Most women are familiar with the trick of hiding a tampon or pad in their sleeves on the way to the bathroom or quietly asking a store clerk where the feminine hygiene aisle is. They stuff their feminine hygiene items at the bottom of their bags and in the back of their drawers, as if there was something wrong with using them.
For something that affects half of the world’s population for nearly half of their lives, menstruation has historically been a surprisingly taboo subject. For some reason, many women do not want people to know when they have their period. However, this is definitely changing. Not only are women getting more comfortable talking about this very basic human function, but we are also seeing more product formats to help manage it.
Much of this shift can be attributed to the emergence of new boutique brands that focus solely on women’s health to develop new solutions for feminine hygiene. These companies are not only making new products like menstrual cups, absorbent underwear and even swim panties, they are also talking openly about issues that relate to women’s health issues like menarche, ovulation, pregnancy and menopause.
Of course in the nonwovens industry, menstruation has never been a taboo subject. In fact, it just another bodily function that needs to be dealt with, and product developers have made tremendous strides in creating solutions that have made women much more comfortable. A look at a sanitary napkin from 40 or some years ago (a thick and bulky device secured with a strap) looks nothing like the thin, sleek, form fitting products of today. And the emergence of period panties, leggings, bodysuits and other products have made leak containment easier than ever.
However, as the dialogue opens up about feminine hygiene, and taboos continue to lift, will leakage even be a major issue or problem? Of course, no one likes a mess but hopefully young girls of tomorrow won’t be as horrified if someone finds out “it’s that time of the month” as some of us were.