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Comparing Period Underwear: Knix VS Thinx

December 4, 2017

I LOVE talking about all things period – and I’ve been pretty open about my own period routine. If you’ve been keeping up with the blog, you know that I switched to a menstrual cup over 2 years ago and have been loving it. But lately, there’s been tons of talk about period underwear. I’m part of a bunch of different women’s group and there’s always questions popping up about if period underwear are worth it, which brand to get, etc. 

Because I want to continue minimizing my carbon footprint, be part of the conversation, and help women make a well-informed purchase – I bought a pair of period underwear from Knix and a pair from Thinx. In this post, I’m comparing the construction and price. My next period isn’t for a couple of weeks, so I’ll be updating this post to focus on the performance of both pairs. 

knix underwear review, thinx underwear review

Knix Review

Cost: $43 (with tax & shipping)
Construction: Seamless, absorbant gusset
Performance: TBD

Knix is a Toronto-based company, that sells bras, underwear and recently loungewear. I have purchased one of their bras in the past, as well as regular underwear. Their regular underwear is made from nylon and Lycra and is seamless.

Their leakproof line is designed for periods and urinary incontinence (PS. if you do leak while you run/jump/laugh, I would recommend seeing a pelvic floor physiotherapist). The bikini underwear can hold up to 2 tampons-worth of fluid, which is roughly 10mL (or 2 tsp), although they have other styles (like thongs) that hold less. 

Their leakproof underwear is designed very similarly to their regular line – both are seamless, the body is made from nylon and Lycra, the only difference is that the leakproof pair has a lined crotch (also known as a gusset). The gusset is 86% cotton. There isn’t any extra support in the front or back area. While I probably won’t wear these overnight on my heavier days (when paired with a menstrual cup), I’m excited to wear them during the day on my lighter days as a replacement for a liner. 

Lastly, taking care of the Knix seems easy, machine wash in cold water and hang to dry! 

Thinx Review

Cost: $53 (with shipping & converted to $CAD)
Construction: Not seamless, fully lined, extra layer from front of the gusset extending to the back
Performance: TBD

Thinx is an American-based company that only sells period-proof underwear – although they do have a sister company called Icon designed for women who experience urinary incontinence. Thinx is moisture-wicking, anti-microbial, absorbent and leakproof. My pair is made with breathable PUL fabric, and the inside layer is 95% cotton (which is great for those who suffer from chronic vaginal infections). I purchased the scarlet hiphuggers, that are designed to hold 2 tampons worth of fluid. Like Knix, they have various styles (like boy shorts) that hold different amounts of liquid. 

I was so pleased when I opened these because they are fully lined (back and front!)! They look and feel completely different than Knix, they would be great for those heavy overnights (as a back up to my menstrual cup). While these are slightly more expensive than a pair of Knix, it feels like you’re getting a more functional product (as they can be used during the day and night) – especially if you’re like me and want to stop relying on pads completely. That said, I haven’t tested them out yet!

Taking care of the Thinx seems incredibly easy – after you’re done using them you simply pre-wash them by hand, machine wash in cold water and hang to dry.

knix underwear review, thinx underwear review

Final Thoughts

Now that I’ve compared how they look, feel and cost – I still need to put their performance to the test! During my next cycle I’m going to be rocking the Knix during the day and the Thinx at night. 

You can check out Knix’s leakproof line here, and if you want to save $10 on a pair Thinx, use this link!

Lastly, if you love learning about periods and want to keep in the flow, sign up for my monthly newsletter called The Flow for great and informative content like this! And you’ll also get a free plan while you’re at it!

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Mood Disorders and Your Period

December 11, 2017
mood and period, pms, pmdd, toronto naturopath, naturopathic doctor toronto

We all have those days on our cycle where we just want to curl up in bed and hibernate – which after doing some research, is pretty common during menstruation. Because it’s considered a ‘yin’ time in traditional Chinese medicine, rest and relaxation during your period is essential. Nevertheless, if you’re experiencing up and downs in your mood as well as particular physical symptoms, it could signify something greater at play. 

PMS

We’ve all heard of PMS, but what exactly is it? It’s an mix of psychological and physical symptoms including: depression, anxiety, irritability, bloatedness and mastalgia (painful breasts). In order to be diagnosed as PMS, these symptoms should be occurring in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (read – 7 to 10 days before your period begins) and can continue into the first couple days.

PMS can occur for many reasons, some of them including: 

  • Nutrient deficiencies (like vitamins B6, E and A, calcium, and magnesium)

  • Blood sugar imbalance

  • Environmental factors, such as exogenous estrogen from plastics and other chemical exposures

  • Stress 

PMDD

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is thought to be an extreme form of PMS. Similar to PMS it consists of a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, however PMDD will cause extreme shifts in mood that can disrupt work and damage relationships. 

Symptoms also begin right before your period starts, and may continue into your cycle. Both PMDD and PMS may also cause bloating, breast tenderness, fatigue, and changes in sleep and eating habits. In PMDD, however, at least one of these emotional and behavioral symptoms stands out:

  • Sadness or hopelessness

  • Anxiety or tension

  • Extreme moodiness

  • Marked irritability or anger

Final Thoughts

While we all commonly experience symptoms of PMS, in order to ‘diagnose’ it we should be recording our symptoms for at least 2 cycles using a symptom chart. Similar to all treatments with your Naturopathic Doctor we work on discovering why this is happening and work on correcting any deficiencies. If you notice that you’re beginning to observe some of these symptoms, track it on paper or a period app so you can relay you findings to your ND. 

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, first line treatment of these disorders don’t require any pharmaceuticals. Depending on the severity of PMS, treatment options can include exercise, vitamins and cognitive behavioural therapy.

If you love learning about your hormones and your period, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter called The Flow for great and informative content like this

Iron: the most common nutritional deficiency in women

December 4, 2017
iron deficiency

The most common nutritional deficiency in women is iron, as most women and people who menstruate lose blood each month. In fact, iron deficiency is the most common cause of heavy periods. Iron is a necessary part of our body as it transports oxygen throughout the body, and helps with thyroid production.

As mentioned, you’re at risk for this deficiency if you experience heavy periods. If you use a cup to track blood loss, anything over 80mL is considered a risk. Similarly if you are changing pads or tampons every 2 hours or less, you are at risk for deficiency. 

Signs & Symptoms of an iron deficiency

An iron deficiency can lead to many symptoms including:

  • Mental and physical exhaustion

  • Hair loss

  • Brittle nails

  • Mouth ulcers and oral tongue 

  • Headaches

  • Paleness

  • Shortness of breath

  • Cold hands and feet

Testing your iron status

Finding out your iron levels is very simple. A doctor will run your serum ferritin levels (the storage form of iron), and ensure that they are optimal. Depending on if you choose to supplement or increase dietary sources of iron, your ferritin levels may take more than 3-6 months to improve. 

Food sources of iron

There are two types of iron – heme and non heme. Heme iron is found in animal products, such as meat – and is generally better absorbed. While non-heme is found in plant-based products like lentils and leafy greens. Iron is best absorbed with vitamin C. So if you’re going to make yourself a kale salad, squeeze some lemon on top! Dairy can actually inhibit iron absorption, so try to avoid pairing these two. 

Moreover, if your iron levels are quite low, it’s usually best to supplement with a quality iron product. Iron bisglycinate is a highly absorbable and is quite gentle on the stomach.

Final Thoughts

If you are experiencing heavy periods and are noticing any signs and symptoms of iron deficiency, getting your iron tested and ensuring that it’s optimal (not normal!) – it would be a great idea to get your ferritin levels tested! 

If you love learning about your hormones and your period, be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter called The Flow for great and informative content like this.