NB: TMI alert this week. Talk of bodily fluids. If you are squeamish, how about a nice cup of tea?
Alright, so here’s the thing about pregnancy: your body changes in all sorts of beautiful and unexpected ways. One of those ways is that it can become somewhat more difficult to hold it when you have to pee. I’ve heard this doesn’t always get better after you give birth (or gets worse). So, tired of dealing with the “sneeze-and-swear” (where you sneeze, pee a little, and swear because you need to run to change your undies before it soaks through), and unexcited with the prospect of living in incontinence pads, I gave in and decided to try the thing that I’ve been getting constant ads for: Icon Undies.
For those of you familiar with Thinx period panties, these are made by the same company, but are specifically designed for urine leakage instead of menstrual blood. They’re also similarly priced (i.e., expensive). So, in the interest of not getting hooked on $35 panties, I figured I’d also try some lower-priced leakproof underwear from Amazon. I did contact Icon to see if they’d provide a pair for review, but they stopped responding to my emails, so I figured the answer was no. I did buy everything reviewed here with my own money, but I used some (publicly-available) discounts to get my Icon undies at a lower price. I’ll discuss the details of this later. First, I’ll describe my experiences with both products.
First of all, I want to point out that the listing for these underwear does specify that they’re considered back-up protection and not full-on absorbent panties. It’s a little confusing because parts of the listing suggest them for period/incontinence use, but others specify that they’re not absorbent. I think the company is probably just hedging their bets. But for the $18 I paid for a 3-pack, I figured I’d risk it. They’re cotton on the outside and inside, with a inner layer of leakproof material. These were fantastic at keeping me from having to wear a pantiliner, and I didn’t have to worry as much when it was hot/humid out and I couldn’t quite tell if I’d dribbled or if I was just sweating. They kept me from soaking through. That said, the protection is light enough that I didn’t feel totally protected during those times when I sneezed or coughed and dribbled a bit more than usual. They definitely didn’t feel absorbent. I’m fortunate enough that that doesn’t happen every day, but I don’t know that I’d want to base my entire under-wardrobe on these, given that the issue is worsening as I get bigger.
The biggest problem I had with these was that after a few weeks of use, I found that they started to develop a really awful smell. Now, they’re machine washable and dryable, but I think washing them with my normal clothes wasn’t a strong enough wash for them. So I started soaking them in hot water with a little vinegar before throwing them in the wash and that seems to have gotten rid of that issue. They’re not bad, but I’m not sure I’d buy more.
So, I really wanted to like the cheap Amazon undies as much as I liked these. Honestly, I could see how these could be that much better. Plus, I actually had a pretty bad experience with Thinx, so I wasn’t optimistic. But I actually really liked these underwear. I got one pair of the bikinis in the moderate absorbency. I was able to find a referral link on another blog that gave me $15 off my first purchase (if you’re interested in getting a similar discount, check the end of this post), and I signed up for an account, which gave me free shipping with no minimum on my first order. You can actually combine these two offers, so I was able to get my first pair of Icon for $20 with free shipping. If you go for a lower-priced pair, it would be even less money, but the bikini seemed like the perfect compromise between the fuller coverage styles that I prefer, and something that will sit comfortably below my belly right now.
The material is a synthetic technical material that dries really fast. The absorbent section is obviously thicker than the Innersy panties, but not obtrusive. I didn’t have as much issue with them smelling (but I’d also started pre-rinsing them). And they actually do absorb leaks that happen when I sneeze or cough without leaving me feeling worried. I feel totally confident that I can make it through an entire day without embarrassment in these. The only drawback is that they are supposed to be line-dried, but that’s not as much of an issue since they dry pretty quickly, and I already split my laundry up into machine-dryables and hang-dryables, so they just need to end up in the right laundry basket.
I’m really annoyed, but I definitely like the Icon undies better. I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I am considering eventually switching over to have all my undies be Icon. I might wait and see what my bladder does postpartum, though.
In the meantime, if you want to try out Icon and are interested in using my referral link to get a $15 discount, you can access it by purchasing through this link. This will also give me a store credit if you decide to buy something. And if you sign up for an account, you’ll get free shipping. Oh, and I can’t tell who accessed the link, so don’t worry about giving yourself away!