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How would women deal with menstrual blood in ancient times?

How would women deal with menstrual blood in ancient times? Topic: How would women deal with menstrual blood in ancient times?
June 20, 2019 / By Britt
Question: Nowadays market offers a vide variety of hygiene products for women so the menstrual "problem" has been solved. But what about ancient times? How would women deal with it? How about PMS?
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Best Answers: How would women deal with menstrual blood in ancient times?

Aline Aline | 2 days ago
I'm not sure about pms but in ancient cultures the women knew about the advantages of an internal menstrual hygiene. The first tampons were made by rolling up natural fibers such as papyrus or cotton. Women already knew that they couldn't feel them if they were inserted correctly. This shows how natural the tampon actually is. They may have also used a type of pad normally used to stop the blood after a circumcision to control menstrual blood.
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Aline Originally Answered: What did women used to do in ancient times when they had their period?
Yes, I do know. Females in many cultures did not wash and wore long skirts and bled down their legs. It was a shock to me too. Native women made a sort of leather belt if they were traveling and packed moss inside it to stem the blood flow. Here's a quote from the Museum of Menstruation: "This was the age-old custom for rural women and women from the lower classes. Virtually only women in the theater professions wore close-fitting pads [Binden - see a modern American 'theatrical tampon'] or sponges and few women wore underpants or even used pads, which they made from cloth. Washing and changing underclothing was regarded as unhealthy, because women feared it would block the bleeding or cause more intense bleeding." (The above is my translation of a quote, below, from "Zur Geschichte der Unterwäsche 1700-1960." 1988. Historisches Museum Frankfurt, p. 336, written by two women, Almut Junker and Eva Stille.
Aline Originally Answered: What did women used to do in ancient times when they had their period?
Depends on when in human history and in what culture. In some times and places, they used nothing. A woman's menstrual cycle was an excuse to take a break from usual work and spend a day or two sitting - usually on something to catch or absorb the flow. There's a funny story in Genesis where Rachel uses her period as an excuse not to get up and help her father look for some stuff he's missing - which in fact she has hidden under the cushion she's sitting on! In other cultures, women sometimes hang out in a specially built "women's house" during this time. The ancient Egyptians invented the first disposable tampons made from softened papyrus. The ancient Greeks created tampons made from lint wrapped around a small piece of wood, recorded in writing by Hippocrates in the fifth century B.C. Physicians in the medieval Islamic world also described the use of tampons, often for contraceptive purposes. Other materials used for the first tampons have included: wool, paper, vegetable fibers, sponges, grass, and later cotton. As a medical device, the tampon, (from the French for plug, or stopper) has been around since the 19th century, when antiseptic cotton tampons treated with salicylates were used to stop the bleeding from bullet wounds, and there have been reports of modern menstrual tampons being used for the same purpose by soldiers in the Iraq War. Prior to the development of tampons, Western women generally resorted to reusable cloth rags. These would be soaked in a diaper pail after use. Rags continue to be used by women in some developing countries today, including much of Africa, out of affordability and distribution problems associated with other methods. There's a lot of controversy in historical re-enactment circles with how to deal with this special problem, especially since women really didn't wear underpants until the Victorian era. However, there are some Elizabethan chemises which show pin marks at about the right height front and back, which has been interpreted to mean that these women at least pinned rags in place when necessary. One more note: Women in the 20th/21st century with both phenomenally good diets and easy access to birth control actually menstruate probably more frequently than your ancestors did. On a traditional, seasonally-driven diet, a woman tends to either have lower flow and/or skip months during the winter/dry season. In addition, the on-set of menstruation comes later (closer to 14 or 15 than 11-12 which is typical today). Finally, if a woman is not using birth control, but is breast-feeding her infants, she can expect to be pregnant about once every three years. Obviously there is no period during the pregnancy, and she can expect either spotting, low flows, or skipped periods during the year to year and half that she breast-feeds (as is common in traditional cultures). This means she's only worrying about a period 9-12 months out of any three year time frame. EDIT: I'm with Tiss. Why the hell are we getting Thumbs Down for posting facts? If someone else thinks they have a better answer, post it. Otherwise, move on.
Aline Originally Answered: What did women used to do in ancient times when they had their period?
They probably used bits of cloth, or perhaps sheep's wool. Most people lived in the country prior to the 19th century, and most women spent at least some of their time spinning, so wool would have been easily available and I would think quite absorbent.

Ulick Ulick
Check out the menstrual blood rituals from various cultures. http://www.cycleharmony.com/menstrual-myths-and-rituals/blog?view=category
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Ulick Originally Answered: "Why did freedom for women expand at some times and places in the ancient world but."?
You should look into the end times of the Greek, Roman and Islamic empires and now the end of American Capitalism. Sexual liberation and women's liberation came at the peaks before the falls for some reason. For instance, a typical Muslim duet from the Andalusian times would have the female as the protagonist and the male calling to her submissively in the background. Quite hedonistic times from what I've been told. Perhaps life has to become less of a struggle before liberation can happen, for instance... Women in the West could not be released from the domestic role until modern conveniences progressed enough to allow a tax payer to maintain themselves with ease without a back up person in a supporting role. The fact that work became less physical meant that women could join the tax system too, and so it was. In this case technological advancements freed women. Another area to look at might be the end of Hitler's campaign, his staff became quite liberated sexually after they realised the war was lost.
Ulick Originally Answered: "Why did freedom for women expand at some times and places in the ancient world but."?
I think it has to do with the quality or ease of life. Patriarchy is a system that enhances competitive ability of a group. It requires sacrifices from both sexes and places them in the necessary roles that they are suited for. When a group is struggling to survive, they do not have the luxury of deciding how they want to behave. Perhaps as populations grew larger than small bands, different groups came into conflict more often with each other over limited resources. Life became more difficult and personal freedoms became more of a luxury.

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