I was in Year 6 when I first got my period – and I was mortified by the whole thing.

Sure, I did the sex-ed stuff, but seeing it in a book to seeing it in your underwear are two different things.

I remember my mum telling all my female relatives and they were all so happy for me. It was as if I joined a club that I didn’t want a membership too.

I was so embarrassed by it all and begged for it to go away.

Fast forward 16 years, I’ve had my period for more years than I haven’t and it’s just second nature to me now.

I’ve got my cycle down pat and I know when either Norma or Fern are coming to town.

I’ve read a couple of times that your ovaries alternate each month as to which will release the egg and I can definitely tell in the lead up who is playing house for that month.

I’ve gotten to know the polar extremes of each and have even given them names.

Meet Norma (not sure where the name came from, I’m pretty sure she named herself)

Norma is a ’50s housewife who spends the month toiling away at perfecting the home. She’s hung curtains, fluffed up the pillows and is pacing around the living room in her perfect a-line below the knee dress with matching pearls and apron, waiting for her man (aka a baby) to come on home.

She’s one classy lady until she realises she’s going to remain alone, and that’s when she goes off the rails.

She’s incredibly moody. Smashing all the furniture, stomping her feet around, she is often found late at night with her head in a box of Coles double choc chip cookies.

“I’ve spent all month preparing this home for you for nothing!” she’d shriek at me.

Norma is a b**tch.

Then there’s Fern (again, why the name Fern? I have no idea)

Fern is a free spirit who has got my back. Fern just gets me.

She has long mermaid hair, a flower crown and that whole boho ‘I didn’t even try’ vibe going on.

When she comes to visit, she sets up her glamping tent, lights a few candles and meditates to Enya.

As soon as my body tells her she doesn’t have to accommodate a house guest that month, she doesn’t throw a hissy fit, she just gives me a big hug and whispers “I got you, girl” as she skips into the sunset.

She’s progressive, independent and would let never me down.

Norma and Fern aside, once my time of the month rolls around I don’t give it much thought. It’s no big deal.

As annoying as Instagram ads are, sometimes I’m actually targeted for products that suit me, like the day I came across Modibodi.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this new phenomenon sweeping the globe, Modibodi creates period panties that allow you to skip the pads and tampons. They are reusable so at the end of the day, just rinse, wash and they are ready to go for round two.

So let’s get the calculator and work this out (I’m terrible at maths, so if I’m wrong just go with it!)

I’ve had 12 periods a year since I was 11 years old. Averaging 2-3 tampons used a day and a pad at night. That equates to over 500 pads and tampons over 192 days or 4.78 per cent of my life. Now times that by all the women in Sydney alone who still have their period and that is a lot of rubbish ending up in landfill. So, from a waste reduction standpoint, anything that can cut down on waste has my tick of approval.

So with that in mind, and still little nervous to even think about trying them (it’s not really something I’d like to try and get wrong if you know what I mean) I thought, well it’d make a great blog piece either way!

I jumped online and within a few days I received my classic bikini in the mail.

This is where the magic happened.

I put on the underwear and they were a lot more comfortable than I was expecting.

Made from bamboo, they were smooth and fit really well. The lining inside feels like it’s padded with something but it’s not bulky and you definitely can’t feel it when they are on.

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t think it’d be capable of absorbing anything, so I made sure to wear black pants and pack a spare pair of underwear in my handbag.

Day two and three are my heaviest in the week so I decided to be a big brave girl and wear them on day two and really put them to the test.

Throughout the day I may have used the bathroom more frequently than normal to make sure they were ‘working.’

I told a few of my colleagues who immediately looked down ‘there’ and began rapid fire shooting questions at me.

“Can you feel it?”

“How does it work?”

“Does it feel weird?”

‘Have you leaked?”

“BUT WHERE DOES IT GO?!”

Without getting too graphic, at the end of the day, I thoroughly inspected the pair – and my findings surprised me.

There was nothing sitting on top of the material and it was all absorbed below. As for that other sticky-gooey like consistency, I saw some sitting on the top during the day and just wiped it off with toilet paper.

How it works:

The top layer quickly wicks away moisture, fights bacteria and stops smells, so you stay dry and fresh.

The middle layer absorbs fluid and locks it away (2.5-20mls depending on the flow you go with).

The bottom layer is extra waterproof protection.

The instructions advise rinsing in cold water after use, pop in the washing machine on delicate, hang on the line and you’re done.

When I rinsed them, I was curious to see how they’d fare against the running water. I held the pair under the tap and could really see it absorbing a lot of it and holding their shape.

It still seemed too good to be true but it actually worked.

Yay or nay?

I would have worn them again the next day but I only had one pair, which were drying on the line, but I’ll definitely try them again tomorrow.

Norma isn’t a fan, but Fern definitely is.

This blog post originally appeared on That Girl From Sydney and is republished here with permission.