Fri. Apr 16th, 2021

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The bloody history of early women cope with menstruation

4 min read

what period in ancient times and now — a little different phenomena. First of all, because a stable cycle was more of a rarity than the norm. Poor nutrition and lack of vitamins lead to hormonal imbalance, and this, in turn, led to the disruption of the menstrual cycle. My period would not stop if the woman was severely depleted.

Tampons and Ancient Egypt

Very often in the Internet you can find the assertion that tampons were known to the ancient Egyptians. Mention in this context, and Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, which allegedly mentioned a small wooden stick wrapped in a soft linen, which women insert into the vagina.

Dr. Helen king, who is devoted to the study of menstruation in the historical context for many years, argues that the original quote of Hippocrates and was not found, but the myth was widely used in advertising campaigns for famous brands — manufacturers of personal care products for women.

The same applies to the allegations of tampons in Ancient Egypt and Greece. And here is evidence that Roman women mounted on linen subligaculum — absorbent cotton pads — are available.

The middle ages

If a very short answer to the question, what did women until the nineteenth century during menstruation, the answer is this: nothing. The majority of European women did not wear underwear, so to strengthen the fabric was nowhere.

However, exceptions also existed. An alternative method “for the rich” was rag “strip”, which was fastened between the legs using a special belt that was fastened around the waist. For example, we know that Elizabeth I, Queen of England, had three black silk belts.

“Civilized” approach to his health has also meant pieces of cloth that were stuck in the vagina to stop the bleeding. But most women just let the blood flow out of ourselves naturally. This, apparently, according to the records, no one was surprised.

Laura Klosterman Kidd (Laura Klosterman Kidd), an expert on the matter, studied 17 women’s diaries and letters with recommendations of what to pack for a trip. She did not see any mention of items that at least something could make life easier for women during this period.


Nothing has changed. German doctor in 1899, wrote: “It is completely disgusting to bleed on his shirt, and then wear it four to eight days, this can easily lead to infections”.

Yes, some women have actually used “menstrual cloth”, but most women could not afford such an expensive pleasure.

The women “these days”, for example, were forbidden to work in factories, especially food, — it was thought that they can “poison” products.


Linen is securely fastened to the so-called sanitary zone. The first is showing a disposable cloth appeared in the US in 1888. Up to this point, any publicity relating to the topic of menstruation was considered taboo.

The product attracted the consumers and was discontinued.


Women used hygienic belt, but this time agreed on a disposable substrate. Nurses of the First world war discovered the absorbent properties of special medical paper — they used it to soak up blood from open wounds, but also menstrual blood, they are quite good.

Inspired by this idea, Kimberly Clark invented Kotex, the first disposable pads for menstruation.


There are the first tampons with cardboard applicator. In 1934, the Tampax company brought to market its product. It is recommended to use only for married women because it’s commonly believed that tampons are only suitable to those women who have already lost their virginity.


War, women had to move a lot, no time for hesitation. So there is the first tampon without an applicator. In the period from 1936 to 1943, the consumption of tampons has increased five times.


Time ago. And again the hygiene zone, and month — not a word. Women should remain silent about this awkward period of his life. But the justification for refusing homework menstruation should not serve.


Rag liners that can be washed. The struggle for women’s rights, almost nothing has changed in regards to month.


Be the first self-adhesive pads! It happened in 1972, and soon in the US has allowed their advertising.


Superficiala invented the first tampons with plastic applicator, which is convenient to enter inside. And then there is quite rare, but still encountered the problem of toxic shock syndrome, which resulted in 84 deaths. In 1985, the TV sound Is the Word “period.”


Flew: pads with wings!


For the first time on the market this thing as a menstrual Cup. Although the first bowl appeared in the 1930s, in the 2010s they are back in fashion. Their popularity is due to economic, environmental and other advantages.

Indeed, to live well in the twenty-first century! And if you’re namechaetsya about luxury balls, remember that the gloss is hiding a dirty life.

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