We got to interview Connie Shih, founder of Heralogie, to dispel a few myths surrounding period underwear
Growing up, I had never given much thought to periods. They were an unfortunate time of the month and were not often talked about. I remember using pads throughout my teenage years before opting for tampons in my adult life. It wasn’t until my late 20’s did I discover period underwear. It was a total game-changer, and I couldn’t believe more people weren’t talking about them!
Nervous to try period underwear?
When I started talking about period undies with my friends, I got a lot of questions. There was apprehension in trying them as well as a lot of curiosity about how they work. The fact that close friends avoided talking about periods previously definitely said something about period stigma.
After leaving my career on Wall Street, I decided to found my company, Heralogie, that would help quell the stigma as well as share this great product with the world. Creating a menstrual product that can both improve the lives of menstruators and reduce stigma around periods is something I am very adamant about. So, in playing my part in this effort to reduce stigma, I’d like to take a moment to talk about how period underwear feels and most importantly, if they work!
To do this, I put together a list of some of the most common questions that come up on social media around period underwear:
Will they smell?
It’s important to remember that many companies are out there just to make money. A lot of these companies make their money by both encouraging and creating a need where there isn’t one. An area that this is all too prominent in is vaginal health and includes sometimes harmful information. The vagina, is a self-cleaning machine that when happy will not smell - and neither will your period. In the case of Heralogie, our period underwear are made almost exclusively of natural materials. The gusset is mostly organic cotton with an anti-odor and anti-bacterial treatment to help keep things working as they should. They are also OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, meaning they don't contain toxic chemicals. Taking care of the products is easy and also ensures that your undies will last you years. For example, hang dry instead of putting them in the dryer - both environmentally friendly and better for your undies.
Do they feel like diapers?
They definitely do not, they are the most freeing product I have ever tried. Although period undies don’t hold as much liquid as full-on diapers, they are also significantly thinner, discrete and 100% comfier. The gusset, or crotch region, of the underwear is composed of a number of layers of absorbent fabrics that keep you feeling dry. Heralogie’s main fabrics are organic cotton and Tencel, which is a specialized modal made of beechwood trees. We chose these materials because of their softness, breathability and sustainability. They are also thinner and softer than a pad.
Why not keep using tampons?
At the end of the day, you choose what you use to manage your flow. However, the more information that comes forward about tampons through advocacy and research, the more horrifying we learn they are. Did you know, for example, that tampons are often laced with bleach and/or other toxic chemicals and plastics? This isn’t even taking into consideration how the plastic one-time use applicators are terrible for the environment. If you are really heavy, we can recommend that you use period underwear with a back up, but recommend trying a cup.
Will they hold up for my heavy periods?
Speaking of heavy periods, let’s get into some numbers. One tampon can hold about 5ml of liquid, in comparison, our most absorbent styles can hold 40mL. We are also developing undies that are even more absorbent than that. And while you should be fine to wear one pair of underwear for the day, swapping pairs halfway through the day is totally fine. Some users, like we mentioned above, wear the undies as backup to other products, overnight, or just for exercise. We know that for Jen, founder of YourPeriodCalled, is a huge fan of wearing them at night because she feels most comfortable this way!
Why do people choose to wear period undies?
There are many reasons, but alongside comfort and convenience, menstrual sustainability is important to have on this list. On average every year, in the United States alone, 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out into landfills and often end up in sewers and oceans. The plastics in these products harms marine life as well as any other animals that may ingest them. Beyond the environmental tax from landfills, manufacturing the plastics in these products also consumes excessive fossil fuel.
Alongside external environmental concerns, menstruators are more comfortable using products near their sensitive regions that are certified non-toxic. Tampons and pads often don’t make the cut here when discussing toxin-free products. They also can cost a whopping 6,300$ over the course of a lifetime. So for a toxin-free, environmentally sustainable option using period underwear will significantly cut down on these costs, especially when they are accessibly priced like Heralogie’s. We also go the extra mile in terms of being more environmentally sustainable by not using plastic in our packaging, opting for biodegradable bags made of cornstarch.
Lastly, period underwear is by far more comfortable than wearing pads or tampons. A lot of users look forward to their periods as they get to use a new special product. It’s an investment in both self care and health. We hope to both combat period stigma as a company as well as provide a sustainable solution to periods.
To check out the Heralogie collection and learn more about the product, you can follow them on Instagram @Heralogie
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