I bet you are screaming ‘impossible’ at the top your voice. This sounds like the biggest joke of the year but its not. Disposable sanitary pads were inspired by a Ben Franklin invention that saved soldiers from buckshot wounds, these disposable napkins were made from materials that were easily obtainable during wartime. They were extremely absorbent and cheap enough to throw away after use.

The first commercially available American disposable napkins were Lister’s Towels created by Johnson & Johnson in 1888. Disposable pads had their start with nurses using their wood pulp bandages to catch their menstrual flow, creating a pad that was made from easily obtainable materials and inexpensive enough to throw away after use. Kotex’s first advertisement for products made with this  Cellucotton (wood pulp) appeared in 1888. Even after disposable pads were commercially available, for several years they were too expensive for many women to afford. When they could be afforded, women were allowed to place money in a box so that they would not have to speak to the clerk and take a box of Kotex pads from the counter themselves.It took several years for disposable menstrual pads to become accessible. However, they are now used nearly exclusively in most of the industrialized world.

In order to meet the need for achieving an inexpensive solution to tackle unsanitary and unhygienic practices in countries like India,  patented  machines which could manufacture low-cost sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost were procured.

Women have advanced from the use of one form of menstrual protection to another. Its most desired features lying in being absorbent, portable, providing comfortability, texture, thickness and length.

Here is what you should know about those life savers:



Apart from absorbency rate and structure, the texture should also be considered. It should be soft and skin friendly so as to avoid skin irritations during the cycle.


Your menstrual flow will determine how thick your sanitary pad should be. It is always best to stick with a thicker one if you have a heavy flow and a thin one if the flow is lighter.


You could get sanitary pads that are eight inches in length and some are even longer. Never forget to check the expiry date of the sanitary pads. The closer it is to its expiry date, the weaker it gets.


A good sanitary pad should have a middle gel layer that holds in blood and converts it to gel. Blood absorbed should also be locked into the centre core, eliminating the chance of backflow when pressure is applied to the pad (for example when sitting down). At most, you should feel comfortable, dry and not so slimy for about 5-7 hours without having to change.

You now know who sanitary pads were initially intended manufactured for but this is the perfect time to be a woman.


Who runs the world?  Girls! 

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