The Best Menstrual Products (2020): Period Underwear, Cups, Pads, Etc

Rose War Panty Power costs $25 and is a great subscription if you want to indulge yourself or a loved one in a monthly gift—something we should all get for dealing with periods. It’s more expensive than the other boxes because you’re not just getting pads or tampons (you’ll get 15 of those), you also get two pairs of underwear (they’re cute too!), and three to five gifts, such as beauty product samples and snacks. At sign up, you’ll take a brief survey to customize what type of period products, underwear, and gifts you prefer.

A Smart Birth Control Case

The Best Menstrual Products  Period Underwear Cups Pads Etc
Photograph: Emme

Birth control can help shorten periods and reduce some of the monthly symptoms. If you take a daily birth control pill, you know it’s important to take it on time everyday—missing pills could throw your cycle off, cause spotting, and lower your protection against pregnancy. I have an alarm set on my phone, but there are times when I’ll turn it off and forget about it until hours later. The Emme smart birth control case pairs with an app sends a few push notification reminders so I don’t forget.

It does more than remind you to take a pill, though; the app helps you keep track of your period, symptoms, and libido levels, which can help you determine if the pill you’re on is right for you. If you miss a pill, the app will give you recommendations on what to do. This case is expensive at $99, but it’s a welcome change in my routine that has kept me on track. It’s also quite pretty.

Avoid Vaginal Washes

There is a lot of stigma surrounding vaginas and how they are “supposed” to look and smell. So much so that there are tons of products marketed as vaginal washes to balance your pH and make you smell like roses and sugar, spice, and everything nice. But vaginas are self-cleaning and don’t need specific washes. It’s one thing to occasionally use a wet wipe to clean up any menstrual blood or discharge from sex that’s on your skin—not in your actual vagina—but using wipes every day intended to mask odors, or using anything that’s marketed as a wash for your vagina, could throw off your pH rather than balance it, and could lead to actual problems like yeast infections. If you are considering one of these specialty washes because you feel like something isn’t normal for you, you may want to consult with your doctor.

WIRED reviewer Medea Giordano coordinated and led testing on this piece. Senior reviewer Adrienne So also tested and contributed.

More Great WIRED Stories