Bloody history: how women experienced the period before the invention of pads and tampons?

Even in our time of menstruation can bring a lot of inconvenience. What was women in the age of, say, 15? Let’s take a look and rejoice that we have such a wide variety of hygiene products.

The ancient world of isolation

Imagine: every month for a few days you isolated from society. And then suddenly you will bring the family bad luck? To avoid this, the African tribes have built special huts.

The wild in this manner that it still lives. In Nepal, the “unclean” women are still forced to sit in the sheds with appalling conditions. There they suffer from the cold, snake bites, attacks by wild animals and even rape. The deaths are also not uncommon, therefore, in 2017, the authorities adopted a law providing for criminal liability for forcing to leave home at the time of menstruation. That’s just human rights activists say that is not enough for him who follows.

The middle ages ignoring

Until the nineteenth century, Europeans almost never wear underwear, so most of them never used even simple rags. The blood just flows down the feet. However, skirts a woman wore a lot, so the surrounding normally do not notice. Even the ladies were in a state of permanent pregnancy or feeding – month fell to their share not so often.

The exceptions were only some noble women: for example, Elizabeth I and was attached silk belt, and to them – the fabric “strip”.

XIX-XX century

By this time the waist, like Elizabeth, have become commonplace. At first they were attached pieces of cloth, but in the 20-ies of the Kimberly Clark invented the first disposable pads for menstruation.

And after 1933 life was quite simpler: the American surgeon Earl Haas invented for his wife’s tampon. The doctor rolled surgical cotton wool, stitched along the entire length of the cord and placed in a cardboard tube for ease of insertion. The modern tampon with the applicator still on the same principle.


However, in the Soviet Union until the late 80s tampons did not exist, and the gaskets were a rarity. Besides, the girls were embarrassed to buy them. Therefore, in every Soviet book for girls, you can find instructions on how to do a strip of cotton wool and gauze.

After you try a tampon, pad doesn’t seem so convenient and hygienic means. But some say the same thing about tampons women, testing a new device – a menstrual Cup. Tell them what, in the article “3 eco-friendly alternatives to feminine hygiene products”.