Maxi pads, panty liners, tampons, cups, and period panties. There’s a world of possibilities when it comes to feminine care products.
Even though we’re all using panty liners, are we using them correctly? Or, are we just increasing our chances of getting another yeast infection? To keep things fresh and sexy down there, keep reading.
What are panty liners?
If you’re confused about what panty liners are, here’s the down low – no pun intended.
Panty liners are thinner versions of the maxi pads (sanitary pads), which you typically reach for during the heavy days of your period – if you wear pads during your period, that is.
Panty liners are designed to absorb light leakage, and some women wear them along with a tampon for added security.
When you should wear panty liners?
Panty liners won’t do you much good when your menstrual flow is heavy, but there are plenty of other uses for them.
For your period
In a day or two leading up to your period and when your period is coming to a close, you may have light spotting. This is the perfect time for panty liners.
If you tend to have a light period, or a “period” while on the pill, wearing panty liners gives you just the right amount of protection and can keep your panties stain-free.
For vaginal discharge
Vaginal discharge is normal and healthy. (Well, most of the time.) And it will change throughout the month, depending on where you are in your cycle. Around ovulation, when your estrogen levels are surging, you may see an increase in slippery discharge, similar to egg whites.
There’s nothing wrong with this discharge, but to help keep things dry and fresh down there, a panty liner might help.
Not all vaginal discharge is made equal, however. If you experience more-than-normal amounts of discharge, itching, burning or smelly discharge, contact your doctor because you may have a yeast infection or another bacterial infection.
You might want to wear panty liners when the discharge is out of control, but wearing panty liners too much during an infection can actually exacerbate the symptoms and create a perfect condition for more bacteria to grow.
When it’s not a good idea to wear panty liners
If you wear panty liners every day, consider giving your lady parts a break. If you’re afraid that your panties will end up with permanent stains from vaginal discharge, don’t worry. It’s actually very easy to clean your lingerie and prevent vaginal discharge stains.
So, here’s why you shouldn’t wear panty liners every day.
Your vagina needs a break
Believe it or not, you have a vaginal microbiome. This means, there are beneficial bacteria down there, along with optimal pH levels, both of which are self-regulating.
You can unwittingly disrupt this delicate vaginal microbiome by overdoing it with panty liners. That’s because if you over-wear them, the vaginal area can stay moist, warm and dark – the perfect breeding ground for bacterial overgrowth.
Yes, even good bacteria can be a bad thing if there’s too much of it.
This can happen when the vaginal area isn’t allowed to “breathe.” So, give your lady parts a break, and go without a panty liner from time to time.
Tips for vaginal health when you wear panty liners
Panty liners are useful on light period days, spotting days and when you have vaginal discharge. But even if you like your panty liners, that doesn’t mean your vagina does. So, keep your vaginal health intact by following these tips:
- Avoid wearing them every day. Remember, moist, warm and dark conditions encourage bacterial overgrowth and can increase your risk for yeast infections. Less is more when it comes to panty liners.
- Change your panty liner every couple hours, or when it’s moist or wet. Hot summer days? Check. After a workout? Check.
- Put on a fresh panty liner before going to bed at night.
- Avoid scented panty liners. Yes, they might make you feel fresh, but the fragrances in panty liners can disrupt your vaginal health and delicate microbiome. If you keep your vaginal area dry and allow it to breathe, you will not need to mask the natural odor with scented feminine hygiene products. If the odor doesn’t seem right, it might indicate that you have an infection. In which case, see your OB-GYN to get to the root cause of the problem.
- Wear organic cotton panty liners if possible. Many feminine hygiene products are made with endocrine disrupting materials, including plastics, dyes, and fragrances. In short, these materials can throw off your hormones and vaginal microbiome. Do your vagina a favor and stick with organic cotton panty liners.
3 times you can use panty liners
You use panty liners for obvious reasons, like menses or vaginal discharge. But they also offer genius solutions to some pretty common, but pretty unattractive problems.
Panty liners prevent camel toe
When wearing tight-fitting pants, you may show everyone a camel toe. To avoid this, place the adhesive side of the panty liner horizontally on the outside of the crotch material. Then, fold in the edges onto the inside of the crotch material. This will keep you covered.
Panty liners for sweaty armpits or crotch
To prevent unsightly sweat marks and stains, use panty liners for both your panties and your armpit area. Place the adhesive side along the armpit area of your favorite top to keep it dry. This hack is a total lifesaver if your sweater or top is a bit precious and requires dry-cleaning.
Panty liners for incontinence
Medical conditions, pregnancy, and a good laugh can leave some women with a sensitive bladder. To prevent embarrassing leakage, wear panty liners to keep your life dry and fresh.
Remember, it’s not advisable to wear panty liners all day, every day. So, if incontinence is a chronic problem, you may want to consider other options. This way, you don’t compromise the vaginal microbiome by wearing panty liners too often.
Panty liners are a girl’s best friend or the vagina’s worst enemy. It all depends on how you use them, how often you use them, and which ones you wear. Follow these tips to keep your vaginal health balanced, all while staying dry and comfortable.