It’s a story women know well: your period arrives when you’re blissfully unsuspecting. You dig frantically through your bag in a desperate search for a spare tampon or a handful of change. Nothing. You’re forced to shove a wad of toilet paper into your underwear and hope it doesn’t leak. People have worn underwear for the past 500 years but, during that time, underwear has remained largely unchanged. One would think such a long span of time would allow us to improve such an imperfect technology. THINX is a company striving to do just that. THINX produces “technologically advanced leak and stain resistant underwear” for women. That’s right, they’re period panties. Each pair of underwear has four layers to keep a woman fresh and dry while menstruating: moisture wicking, anti-microbial, absorbent and leak-resistant. The founders of THINX spent years researching fabrics to ensure that the underwear is as comfortable and functional as possible. There are four underwear styles available that can hold from half a tampon to two full tampons worth of blood for your light and heavy days alike. After each use, the underwear needs to be rinsed, washed in cold water and hung to dry. But while THINX is making significant changes in the way American women menstruate, their goal is larger than that. For every one pair of underwear purchased, seven reusable pads are given to a girl in Africa which allows that girl to further her education. THINX also helps African women by creating jobs where they are able to make the pads that are given to their daughters. THINX also created jobs in Sri Lanka where their underwear is made in a family-run factory. This factory provides education that empowers its female employees to become leaders in their communities. Women worldwide are often held back by their periods. In the United States, we are shamed if we forget a pad or tampon and leak through our pants. In other countries, girls are unable to receive an education because they can’t go to school during their “week of shame.” THINX is working to break the taboo of menstruation. Our periods will never be the same.