It’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite topic: periods. That time of the month doesn’t exactly inspire visions of rainbows and unicorns – for most of us, at least – but it doesn’t have to be so bad. Here are five products that will make that visit from Aunt Flo just a little bit more tolerable.
The ads for these so-called “period panties” are popping up everywhere, and I’ll admit to my fair share of skepticism (and disgust). Thinx look and feel just like a regular pair of underwear – they come in six styles and three colors – but the anti-microbial, moisture-wicking material can absorb up to two tampons’ worth of blood. Just rinse them immediately, throw them in the cold cycle and hang to dry – then reuse 28 days later. One caution: on heavy flow days, you’ll still need a pad or tampon, but you won’t have to worry about a panty liner. And if you need another reason to love Thinx, they’re committed to removing the stigma that surrounds menstruation for good.
When you’re on your period, the pads and tampons from Freda might cheer you up a bit. The online subscription service offers tampons made from 100% certified organic cotton that are biodegradable and hypoallergenic and pads that contain completely eco-friendly, biodegradable materials. The service uses artificial intelligence to predict your period’s start date, letting you sync the delivery of your products to make sure they arrive a few days before Aunt Flo does. (No more panicked runs to Walgreen’s!) Best of all, a portion of every Freda subscription goes toward worldwide initiatives that help provide better period care for women living in poverty.
Period pain is no joke, and if you’re anything like me, you probably end up downing ibuprofen like they’re Tic-Tacs during that time of the month. But Livia claims to do away with menstrual cramps, sans medicine. The FDA-approved device transmits micro-pulses to keep the nerves “busy” so that menstrual pain signals aren’t felt (similar to a TENS device used for other therapeutic purposes). Livia is compact and lightweight, so you just clip it on, turn it on, and get on with your life. Plus, the six skins come in multiple colors, so you can accessorize like the girly-girl you know you are.
This subscription service understands that a sweet surprise can make you feel one hundred percent better when you’re dealing with cramps and bloating. That’s why each month’s delivery includes a few extras (we’re talking chocolate, ladies!) in addition to the pre-selected pads, tampons and liners. It also has a charitable component: For every subscription, Odeeva donates hygiene products to women in need through the organization Girls Helping Girls. Period.
Talking to young girls about their changing bodies can be awkward, to say the least. This helpful book on puberty does the heavy lifting for you, with chapters that touch on facial hair, boobs and, yes, periods. The book’s author, Naama Bloom, founded HelloFlo, a company that’s all about women’s health and feminine care, so she knows what girls are asking, everything from how to insert a tampon to soldiering on despite PMS. If you’re not quite sure how to broach the tricky conversations around puberty, this is a great starting point.