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Old September 26th, 2011, 04:16 AM   #11

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You're right, Maundu, women were pregnant more often back then. I mentioned this to my wife and she told me that the menstraul cycle doesn't start again until the mother stops breastfeeding. So if women were pregnant/breastfeeding continuously then why would they need a sanitary towel.

EDIT: I see History Chick got there first
For those few months in between stopping breastfeeding and and getting pregnant again..
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Old September 26th, 2011, 04:32 AM   #12

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I was watching The Borgia's with the wife last night and there was a scene where the pope was trying to get it on with his mistress. She turned him down because it was that time of the month. My wife then asked me what they used instead for sanitary towels back then. I had no idea, but I thought I'd put it to you lot here.

I know the Borgia's is a bit later, but what did ancient women use to stop the flow of blood? Did they have sanitary towels? or, as my wife put it, did they make a bloody mess everywhere?
On the TV series Victorian Farm, the lady presenter showed cotton bags stuffed with moss that Victorian women used, and that would be quite good, moss would be quite absorbent. They probably had something similar in ancient times. Sheep's wool would be something else that would be good to use, and most ancient women had access to that since they were generally expected to do the spinning and weaving for the household.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 04:37 AM   #13

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Originally Posted by Caracalla View Post
You're right, Maundu, women were pregnant more often back then. I mentioned this to my wife and she told me that the menstraul cycle doesn't start again until the mother stops breastfeeding. So if women were pregnant/breastfeeding continuously then why would they need a sanitary towel.

EDIT: I see History Chick got there first
Not all women were pregnant all the time. In ancient Rome for example, the Emperor Augustus was seriously worried about the falling birthrate, and introduced a law called the law of Three or Four Children, which said that a free woman who had three children, or a freedwoman who had four, would thereafter be exempt from male guardianship. This suggests that not all ancient women had enormous families.

And there would be single women who were not having babies all the time, and widows etc. there would be plenty of women who did need sanitary protection.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 04:58 AM   #14

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Not all women were pregnant all the time. In ancient Rome for example, the Emperor Augustus was seriously worried about the falling birthrate, and introduced a law called the law of Three or Four Children, which said that a free woman who had three children, or a freedwoman who had four, would thereafter be exempt from male guardianship. This suggests that not all ancient women had enormous families.

And there would be single women who were not having babies all the time, and widows etc. there would be plenty of women who did need sanitary protection.
that is off course completely true (although I did not know about that law form Augustus). However my point is that in general women would have had less monthy periods due to; possible later maturing of the body, more frequent pregnancies, longer breast feeding etc.. So they would need sanitary protection but perhaps not as much as women today..
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Old September 26th, 2011, 04:54 PM   #15

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Spartans used hair shaved from helots,
Hi President Camacho. Can you help me out and tell me where you found this info?

Thanks in advance.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:06 PM   #16

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Okamido, that whole post was a failed attempt at humor.
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Old September 26th, 2011, 05:18 PM   #17

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Okamido, that whole post was a failed attempt at humor.
Damn...I thought you had something that predated my info.

I got suckered because I had once heard that some Native American tribes did something similar with hair( have no idea if true). TJ would say that I got bazinga'd.
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Old November 9th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #18

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women used to use (and reuse after washing) rags/towels to catch the flow.

I read somewhere that the ancient Egyptians would use reeds as tampons but I don't know if that's true or not.
I've read something along those lines too, but if we think papyrus/paper, rather than just 'reeds', it perhaps makes more sense. I've forgotten where I read it, but that source suggested they used 'paper' tampons as well as just napkins. Elsewhere, as you suggest, sponges and mosses were also available in many places.
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Old November 10th, 2012, 04:23 AM   #19
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Found bits and pieces here and there. Think most things have been touched upon though.

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Ancient Egyptian women made their own tampons using softened papyrus. In 17th century Europe, women used cotton wadding and sponges. Ancient Japanese women would fashion tampons out of paper to be held in place with bandages. Of course, these had to be changed just about every hour of the day. In Hawaii, women would use the furry part of a native fern. Still today, women in remote parts of Africa and Asia use grasses, mosses, and other plants.

The writings of Hippocrates tell of women making their own tampons by wrapping pieces of lint around a small piece of wood.



One unusual thing I did read. In 17th century France menstrual blood was considered to be a seductive scent. History of*Menstruation | The Period Blog
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Old November 10th, 2012, 05:58 AM   #20

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Why the hell did I come into this thread!
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