A sanitary napkin or menstrual pad is one of the main products used by women to absorb menstrual blood and maintain menstrual hygiene.
Unlike in the years past, the major issue facing women today is not availability but multiplicity of options to chose from.
The types and brands out there are just so many that finding what is right for you at first may seem daunting.
In this article, I will present a general overview of sanitary napkins as well as the brands available so that you will not only be informed of what is now available but will be better placed to choose what is best for you.
Menstrual pads did not start recently. They have always been there as long as women have been having periods.Throughout the ages, women have always used some form of pad to control menstrual flow. Women in the past have often used folded cloth, as menstrual rags, to absorb menstrual blood. Fabrics varied widely and could be made from grass,animal skins,wool, cotton, etc. In fact there is a recorded story of Hypatia, one of the first female Greek Mathematicians in the 4th century, who could do nothing else other than throw one of her menstrual rags to turn off a man who will not relent his steadfast admiration of her!
More detailed information and some photos could be got from the Museum Of Menstruation which is an online resource.
A Major turn around came in when disposable pads made their way in, through Benjamin Franklin's idea fof caring for wounded soldiers.It was only in 1898 when Johnson & Johnson company made the first commercially available disposable sanitary napkin, with other similar developments in the
1920s when Kotex pads were introduced.These were initially not available to many women then because of high cost.
the challenge of maintaining the pads in place and preventing leaks had
to be handled. First, the pads were made to have a backward and forward
extension to fit into a belt around the waist! The next advance was the
use of an adhesive strip placed on the bottom of the pad for
attachment to the saddle of the panties to secure it in place.
This rapidly became popular and replaced the belted forms by the mid 1980s. Today, many designs and fabrics have evolved include wings, reducing pad thickness etc.
Comeback of reusable cloth
There has been a rising trend of the use of reusable sanitary napkins from as early as the 1970s. Reasons include financial, environmental, comfort or even health issues. The financial reasons are even more prominent these days.
In the US alone, it has been estimated that each year, about 7 million tampons and 12 million pads are disposed!
Different types of menstrual products are available today for women to absorb menstrual blood. They could be disposable(used only once) or reusable.
Many different pads are now available including
Each manufacturing may produce pads with some added features such as
Select what is best for you based on your body size, amount of menstrual bleed, personal comfort, and your activities such as sports where tampons are usually a better option.
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