Definition, History and Types Of Sanitary Napkins (Pads) How to Choose Suitable Sanitary Napkins (Pads)? Homemade Sanitary Napkins (Pads) Sanitary Pads – A silent health threat
Definition of Sanitary Napkins/Sanitary Pads
Sanitary Napkins or Sanitary pads is an absorbent pad of cotton, cellulose etc. worn by women during monthly menstruation or Sanitary Napkins are a disposable pad of absorbent material worn to absorb menstrual flow.
History of Sanitary Napkins / Sanitary Pads
Sanitary napkins known as sanitary pads, sanitary towels or maxi pads, sanitary napkins are an important part of the gynecological hygiene for every woman. A sanitary napkin is a form of a porous item that has the capability of absorbing the flow of menstrual flow. Menstruating women wear them during their periods. Some women also use sanitary napkins after vaginal surgeries, childbirth or abortion. Today, there are different varieties of disposable sanitary pads available in the market, ranging from ultra-thin panty liners to oversized maternity pads. From reusable ‘rags’ to disposable ‘napkins’, menstrual pads have indeed come a long way. Read in further to get some interesting background information on them.
If we go back to the history, we will aware that women have used a variety of menstrual protection, over the years. The ‘Museum of Menstruation’, located on the suburbs of Washington DC, offers some interesting insights. Some of the most common forms of protection were grass, rabbit skins, sponges, rags, menstrual aprons, homemade knitted pads or other kinds of absorbents. Disposable sanitary napkins/pads started to be available in the markets only around the year 1895.
Before disposable sanitary pads were created, reusable pads or cloth were widely used to collect menstrual blood. Women often used a variety of home-made menstrual pads which they crafted from various left craps, fabrics, grass, or other absorbent materials, to absorb menstrual blood. Even after disposable pads were commercially available, for several years they were too expensive for many women to afford. It took many years for disposable menstrual pads (sanitary napkins / sanitary pads) to become popular and affordable, but since then in most areas of the industrialized world their use became almost exclusive.
Disposable sanitary napkins/pads stared used by nurses, nurses first came up with the idea of holding the flow of menstrual blood with the help of available wood pulp bandages in the hospital. The manufacturers of bandages borrowed the idea and produced sanitary pads made from handy products that were inexpensive enough to be disposed. However, the prices of sanitary pads are very high, which made them exclusive toiletries of rich women.
The first sanitary pads were in the form of a cotton wool or similar stringy rectangular structure, sheathed with an absorbent liner. The sanitary pad was shaped in such way, that it could be easily attached to a special belt or girdle. However, due to its inconvenience, the girdle gave way to an adhesive strip on the bottom of the pad for proper attachment to the undergarment. Belted sanitary napkins became outdated and stick-on pads became popular. The belted sanitary napkin quickly became unavailable after the mid-eighties.
The design of the sanitary napkins also changed through the 1980s to today. With earlier materials not being as absorbent and effective, and early pads being up to two centimeters thick, leaks were a major problem. The ergonomic designs changed over the years, for example, the Australian Libra brand initially had a pad that was wider at the front, tapering at the back to provide a more aesthetic appearance, the current variation now has a wide dovetail at the back, giving functionality a higher priority.
In this modern world, sanitary napkins are available in a wide variety of designed, the design of sanitary napkins taking into consideration both style, comfort and fashion. Some major innovations include quilting of the lining, introduction of ‘wings’, fragrant pads, introduction of panty liners and reduction of pad thickness. Nowadays, most women even have their own standard sanitary brands. Besides, most brands come in very nominal prices, which have made sanitary napkins a commonplace household item.
Today, some sanitary pads (sanitary napkins) even come with health features to take care of the aspect of hygiene and health of women such as sanitary pads with herb and negative ion (anion). Most popular sanitary napkins / sanitary pads with negative ion (anion) in world is Love Moon Anion Sanitary Napkin.
Disposable Menstrual Pads / Sanitary Napkins
There are several different types of disposable menstrual pads / sanitary napkins:
Designed to absorb daily vaginal discharge, light menstrual flow, “spotting”, slight urinary incontinence, or as a backup for tampon use.
A very thin (compact) pad, which may be as absorbent as a Regular or Maxi/Super pad but with less bulk.
A middle range absorbency pad. Most used by the women.
Maxi / Super
A larger absorbency pad, useful for the start of the menstrual cycle when menstruation is often heaviest. Maxi/Super also used by women after vaginal surgeries, childbirth or abortion.
A longer pad to allow for more protection while the wearer is lying down, the size is little longer than regular pad, Night pads with an absorbency suitable for overnight use.
These are usually slightly longer than a maxi/Super pad and are designed to be worn to absorb lochia (bleeding that occurs after childbirth). Special design for women after childbirth.
The shape, absorbency and lengths may vary depending on manufacturer, but usually range from the short slender panty liner to the larger and longer overnight. Long pads are offered for extra protection or for larger women whose woman’s undergarments might not be completely protected by regular length pads and also for overnight use.
Other options are often offered in a manufacturer’s line of pads, such as wings or tabs that wrap around the sides of the woman’s underwear to add additional leak protection and help secure the pad in place. Deodorant is also added to some pads, which is designed to cover menstrual odor with a light fragrance. There are even pantiliners specifically designed to fit into thong/G-string type underwear.
Cloth Menstrual Pads / Sanitary Napkins
Cloth menstrual pads ( sanitary napkins) made a comeback around the 1970s , with their popularity increasing in the late 80s and early 90s. The main reasons why women choose to switch to cloth menstrual pads include the because of comfort, savings over time, environmental friendly and health reasons.
There are many different styles of cloth menstrual pads available today. Popular styles of cloth menstrual pads include all-in-one, or AIO pads, in which the absorbent layer is sewn inside the pad, ‘inserts on top’ style pads, which have absorbent layers that can be secured on top of the pad as needed, envelope or pocket style pads, which have absorbent layers that can be inserted inside the pad as needed, and a foldable style, in which the pad folds around the absorbent layers. Cloth menstrual pads can have waterproof lining, which provides more leak protection but may also be less breathable. In underdeveloped countries, reusable or makeshift pads are still used to collect menstrual blood. Rags, soil, and mud are also reportedly used for collecting menstrual flow.
Reusable menstrual pads / Sanitary Napkins
Nowadays, some women use a washable or reusable cloth menstrual pad. These are made from a number of types of fabric such as cotton flannel, or hemp (which is highly absorbent and not as bulky as cotton). Majority styles have wings that to secure around the underwear, but some are just held in place (without wings) between the body and the underwear. Particularly the older styles are available in belted styles. Washable menstrual pads do not need to be disposed of after use and therefore offer a more environmentally friendly and economical alternative for women. A lot of women report that washable products are as more comfortable than disposable pads and are just as effective a form of protection.
They are considered especially comfortable during the post-partum period, when the woman may have a very sensitive vulva. Also called “mama cloth”, reusable menstrual pads can be found on a number of web sites, or can be easily made at home (instructions are available online). They have become a popular alternative among some groups of women especially environmentalists and mothers who use cloth nappies/diapers, because they are more environmentally friendly, but they are also gaining in popularity among more mainstream women, because they are allergen-, chemical- and perfume-free, and can be more comfortable for women who suffer from irritations from using disposable pads.
Sanitary Napkins/Pads with Negative Ion
Sanitary napkins with negative ion ( Anion Sanitary Napkin )are effectively restrict the growth and survival of bacteria and viruses, activates metabolism, improves secretion and increases immunity. It is also effective in adjusting pressure, resisting bacteria, reducing inflammation, reducing odour and removing tiredness.
Anion Sanitary Napkin that rely on negative ion technology to prevent a number of complications can be an ideal choice for women who want to lessen the worries associated with menstruation. While these pads will, of course, still require frequent changing, they do offer the benefits of promoting oxygenation. This, in turn, can help:
Create an environment that is not favorable for bacterial growth Reduce odor development
Definition, History and Types Of Sanitary Napkins (Pads)