One afternoon when I was in fourth grade, the girls were whisked away in secret to watch a video about periods, pads, and tampons. That's about where my public education on menstruation began and ended—a secret discussion that boys couldn't be privy to. And it was, from that moment forward, ingrained in us that it is somehow embarrassing to get your period.It isn't, of course, and some of us at WIRED talked at length about our period flows and habits, and tested new menstrual products to find the best budget- and eco-friendly alternative methods. It can be scary to try something new, but it's actually a perfect time to switch things up, since the Covid-19 pandemic has created a homebound reality for a lot of us. If you're working or taking classes from home, you won't have to worry about being uncomfortable or potentially leaking in public until you've got a system down.
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Period underwear absorbs blood without feeling damp. It's a great place to start. Most period underwear is not cheap, but you can save money in the long run by not having to stock up on so many tampons or pads. Start out with a pair or two; eventually you can get enough to last your whole cycle.
They mostly feel just like any other pair of underwear. Even when I used the heaviest protection, I didn't feel like I was wearing thick underwear or pull-up diapers (or even a pad for that matter). It also doesn't look like you've got extra padding on under your clothes.