4 Interesting Facts about Women’s Menstrual History

4 Interesting Facts about Women’s Menstrual History

Before we got to the age of sanitary pads, menstrual cup and tampons, how did our ancestors managed menstruation? In the current day and age, we are bombarded with different choices to deal with our periods.

From organic cotton pads to menstrual cups, we can even get pads delivered straight to your door now! With technological advancement, people’s view towards menstruation are also changing.

Hopefully, with the help of social media we could break the taboo of not speaking about menstruation in public or even feel embarrassed about having our monthly body’s natural process.


  1.       Ancient Greek Tampons

There’s little to no documentation about ancient women and menstruation, probably because most of the scribes were men and they chose not to document it. However, theories suggest that ancient Egyptians used tampons made out of papyrus fibre (a type of material used to make books and scrolls. Another theory suggests that ancient Egyptian women used wood wrapped in lint as tampons! Now, that’s some interesting invention.


  1.       Ancient Alternative for Period Cramp Painkillers

Even though painkillers were already available in medieval times, they were not given to women who suffer from cramps because God apparently wanted each cramp to be a reminder of Eve’s original sin. Such a punishment to women who go through horrible period cramps each month. Nuns would restrict their diets to completely suppress their menstruation to reverse the effect of Eve’s sins and bring back the holiness of women’s body.


  1.       Little to no menstruation

Women in the past have dealt with much lighter menstrual cycle, partly because of malnourishment. Just imagine only having only 1 day of period a month, wow! However, the malnourishment could also be linked to infertility and early menopause. Women in the past started their menopause as early as 40 whereas, today women begin their menopause at around 50 years of age.

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  1. The 19th Century Period Belt

The early invention of sanitary pad came from Hoosier sanitary belt. This belt features a washable pad that is worn around the waist. Yes, it’s really uncomfortable and impractical.

Well, all thanks to these early inventions, we now know what how to tweak pads and tampons to be safe and comfortable to be worn. Can’t imagine logging around a bloodied cloth in my pants all day.


So there you have it, interesting facts about women’s menstrual history. I’m just really glad that I wasn’t born before the 19th Century. Leave a comment in the post below and let us know what you think of these ancient inventions.

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