Period-proof workout clothes are designed to help those who menstruate exercise — while they're menstruating — without having to worry about unexpected and frustrating leaks. Depending on the person's flow and the construction of the product, these articles of clothing can sometimes even take the place of a tampon, pad, liner, or menstrual cup.
Despite how amazing the invention of leak-proof leggings sounds, it can be nerve-wracking to put your faith in any period-care product for the first time. So, to help you test out this category safely and with confidence, we reached out to Lucky Sekhon, MD, a fertility specialist, board-certified ob-gyn, and Flo medical adviser, for advice. Ahead, the four tips to keep top of mind.
Take Your Workout Method Into Consideration
Most period-proof leggings are designed to perform through many different methods of exercise and forms of movement, but it's a good idea to read over the product's purpose before purchasing a pair or wearing them to the gym.
Dr. Sekhon said certain movements could potentially cause protective layers to shift out of place and then compromise the level of protection they promise. Therefore, she recommends choosing period-proof clothing that complements the type of exercise you're planning on doing.
Think about it: you probably wouldn't choose to wear leggings designed for low-impact movements, like Pilates, to a HIIT class where you'll be jumping up and down the entire time.
Try Your Period-Proof Clothing in a Comfortable Setting First
If you are nervous about leaks or product malfunctions, it might be a good idea to road-test your period-proof leggings during an at-home workout first before wearing them to the gym or a fitness studio.
"It might be hard to know what to expect and whether a brand/type of period-proof clothing is actually period-proof for you," Dr. Sekhon noted. "It will make you feel more confident if you try out this clothing/underwear in a safe setting so that you know you can trust it to protect you while in public."
Wear Your Period-Proof Clothes as a Back-Up on Heavy Days
Want some extra peace of mind on those heavy flow days? Dr. Sekhon said it might be helpful to wear period-proof workout clothes in addition to a menstrual cup, tampon, or pad to prevent any leakages or accidents.
Of course, you can also wear some period-proof workout clothes alone. Just be sure you choose a garment with an absorbency that correlates to your flow.
Change After You've Finished Your Workout
According to Dr. Sekhon, it's important to change out of your period-proof activewear after your workout if they become saturated. That's because areas that are warm, moist, and dark are considered ideal breeding grounds for yeast and bacteria. Changing out of these sweaty clothes will help keep the moisture away from your body and help prevent irritation and infection.
This is a tip that applies to regular workout clothes too.