Sanitary Pads! They are a matter of fascination for men as they keep wondering how these things work. And that question – “how do women put them on?” is one of the most elusive questions for at least unmarried men. For women however, sanitary pads come with a different set of questions. Questions like, ‘are they safe”, “do they cause cancer”, “do they cause infections”, “how long should a girl use a single pad”, etc. have created concerns for millions and millions of women around the world.
While all of us already know that Sanitary Pads are designed to maintain menstrual hygiene, what most of us definitely don’t know is that these pads are really not as hygienic as they claim to be. So, what’s wrong with these pads? Today, we are going to learn some jaw dropping and of course, shocking sanitary pads facts. If you are reading this and you are a woman, take it seriously. If you are a man and you are reading this, make sure that you let you women you care for know about these facts. So, let’s get started!
Sanitary Pads Facts: 1-5 (History of Sanitary Pads)
1. Sanitary pads aren’t a new thing on market. As a matter of fact, they have always been around for thousands of years. Guess what? Women have always bled during menstrual periods and they have always used something or the other to control their menstrual blood flow and keep their secret place clean. However, the oldest recorded history of sanitary pads comes from 4th century CE.
2. Did you ever hear the name “Hypatia”? Hypatia was the first female Greek Mathematician. The story goes that there used to be a man who was bewitched by her and so great was his admiration for Hypatia that it eventually frustrated Hypatia. So, in order to discourage the man, that lady mathematician took her menstrual rag (of course the bloody one) and threw it on him. What happened next? We don’t really know.
3. That’s pretty much the ancient history of sanitary pads that we have at our disposal. However, what we know for sure from past that the menstrual pads that women used in the past contained various types of fabric such as cotton, cloth, wool, grass and even animal skin!
4. Fast forward to modern times, disposable sanitary pads has a somewhat funny story. Steps in Benjamin Franklin – yes, that guy who was one of the Founding Fathers of United States of America. He actually came up with the invention of disposable pads, which were designed for caring for the wounds of soldiers who were hit by buckshot.
5. Yes, those pads later became disposable sanitary pads or sanitary napkins that women widely used today. With the new found purpose, the pads were named as menstrual pads.
Sanitary Pads Facts: 6-10 (History of Sanitary Pads)
6. Then stepped in Johnson & Johnson – yes the company from USA. In 1896, they made the first commercial sanitary pad. Essentially they were into bandage production but since they had the knowledge of how bandages worked, they had a pretty good idea of how to stop menstrual blood. So, they succeeded in providing the first commercial sanitary pads.
7. It was not until 1980 that the sanitary pad manufacturers decided to change the material they have been using for manufacturing the pads. The reason was simple! The material they used were not good absorbents and hence, leakage was a serious problem. Leakage meant stains. That’s not something women wanted.
8. About the shape of the sanitary pads, that too has an interesting story. Initially, these pads were designed to have extensions on the forward and on the backward. These extensions were meant to go into the waist belt to keep the pads in place.
9. Later on, adhesive strips came in. They were at the bottom of the pads. The adhesive strip was designed to attach the pad to the panty saddle and keep secured in place. This new design got rid of the belted design by mid 1980s.
10. Adhesive strips however increased the thickness of the pads and then came the wings. These wings also have adhesive covering but since they are a part of the pad and not a separate strip, they tend to reduce the thickness of the pads. These wings that protrude out from the sides are folded back and stick on the underneath of panty saddle, holding the pad in place.