Feminine hygiene plays an integral role in a woman’s body. And it’s true — there’s a lot going on down there. That’s why it’s amazing to know that women now have more options on which products to use — for that time of the month. However, a well-known period underwear brand, Thinx, settles their lawsuit for $5 million for supposedly having harmful chemicals in their products.

Here’s what went down.

The Class-Action Settlement Thinx Is Involved In

The New York-based company Thinx recently had to settle $5 million in a class-action lawsuit they were involved in. Allegedly, their period underwear products have traces of PFAS (or Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances); they are also called “forever chemicals” because PFAS hardly ever break down naturally.

The allegation against Thinx Underwear came to light when a complaint was filed against them last May 2022. The complaint states, “Through its uniform, widespread, nationwide advertising campaign, [Thinx] has led consumers to believe that Thinx Underwear is a safe, healthy and sustainable choice for women, and that it is free of harmful chemicals,” and in the complaint, it also says, “In reality, Thinx Underwear contains harmful chemicals … which are a safety hazard to the female body and the environment.”

Thinx denies the accusations filed against them — but the company’s spokesperson said that they will take proper measures and be more hands-on with their product designs. But they’d like to clarify that “The litigation against Thinx has been resolved, the settlement is not an admission of guilt or wrongdoing by Thinx, and we deny all allegations made in the lawsuit,”

Exposure to PFAS

People who are exposed to PFAS may possibly experience health problems like high blood pressure, low birth weight in newborns, pre-eclampsia in pregnant women, changes in a person’s liver enzyme, and various types of cancer. However, in some studies, it states that almost all Americans have been exposed to PFAS — these chemicals can be found in the waters that we drink, some of the fish that we catch and/or eat, certain household products we use, personal care products that we buy, and many of the things we touch.

Other Period Product Options

If period underwear seems like a worrisome product for you to use right now, there are other menstrual products available. But they all come with their advantages and disadvantages.

Here are some period underwear alternatives.

Menstrual Pads

One of the most common menstrual products that women use are sanitary pads and pantyliners — they’re cheap and widely available; you can buy menstrual pads just about anywhere. Not only that, but pads also come in a wide range of absorbency levels. They’re also easy to use — especially for teens! And compared to tampons, period pads are said to be “healthier.” Women who use pads don’t have to worry about TSS (or Toxic Shock Syndrome) as much as tampon users.

The disadvantage of wearing pads is that it isn’t exactly “cheaper” in the long run (you have to keep on purchasing enough supplies to last you every “shark week”). They’re also not environmentally friendly — pads can end up in landfills or the ocean and they’re not biodegradable. Furthermore, period pads may also contain harmful chemicals that might irritate your skin or vulva.


Tampons are another common feminine hygiene product. For the longest time, this has been many women’s go-to period products — after all, they’re sleek, they allow you to swim while wearing it, they’re not bulky, and you can wear just about any type of underwear even though you’re on your red days.

The most concerning disadvantage of wearing tampons, however, is the risk of having TSS — and it’s a life-threatening complication that tampon users are at risk of. Some of the symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome include: a sudden high-grade fever, vomiting, low blood pressure, headaches, confusion, seizures, and a skin rash.

Reusable Pads

If you watch a lot of eco-conscious influencers or you just like browsing Etsy items, then you’re probably aware of reusable pads. And why wouldn’t you be tempted to purchase one? — the most obvious advantage of this type of product is it’s reusable. Therefore, you’re not only potentially saving money, but you’re also helping save the environment whenever Aunt Flo’s around. Not to mention, reusable pads come in cute designs!

However, reusable pads are only cute when they’re unused. What isn’t cute is having to painstakingly wash them to get rid of the period stains. Also, unless you invested in a few other reusable pads, you’ll have to go back to your preferred menstrual product until the reusable ones fully dry.

Menstrual Cup

Lots of women are switching to menstrual cups because they’re one of the more sustainable period product alternatives. They’re budget-friendly in the long run, they’re safe to use for up to 12 hours, they can hold up more liquid, and they don’t disrupt the body’s pH balance — and sex isn’t off the table when using a menstrual cup!

As “fun” (in more ways than one) it is to use a menstrual cup, inserting one isn’t the most breeze-free experience for a woman. Some have to use lube in order to get it inside the vaginal canal. And the removal process? Think tampons and the “dry extract” — it can also be uncomfortable to remove! But unlike tampons, you can’t trust a menstrual cup to have itself taken out without the mess.


Knowing what your menstrual products contain is vital to your health. After Thinx settled their lawsuit for $5 million (for supposedly having products that contain harmful chemicals — which the company denies), a great number of women are left wondering which period products are safe for them to use. And there are a handful of other alternatives — but just like every product that people use, every menstrual product comes with its pros and cons.

The best solution to having a less-than-dreadful period week is to research which product is best for you. If you don’t find that the one you’re using is for you, you can try other alternatives. Lastly, a period underwear is generally safe to use. But it’s still up to you and your decision whether or not you want to switch to a different period product.

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