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My periods and I have had a complicated relationship ever since they first darkened my doorstep in my mid-teens. For twenty years they were nothing but trouble: painful, heavy, and worst of all so irregular that I had no idea when they were going to turn up. I have had every test under the sun to try to explain why I have such a monstrous menstrual time and all have come up blank. So I just had to learn to deal: steamrolling pain with heavy painkillers, trying hormonal contraception to combat irregularity, and using a belt and braces approach of tampons with pads to cope with heaviness.
Looking back on all that I feel so lucky that in my mid-30’s, although still awful, my periods have at least evened out. They now show up every month like clockwork, only varying by a day or two each time. This new predicability has allowed me a little bit of breathing space to think about all the stuff I’m throwing at them to manage them. After first ditching the hormonal contraception because it just doesn’t agree with me, I now want to address what menstrual products I’ve been using and switch to a more sustainable, eco-friendly option that suits my flow.
This is where Modibodi comes in, a representative of the brand reached out to me last month to ask whether I would be up for trying out some of the range. As it was something that I was in the middle of researching I, of course, said yes but was careful to point out that I would need to try something that would be able cope with my particular set of issues.
A couple of days later, two pairs of Modibodi Sensual Hi-Waist Bikini [gifted] pants arrived; a Heavy / Overnight absorbency pair and a Light / Moderate absorbency pair. Both came wrapped in brown paper recyclable packaging which included a full breakdown of the brand’s ethos on the back, along with useful real-world equivalencies for each absorbency level, plus full care instructions for washing so they’d stay looking and working their best.
I was so excited to give these a whirl for a number of reasons; firstly, I just really hate tampons! Yes, they’re convenient and ‘tidy’, but their disposable nature means every month I’m sending a load of them off to the landfill. Not only that, but the awful bleaches and dyes in those things have always given me pause as they’re possibly not the best things to be putting near my nether regions. Also, I’ve personally had a lot of pain and discomfort around the usage of tampons, so to get away from that and let my body do its thing was appealing.
Putting Modibodi To The Test
The first pair I tried out were the Heavy / Overnight absorbency [gifted] in one of Modibodi’s new colourways, a chill purple called ‘Grape’. My initial impressions were all positive: the material felt soft to the touch, the legs seemed to be comfortably cut, and the absorbent gusset appeared reassuringly thick and extra long – but crucially not bulky – extending all the way up the back of the pants for those that lie on their back when they sleep.
As far as how they actually held up against the day of my period with the heaviest flow: I’m so impressed! I was incredibly worried about leaking, especially overnight, but in my case there was absolutely none. I wore these pants for the best part of a day with no issues, I put them on before bed and then swapped them at around lunchtime the next day. They stayed dry to the touch and did not leak. The only claim I personally didn’t find completely fulfilled was that these pants lock away odour, I did notice the distinctive smell of period blood from them when I went to the loo, but underneath my clothing it was not noticeable.
The second pair I tried out toward the end of my period was the Light / Moderate absorbency [gifted] in ‘Blue Horizon’. Other than the colour, the only way these differ from the Heavy / Overnight pair is in the absorbency level. As you can see in the picture above, the black absorbent gusset does not extend up the back as far, but what you can’t see is that it is also slimmer.
I was just as impressed with these ones, and the slimmer gusset was a touch more comfortable. I wore them for slightly longer than the other pair as it was the very last day of my period, but as my flow was much lighter I wasn’t asking them to work quite as hard.
FIT INFO: Based on the onsite measurements I went with a size 18/2XL which is my ‘usual’ size. Although initially very comfortable, when I started to move around I found they kept disappearing up my butt and the lace waistband kept rolling down under my belly, neither of which was comfy at all! Based on this experience I would recommend sizing up from your usual size in the Sensual Hi-Waist style at least.
Lastly, a quick note about washing and care. I found it incredibly easy to rinse them under the tap after use and then bung them straight in the washing machine to go through the wash with the next load. If you are a fabric softener user then you may have to put them through in their own wash or even handwash them. Fabric softner won’t necessarily damage Modibodi pants, but it will reduce how absorbent they are.
In conclusion: I’m a convert! Despite the issues I had with sizing, these pants still did their job and I loved the fact that these Modibodi period pants absolutely held their own against my heaviest days. I’ve resolved to get more to replace my tampon and pad use but, based on this trial, in a size larger and a slightly different style. Looking at the selection on the Modibodi site the Seamfree Full Brief and the Classic Shorts seem to be extremely my jam, and they go up to a size 26.
Overall, I’m just really happy that I’m able to switch to a more comfortable and sustainable alternative to tampons and pads. In a lot of ways it makes me feel more connected to, and in control of, my period after a life time of keeping it all at arms length and feeling like my period controls me.