. Spotting related to menopause, postpartum or pelvic surgery can also be managed with period panties.

Those whose periods have become unpredictable or inconsistent due to hormonal changes or lifestyle factors may find period panties to be the ideal solution for peace of mind. The flexibility of these special undergarments allows you to always have a backup plan on hand, no matter when or where you need it. Athletes, travelers and busy professionals can benefit from the convenience and discretion of period panties as they’re designed to move along with you throughout your day-to-day life.

Minor incontinence issues can often be addressed with period panties as well. Whether it’s due to postpartum healing, weak pelvic floor muscles or an overactive bladder, these powerful panties can hold on to unexpected wetness and keep you feeling comfortable in any situation.

Plus, because they’re washable and reusable, period panties are an eco-friendly choice for anyone looking to reduce their environmental footprint. And if money always seems to be tight when your period rolls around, opting for period panties on lighter flow days can result in serious cost savings over time.

classic light flow period panty

Should Period Panties Be Worn Alone?

Period panties are designed to absorb menstrual flow and unexpected leaks, but they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your flow and lifestyle, you may need to adjust how and when you wear them for the best results.

When you use period panties as your primary protection, it’s important to understand the product’s absorbency capacity and plan accordingly. Leonisa’s period panties offer light protection, so we suggest wearing them alone on the lightest days of your cycle. If you have a heavy flow, it’s best to use our period panties as a backup leak protection option — you should wear them with tampons, pads or menstrual cups for added security.

For those prone to unexpected spotting, our period panties provide around-the-clock protection against sudden surprises. In this case, you can wear them solo in place of your usual underwear with little worry of potential leaks.

If you’re planning to wear period panties for minor incontinence, similar rules apply. Period panties aren’t a replacement for incontinence pads or briefs, but they can be a helpful backup for occasional dampness. Always choose the highest absorbency rating available to hold on to any unexpected spills, and consider wearing period panties over your regular incontinence protection for extra assurance.

How Often Should You Change Your Period Panties?

Just like regular underwear, our period panties are designed for up to 24 hours of continuous wear. However, more frequent changes may be necessary depending on your flow. For example, if you plan to wear period panties for regular menstrual protection on light-to-moderate-flow days, it’s best to change your panties every 10-12 hours.

When using period panties as a backup solution, you can usually wear them for the same amount of time you’d wear your normal underwear — but leaks can still happen. If your pad, tampon or menstrual cup fails, our period panties can help you avoid discomfort until you can make it to the restroom for a change. However, it’s still a good idea to monitor your underwear after any unexpected leaks and change them as soon as you notice they’ve become oversaturated.

If you’re wearing period panties for light incontinence or spotting, keep an eye on your underwear throughout the day and always change them when they start to feel damp. In many cases, period panties can be worn for 24 hours without worry, but it’s best to be aware of any potential changes in your flow.

24-hour classic light flow period panty

Are Period Panties Safe?

Worries about safety are completely understandable, especially when you’re wearing something so close to your body. Conventional period protection options — particularly tampons — have been linked to a number of health issues, including toxic shock syndrome. Pads and pantyliners, meanwhile, can cause skin irritation and aggravate existing conditions like eczema in certain people.

Fortunately, period panties are a safe and sanitary option for menstruating people of all ages. They sit completely outside the body, so they don’t interfere with your natural pH levels or increase your risk of infection with proper care. People with sensitive skin can take comfort in the fact that our period panties are made of breathable cotton fabric. The material sits further from the skin than pads and tampons, so there’s less chance of friction or irritation.

Of course, period panties must still be cared for correctly to remain hygienic over time. Failing to change your panties regularly or wash them after each use can increase the risk of bacterial growth and infection, so always be sure to follow the recommended guidelines for safe wear and care of your period panties.

Caring for Your Period Panties

Our period panties are designed to be washed after each wear. However, the rules of conventional panty care don’t apply here — there are some special guidelines to keep in mind to preserve the integrity of your panties.

The mode of washing comes down to personal preference. You can either handwash your period panties or place them in the washing machine on a gentle cycle. The washing machine can contribute to more wear and tear over time compared to washing by hand, but it’s more effective at removing bacteria and odors.

If you opt for the washing machine, be sure to wash your period panties separately from the rest of your laundry to prevent any potential staining of other items. You should avoid using fabric softeners or fabric sheets when laundering your period panties because these can leave a residue that may cause irritation. Instead, use a mild detergent free of dyes or fragrances. It’s even worth running an extra rinse cycle to ensure all detergents are fully removed before taking your panties from the washer.

Once washed, hang your period panties in a warm, well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight until they are completely dry. Putting your panties in the dryer can cause them to wear out more quickly, so avoid it if possible.

With proper care, you can expect your period panties to last for many cycles — and feel free to treat yourself to a few more pairs if you prefer. Having multiple panties on hand will make it easier for you to rotate them and keep track of when each one needs washing. And if you notice any signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or thinning fabric, it’s time to replace them with a new pair.

black period panty

What To Look for When Buying Period Panties?

Not all period panties are created equal. From fabric type to absorbency level, there are several factors to consider when selecting a pair.

To get the most out of your purchase:

  1. Pay attention to the type of fabric and construction.
  2. Look for panties with a 100% cotton lining, as this will be kinder to your skin and provide more breathability.
  3. Pay attention to the seams, too — make sure they are strong and won't come undone after a few wears. The waistband should be elasticized to provide a snug fit without digging into your skin.

Absorbency level varies from panty to panty, and your choice should depend on what you plan to use them for. Leonisa’s light absorbency panties are ideal for everyday wear with lighter flows and as a backup for heavier flows. If you’re looking for an option that can completely replace a pad, menstrual cup or tampon, look for panties with a higher absorbency rating.

Being on your period doesn’t mean you have to compromise on looking and feeling great, so don’t forget about style. At Leonisa, we offer period panties in hipster and high-coverage classic styles for versatile wear. Hipsters are great for everyday wear, while our high-coverage classic style provides extra protection. Our period panties also make undergarment coordination a breeze — pair yours with our similar styles of bras for women for a put-together look that doesn’t sacrifice comfort.

Sizing is key, too. While many period panties are offered in limited sizes, our panties are available in an extended size range to fit a variety of bodies. Be sure to check the size chart to ensure the perfect fit. If you’re in-between sizes, we recommend sizing up for the most comfortable wear.

period panty and a sweater


Period panties are a mighty addition to your menstrual management routine. They’re comfortable, convenient and offer a level of protection that other options can’t beat. With the right approach and care regimen, you can look forward to many cycles of leak-free wear.

Image Credits

Oleg Krugliak/