What Can I Use Instead of a Panty Liner?

reusable panty liners

Alternatives to Using Panty Liners

Panty liners are essentially a smaller, lighter and less absorbent version of a sanitary pad. You can use them every day for vaginal discharge or occasional light incontinence, on light days during your period, for spotting or as a backup to menstrual cups and tampons.

Many women wear panty liners every day but if you are using disposable liners this is a lot of waste and can lead to irritation or even infection, especially if the pads are scented, not breathable, or full of chemicals.

So what are the alternatives?

Reusable Cloth Panty Liners

You may or may not consider this an alternative as such but reusable liners are certainly an alternative to disposable liners for many women.

Reusable liners can be a great alternative if you have been using disposables but are either suffering from irritation or are concerned about the amount of waste you are creating.

Reusable liners are available in many colours, sizes and styles but essentially they are absorbent pieces of fabric that usually have poppers allowing you to attach them to your underwear.

You would use them in exactly the same way as a disposable liner but instead of putting them in the bathroom bin at the end of the day you put them in the laundry basket ready to wash and use again.

Period pants

Period pants are a great alternative to panty liners for lighter days, as back up for a tampon or cup and for discharge or light incontinence.

Period pants look just like regular underwear but have multiple absorbent layers in the gusset to soak up period blood. They are generally much more absorbent than a panty liner would be and many people can use them for their entire period.

Period pants are great for that time of the month, and if your underwear drawer is full of big black granny pants then this could be an everyday alternative. But if you are looking for something to wear every day and don’t want to have to replace all your underwear they might not be the best choice.

Emergency alternatives

If you get caught short and need an emergency alternative to a panty liner or pad don’t panic. There are lots of things you can use instead in a pinch.

  • Toilet paper or hand towels.
  • A clean sock.
  • A folded flannel.
  • Cotton balls wrapped in gauze.
  • A wound dressing.

Interlabial Pads or Labia Pads

You might not have heard of labia pads but they are becoming more popular and more widely available.

These small leaf-shaped pieces of absorbent material are designed to be folded in half and placed between the labia to direct and slow menstrual flow so they are great if you are a front or back bleeder, have a particularly heavy flow, or tend to gush.

They can also be used as a backup for your cup or tampon, and as an alternative to panty liners for absorbing vaginal discharge or light leakage.


Next Up: What Is the Difference Between Pads and Panty Liners?