These Workout Shorts Absorb Period Blood—Here's What Ob-Gyns Think About Them
THINX, the much-talked-about company that created blood-absorbing "period panties" to let women ditch pads and tampons during their periods, has expanded their product line with fitness fanatics in mind.
The brand's new collection includes training shorts, leotards, and unitards with THINX's signature absorbent undies built discreetly inside. These new "period-proof" activewear pieces range in price from $60 to $85, and are intended to keep women dry and leak-free while they sweat it out sans sanitary products. According to the brand’s website, the training shorts ($65; shethinx.com) are able to absorb up to two tampons' worth of blood, while the leotard ($60; shethinx.com) can absorb one and the unitard ($85; shethinx.com) can absorb one-half.
THINX has said they want to help dismantle the taboo surrounding periods. But should you free bleed in your gym gear while you exercise?
"There is absolutely no medical benefit or harm," says Fahimeh Sasan, DO, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the Mount Sinai Health System."These clothes are essentially just a variation on a pad, which would also absorb sweat and blood during a workout."
Whether a woman should wear a pad, tampon, menstrual cup, or period-absorbing clothing while she exercises simply comes down to personal preference, says Dr. Sasan. "It’s what feels the most comfortable for you and fits your lifestyle best."
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Practicing common sense hygiene can help keep things clean and germ-free once your sweat session is over, says Leena Nathan, MD, an ob-gyn at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
"I’d recommend changing out of the workout wear if it feels wet or moist," she says. Though the pieces are made of breathable materials, moisture can still cause irritation over time. If you’re just wearing the shorts or leotards for an easy activity (say, a walk outside), treat them like you would a pad or tampon, choosing when to change based on your flow.
The bottom line? "[This] activewear is no better or worse for you than standard sanitary products," says Dr. Sasan. But props to the brand for THINX-ing outside the box.