Let’s be honest, having your period turn up unexpectedly at the pool or while on holiday is less than ideal (especially if you’ve bought a new white bikini to show off your tan... and no tampons). But it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the water.
In fact, swimming – and exercising in general – has been shown to reduce common period pains and symptoms. One study, where a team of researchers from St Mary’s University and FitrWoman analysed responses from over 14,000 female members of the Strava fitness app, found that 78 per cent of women say that exercise reduces symptoms related to their menstrual cycle.
Yet, worryingly, 72 per cent of women reported receiving no education regarding exercise and their menstrual cycle. This figure sadly increases to 82 per cent in the UK and Ireland, where 40 per cent said they decreased exercise levels during puberty.
But the latest trend in female tech is here to change that. That’s right, it’s period pants. They are everywhere right now, with plenty of new and existing brands bringing out flow-friendly underwear and activewear.
And now Modibodi has released a specific swimwear range, consisting of a leak-proof bikini brief, a high-waisted bikini brief and a one-piece swimsuit.
The question is, do they work? I got my hands on a pair of the high-waisted bikini bottoms, to try them out first hand.
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Modibodi swimwear recycled hi-waist bikini brief
Buy now £31.50, Modibodi.co.uk
My pair of period-proof bikini bottoms arrived in a simple, recyclable package – and, at first glance, the briefs seemed a little large. I ordered a size 10 – which is equivalent to a small – and the smallest size they offer, but as soon as I pulled them on, I was surprised to find they fit snugly around my waist, sitting just above my belly button.
Looks-wise, I’d describe these bikini bottoms as Bridget Jones-style pants – high waisted, comfortable, and with lots of rear coverage. I’m going to blame the pandemic for this trend – the resurgence of big knickers is surely down to the fact that while stuck at home, we’ve prioritised comfort above all else.
Large, tight and featuring a low-cut leg and thick waistband, these bikini briefs are not flattering. But, crucially, they’re very opaque – and as they’re black, even if you were to leak a little blood, it would hardly show.
The padded seam is quite inconspicuous – not bulky like wearing a sanitary pad – so the promised light to moderate absorbency (or two tampons worth) seems like it would make leaks fairly impossible.
According to the brand, these bikini briefs are made from recycled fabric which is chlorine-resistant and UV50+ rated.
I took the plunge and tested them at my local leisure centre, pairing them with a long line bikini top from Davy J. The top allows for a little overlapping, so paired with the Modibodi period briefs, to the untrained eye, it looked like I was just wearing a simple, black, sporty one-piece.
Once in the water, they felt like any other pair of swimming briefs – although not as skimpy as I’m used to.
If you’ve ever tried swimming while on your period without wearing a tampon, you’ll probably have noticed that your period seems to stop when you’re actually in the water – this is mainly due to the water pressure. Of course, your normal flow will resume as soon as you get out of the water (hence why you’d still see some spotting if you went completely without any sanitary products).
What I liked best about these bikini bottoms is how environmentally friendly they are. The simple swap from tampons to reusable pants directly impacts landfills and oceans. And since it’s been estimated that around 2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year, we really do have a responsibility to at least try the alternatives out there.
The verdict: Modibodi swimwear recycled hi-waist bikini brief
Are they nice enough for me to chuck into my swim bag every 28 days? I think, until they bring out some high-leg styles with flattering – and fun – prints, I’ll be sticking to the likes of Maru, Funkita and Speedo, while wearing a tampon, in the pool.
But, one thing’s for sure, there will be no more “I can’t go swimming today, I’ve got my period” excuses.
And, on those last days of your period when wearing a tampon can often be painful (because, you know, there’s only a small amount of blood), at least I know there is another option out there, that doesn’t end with ruining another white cossie.
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