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Solving the period problem for disabled people

paigeraven
paigeraven Member Posts: 5 Connected
Paige from Flux Panties talks to us about menstruation and the difficulties some disabled people have in using tampons, pads or reusable menstrual products.  

Periods are a nuisance for everyone. Whether it’s leaks, stains, cramps, or just that general feeling of ‘meh’, we’ve all been there. But for disabled people, periods can be a much bigger problem.

For me, periods have always been an issue. I’ve suffered with anxiety for most of my adult life, which at times, had a big impact on my personal hygiene. Periods stressed me out, and when I was a teenager, I was clueless on what to do. I knew the obvious - wear a pad and hope for the best, but, I’ve always had a very heavy flow, and pads often let me down, which meant, I spent a lot of time worrying that I would leak through my clothes and have to face what felt like at the time, ultimate embarrassment (which did happen a good few times).

I’ve also got two disabled siblings - fortunately, they’re boys, so they won’t have the extra added worry of starting their periods on top of their difficulties, but through speaking to a lot of their parents at the school (they attend a special needs school) I know this is something a lot of parents worry about for their children.

Disabled people have periods too. Everyone wants to be represented, and everyone wants to be able to experience a comfortable period. This includes disabled people. That’s why I created FLUX.

flux panties for menstruation period proof underwear

FLUX is a brand new line of period-proof underwear that can be worn alone and completely replaces pads and tampons, through even the heaviest days. It is the first line of period-proof underwear in the UK and the first line of period-proof underwear to feature detachable sides. These detachable sides allow for easy changing in the most inconvenient situations and allow you to change your underwear without even lifting your feet off the ground, perfect for those with mobility issues who find it difficult getting completely undressed just to change their underwear.

diverse group of women wearing period proof underwear

I've spent a lot of time frustrated watching people who suffered with mobility and incontinence issues given boxes of nappy-type knickers as their only option, and so I set out on a mission to make a truly versatile underwear that is stylish whilst being full of function. FLUX has been used for incontinence, mobility issues, periods, bladder leaks, and every day wear. We’ve all seen the perfect bodies plastered everywhere. Images that most of the time are photoshopped and represent a very tiny minority. I think it’s about time we were all represented. It’s about time that brands designed products that are functional for every type of person regardless of their ability, shape, or size. It’s about time that brands recognised the importance of inclusivity, and representing every type of person.

FLUX period-proof underwear is currently funding on Kickstarter to go through its first big production run. You can get your pair at an exclusive price by heading to the website! 

What do you think of this product? Would it be helpful to you or someone you know? Is it time that menstruation products had an overhaul and became more accessible?

Comments

  • Chaoskay
    Chaoskay Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    That's such a great idea.  The loss of dignity is a huge deal for some disabled people.  Bowel or bladder incontinence is a horrendous thing to deal with, let alone having no choice but to wear nappy like underwear which is usually reserved for babies and toddlers.
    This a huge step in the right direction.  :)  


  • paigeraven
    paigeraven Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Hi @Chaoskay lovely to speak to you! That's exactly why I created FLUX - I suffer with very heavy periods, and know that those that are less able, and those that have bladder leaks or incontinence, struggle a lot! I knew there had to be a more comfortable and easier solution for people, and I hope FLUX will help everyone! :smile:
  • Chaoskay
    Chaoskay Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    Wishing you every success with your venture.  I suffer with Ulcerative Colitis and have had awful issues in the past with my bowels. It's great to see this subject being dealt with in a sensitive, practical way.  :)
  • SazzyD
    SazzyD Member Posts: 1 Listener
    WOWWWW Where have you been all my life??? This is a very exciting project & I can't wait to receive my first pair. PLEASE make it succeed because EVERY woman of any age deserves these pants. Best of luck :)
  • Topkitten
    Topkitten Member Posts: 1,285 Pioneering
    I know I am not female but I believe that not too many years from now bowel and bladder issues will set in and I also already suffer anxiety. Worrying about the problems of using a catheter and nappy arrangement could cause and the likely embarrassment terrifies me. It isn't even something I would have expected to happen to me or been able to prepare for.

    I was in a coma last year and came out of it in exactly that situation and the leaks, discomfort and embarrassment was awful. It was bad enough having it happen in hospital, outside..........

    Please reassure me that us guys haven't been forgotten.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • paigeraven
    paigeraven Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Hi @SazzyD thanks for your kind words! I'm working my little butt off to make sure it succeeds and I CANT WAIT for you to receive your first pair of FLUX! :smiley:
  • paigeraven
    paigeraven Member Posts: 5 Connected
    Hey there @Topkitten I'm so sorry to hear of the embarrassment you suffered last year due to leaks and discomfort. I know that this is a huge issue for a lot of men, which is why I'm actually in the process of designing a comfortable, absorbent and leak-proof boxer short style for men. You're not alone, and you're definitely not forgotten! X
  • yhol29
    yhol29 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Woah, this underwear would be so useful for me and also my daughter! It's great to see such positive advertisements and also finally underwear that has some function!! Fab :) 
  • HollySubway
    HollySubway Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I am a uk size 32, so unfortunately as usual I slither down the gap of size-ism.  So I limp along sitting on a pad that my leaking totally misses, then resort to a towel, get an incontenance pad for nap time and dont go out for 5 or more days.  I cant put pants on myself, or insert things and need a loo roll wiper extender thing to get wiped after going to the loo.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,262

    Scope community team

    I'm sorry to hear about the trouble you're having with leaking on your period @HollySubway.

    Are you using the thickest pads during the day? I know they're not the most comfortable to wear, but it could help with the leaking? I usually wear nighttime pads during the day when I'm heaviest, as that works better for me. 

    Do you have someone who can help you to change your pad, or your pants if needed? 

    In terms of not being able to find period pants that are the right size, I had a look online and came across a company called Ruby Love. Have you ever looked at their website? From having a quick browse I think they may go to the right size, and they ship to the UK.
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  • mossycow
    mossycow Member Posts: 487 Pioneering
    Hi there @HollySubway! We are size twins!

    I worry about menstruation... I don't usually bleed as luckily the implant works well for me and also I don't bleed. But! During covid I was late to have implant removed and new one fitted and CRIKEY! I had 4 months of periods again!

    As you may see from my exclamation points!!! I was a bit freaked as... To be honest...I don't where knickers now. Since having my daughter and gaining some weight my shape has all changed and... Well pants just don't feel comfy.... So I was bit worried. I still have some ability to reach to insert.. But I won't have that much longer.

    But...maybe these pants would help and thanks for looking up the different wizes

    And thanks Holly subway for mentioning the loo roll extenders... I had never heard of them so thanks cos your post has helped me too. 
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Posts: 8,262

    Scope community team

    Ah yes, birth control is another option @mossycow- I didn't think of that yesterday! :) Could going on a form of birth control be an option for you @HollySubway? You can read about some of the options available here on the NHS website.
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