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Why Your Reusable Period Pants Might Be Leaking (And How to Fix It)


No one likes surprises, especially when it comes to leaks during your period. Period pants are the new menstrual products on the block, replacing plastic filled disposable pads, tampons or menstrual cups.

You chose reusable period pants for a stress-free and eco-friendly cycle, so leaks can be disappointing at least - mortifying at worst!

Period Pants are made to be leak proof. But now and again leaks do happen, as this customer shared when she left us a review recently:

"So I bought the 7 pairs deal and I've worn 3 pairs , sadly I leaked and it was very embarassing on a cream suede couch no less when I was a guest in someones house, I've had to offer payment to clean said sofa as I felt so bad. Although these are well made I cannot wear without a pad still so kind of defeats the object for me! Absolutely gutted." Kyla Trustpilot

Be reassured that this ISN'T the norm as you can see from the rest of our Trustpilot reviews! However there are common reasons why leaks happen, and luckily, they're usually avoidable and fixable. Let's take a look at why this might be happening and how you can enjoy leak-free periods in future.

"100% would recommend

Great items! We've tried a lot of different brands of period pants and I would genuinely say these are the best. Fantastic prices, about a third of the price of comparable items without reducing any of the quality. I personally have very heavy periods and the pants I bought could withstand the flow for the day with absolutely no leaks. I found the size chart unbelievably helpful, and truthful. So comfy, will definitely purchase more and recommend to everyone!"

Why Are My Period Pants Leaking?

Here's why your period pants might be leaking:

Not Prewashed

ALL period pants will benefit from being prewashed 3 or 4 times to reach maximum absorbency. generally if our customers have leaks, it's because they haven't prewashed the pants and have worn them straight from the packet.

Fix it: choose one pair of pants and prewash them a few times so that they reach the proper absorbency. Period Pants work best once they have been prewashed.

Gappy Pants

Poor Fit

If your period pants don't fit right, they might not catch everything. Pants that are too big can leave gaps, while pants that are too tight might not cover everywhere they need to.

In the picture above, this was taken on a photo shoot and it's actually Helen our founder. She was wearing the feeling fearless bamboo pants and had chosen to 10 to 12 option, but should have gone for the 8 to 10. You can see this because the pants are gappy round her inner thigh. Now this wouldn't definitely mean a leak, but it could do, especially if she was lying down sleeping when menstrual blood could leak out the sides.

In addition, pants that are too tight and are eaten by your bottom are also likely to leak. Which makes perfect sense if you think about it!

Fix It: Make sure you're wearing the correct size. Period panties should feel comfortable, not too tight or too loose. Check the size guide before you buy to ensure the best fit.

Wrong Absorbency Level

Just like traditional period products, period pants come in different absorbency levels. If you're using period pants meant for light days on a heavy flow day, you might run into problems.

Fix It: Choose the correct level of absorbency for your menstrual flow. Use super absorbency pants on your heavy period days, and save the lighter ones for lighter days. And remember, most Cheeky period pants come with protection from the front to rear waistband – perfect for heavy flows or overnight use.

Not Changed Frequently Enough

Even the best period pants have their limits. Wearing period pants for too long without changing can lead to leaks, especially on heavy flow days. If your period pants start to feel damp with period blood, it's a sign that they need changing. Most period pants will absorb between 2 and 6 tampons worth of blood.

Fix It: Change your period pants according to your flow. On heavy days, you might need to switch to a fresh pair more frequently. Keeping an extra pair with you when you're out and about is a good idea. Alternatively, if you know you'll struggle to change your pad, wearing a pad can be a good idea.

If you have super heavy periods or endometriosis, you may also choose to wear pants and pads together to make your symptoms more manageable.

Our reusable pads are brilliant with our period pants. Pop one in your pants first thing and then remove at lunchtime for that fresh pants feeling.

Incorrect Care & Washing

How you wash and dry your period pants can affect their performance. If not cared for properly, they might start to lose their absorbency.

Fix It: Follow the care instructions closely. Most period pants should be washed in cold water and hung to dry. Avoid fabric softeners, bleach and tumble drying, as these can damage the absorbent layer.

Poor Quality

Not all period pants are created equal. Some might be made with cheaper materials that don't offer the same protection. Many brands only have absorbency in the gusset.

Fix It: Invest in high-quality period pants from reputable brands. Cheeky pants have absorbency to the front and rear waistband to keep you feeling dry, comfortable and leak free. Cheeky Pants are also guaranteed safe to wear, free from silver, PFAS & PFOS.

How to Stop Your Period Pants from Leaking

Here’s 4 top tips on how to stop your period pants from leaking:

Choose the Right Size and Absorbency

Getting the right fit and absorbency level for your needs is crucial. If you're choosing Cheeky Pants, check our our sizing guide to see whether you may need to size up or down. Also, consider your flow and any activities you'll be doing (like sleeping or exercising) when choosing your pants. If you're unsure which pants will work best for you, contact us.

Change Regularly

Just like traditional period products, period pants need to be changed to match your flow. Although most heavy flow pants are suitable for up to 12 hours or overnight usage, keep track of how damp they feel and change them before they reach their limit.

Care for Your Pants Properly

Wash them as instructed to keep them in top condition. Use cold water to wash, avoid fabric softener and tumble drying.  For full Cheeky Pants washing instructions click here.

Choose Quality

Quality matters. Look for pants from established brands with good reviews on Trustpilot and absorbency to the front and rear waistband.

Leaks can be a nuisance, but they're often a sign that something needs adjusting. Whether it's the fit, the absorbency level, or how you're caring for your pants, small changes can make a big difference. With the right period pants and care, you can enjoy leak-free periods.

Best-Selling Period Pants

Looking for more tips on managing your period comfortably and sustainably?  You may enjoy the articles below:

Alternatively if you've got more questions, please do contact us.  The team all wear the pants themselves and love helping people make the switch.  Nothing is TMI!

About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants, reusable period kits and reusable sanitary pads. Both she and the rest of the leadership team are now navigating menopause, with all the joys it brings!

The Cheeky customer services team pride themselves on providing honest, friendly advice and just LOVE to chat pee, poo and periods all day long, helping people make the switch to reusables! The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.

Kay Delahunty
19 May 2024  |  7:58

For me cheeky pants have been a game changer especially while I'm at work or out and about, so much so that I have purchased so many pairs as I am at peri-menopause now so never know when I'm going to get my period so I wear the light flow pants daily and the heavy flow during my period! I have not had any leaks which when I am at work makes me so much more comfortable because I don't have to worry about all the running around and lifting and carrying I have to do in my very active job! I love that they have cotton material so feel like regular underwear unlike another brand that I tried first that feel like a soft latex!

20 May 2024  |  8:09

Thanks so much for that amazing feedback! Love hearing this!