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While some people may find talking about women’s sanitary products distasteful, they are an important part of women’s everyday lives, and anything that makes life easier and more comfortable during your period needs to be discussed.
For generations, women have been restricted to only two types of sanitary items - pads and tampons. While they have historically solved most women’s issues during their periods, not all women have found these items comfortable, or in some instances even safe.
Many women around the world still suffer from toxic shock syndrome when using tampons, and other women have found that pads have either not worked well - leaving embarrassing stains - or have stopped them from taking part in active pursuits. This is where the idea of sanitary underwear has come from.
Period underpants or sanitary underwear is basically underwear that has been designed to soak up menstrual blood throughout the day and night. They are made up of a minimum of three layers of varying absorbency, with a leak-proof fabric as the outer layer. All three layers are breathable too.
Sanitary underwear is also reusable, which makes it more environmentally friendly than disposable products; they are also much more comfortable to wear with high-waisted versions helping some women with cramps and of course, they are non-invasive.
While many women feel that they bleed a lot during their period; in fact, even the heaviest days are usually not more than a few teaspoons of liquid, which means that it is possible to wear this special underwear without the concern of having to change it during the day.
The first reusable sanitary panties were developed by a Canadian company in the mid-1990s, but the technology for them has improved remarkably since then. And although you can find all sorts of styles - including thongs - different brands will perform differently with variations in levels of absorbency, and there is also a wide range of prices.
Luckily, Uniqlo has just released its own version of sanitary underwear. Like most period pants, the Uniqlo version has three layers designed to ensure dryness and safety. There is a quick-drying and odour control layer that protects your skin; then the absorbent layer that is able to hold up to 30-40ml of liquid; and finally they have a water-resistant layer that is made of water-repellent fabric. The absorbent layer covers the crotch area, while the water-resistant layer covers the back of the panties to the waist, so the back is kept dry. The Uniqlo version is made from its Airism fabric with a seamless construction, and there is even a special technology used in the crotch area so that there is no leakage from seam needle holes.
According to the brand, the idea behind producing sanitary underwear came from the desire to help “create a more comfortable society for all women, and provide women with a new choice for greater comfort”.
Uniqlo also noted that there were more women looking for this type of sanitary product and that there were few affordable and well-functioning versions available.
“We felt that from the standpoint of cost and a lack of general awareness, use of these items was limited to certain segments of women. We think it’s significant that Uniqlo offers these items at a reasonable price and reliable quality that allows more women to purchase them,” a spokesperson shared.
The Uniqlo sanitary underwear will be available at selected Uniqlo Orchard Central and ION Orchard, and online at uniqlo.com from 13 September onwards.