Biking While Female: A Review of Period Products

On Sunday morning I was excited to get my period! Woo! That may seem like a strange statement, but after several days of excruciating cramps with absolutely nothing to show for it, I was excited for the shed to begin. If I’m in pain I at least want to know something is happening & that it will end soon!

So why am I writing about it? Let’s backup about 10 years to when I first started taking hormonal birth control. It lightened my flow significantly & I was able to use tampons, or my more recently preferred menstrual cups (Softcup – the reusable kind), with a light panty liner at night. My flow was very manageable, light during the day and virtually non existent at night or any time I was laying in a prone position.

Riding my bike with a cup was a breeze. Tampons were fine, although the string could be annoying, but nothing to write home about.

Fast forward to today: I’m no longer able to take hormonal bc & I’m not able to wear tampons or cups for the next few months while I continue to recover from surgery. My flow is no longer light or even manageable (babbling brook vs. waterfall) and I felt 13 again. How could I possibly leave the house knowing I may well experience a wardrobe malfunction with no way to change?

So in my quest to not feel like a grown woman wearing a diaper I set out to find a pad that was both comfortable & effective. Here’s how it went:

I tried the Always infinity Overnight Pads with Wings (I hate buying 3 different kinds of pads; I prefer 1 kind that works in the majority of situations).

Always Infinity Overnight Pads with Wing - 00037000117155_960x960
via Always

On Sunday I had a pretty light flow & we took an impromptu 9 mile ride to Fremont & around Lake Union so I had plenty of test-ride time!

The pad is tapered, narrow at the front & larger at the back, not something I’ve seen before, but it seems helpful. The wings held it in place for the whole ride, no awkward bunching or moving. And the wings didn’t stick to my skin either, they stayed attached to my underwear, yay!

The pad is very soft, not to crinkly so I didn’t feel like I was wearing a diaper. It had a low profile & I couldn’t see it through my yoga leggings which is a super plus! I liked the length, it provided nice, full coverage.

Always advertises that the foam will mold to your body, and, for the most part, I found this to be true. It wasn’t bulky like other pads I’ve worn. It also didn’t cause much irritation while riding. I noticed some slight discomfort after about 7 miles, but as this is about how long I would usually ride in a day, this works for me!

In my never ending quest to review sanitary napkins (also because I still have my period) I rode another 12 miles on Tuesday! This time the results were less exciting. My flow was pretty heavy & after my ride I noticed that the back of the pad had shifted a bit. I was also hot & a little sweaty so this could’ve contributed. There was minimal leakage on my bloomers which was annoying but not worthy of a special wash.

Overall I’d say the limit on these is 10 miles or so for heavy days & I wouldn’t wear something light colored. As it was I wore my Hawaiian print skirt so if I had leaked no one would’ve even noticed.

Other possible products I’d like to try:

  • Thinx panties – although the price point is high at $30/pair & I would need at least 3 pairs to make it work
  • Reusable cotton pads
  • Luna pads – same cost issues

Do you have a favorite product?

9 thoughts on “Biking While Female: A Review of Period Products

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever actually biked with a pad… I’ve been a devotee of menstrual cups since around the time I started using my bike as my main form of transportation. I do own some Lunapads, however, which I’ve used occasionally–post partum twice, the occadional other time. They are very good quality, but I find theDivaVup works better for me.

    There must be someone who knows what would work… I’ll try to ping a few riders I know on Twitter…


      1. I think the Luna panty is really clever, but I find that they shift and bunch, and aren’t so comfortable for riding a bike or a horse. Though if you have enough pad to deal with a waterfall, the bunching might actually help. The snugger they are, the less shifting. I also use a diva cup, but have a hard time getting it seated right. So I don’t have a good solution either.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like my Diva Cup–and do you know about the Sustainable Cycles bike tour promoting them? So cool!
    I also own Thinx as of fairly recently, but haven’t used them for biking on heavy days, though they seem like they’d do the trick. I didn’t get a full set because I just wanted them for the end of my cycle once I’ve gotten a little sick of using the Diva Cup.
    I have a friend who swears by big reusable pads for bicycling on all days of her cycle, but I don’t know what brand and to me it looks like all of those are extra inserts stuck under a reusable pantyliner and that didn’t sound as convenient as Thinx. I have a couple reusable pantyliners with wings that snap and they slide around and I don’t really like them.


    1. I did! They came to DC & I was super excited to go see them but in a very non-ironic twist my cramps were too bad & I couldn’t fathom riding across town & uphill to their talk! 😦
      I’ve heard such great things about Thinx so I’m seriously considering ordering a pair first & then seeing if I want to spend the money on a set.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been seeing something about “period panties” lately, although I know pretty much nothing about them. Has anyone tried them?

    PS. Thanks for talking openly about something that affects many of us.


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