Tampons to be proud of, period.
Women bleed. We’ve always bled. And yet – for most – the way we manage our monthly bleeding hasn’t changed in decades.
We still largely choose between pads or tampons, with only the adventurous reaching for the odd menstrual cup (a great invention btw).
It’s time for change.
Today entrepreneurs, scientists and designers are dreaming of a tampon you deserve: a tampon fit for the modern age.
We’re not there yet, but here are six ways we can work towards the ‘tampon of the future’…
Considering it happens every month, it’s surprisingly easy to be caught off guard by your period.
That’s why we love the rise of the subscription sanitary service.
In the UK we rate Pink Parcel because they don’t just send out provisions of your choice, but delightful extras like herbals teas, chocolate, and beauty and pampering treats to make your period a bit more bearable.
It’s worth taking stock of the competition though: Flux keeps it simple by sending out your choice of high street brand products, and Freda specialises in 100% organic products, while companies like Kali, Cora, Lola, This Is L, Tampon Tribe and Ms Flow serving up different kinds of eco-friendly and artisan products across the US.
Make like a scout: always be prepared.
In the future your tampons could arrive on-demand by bike courier – that’s if Kaye Toland’s MCycle business idea is realised.
The Central Saint Martins graduate has also designed a box that transforms into a sanitary bin for your used goods, which can be collected and turned into compost for public green spaces afterwards.
We love that MCycle’s blood red packaging breaks ‘the rules’ by referring to what a period is actually like (goodbye weird blue goop).
Less easy to adopt however, is the idea of carrying around used tampons in a box – perhaps we’d be game to get over that in the name of Mother Nature.
Ever forget to change your tampon? Sure. But whether that justifies wearing a bluetooth tampon is another question.
Each MyFlow tampon has a string that runs into digital device you can wear on your belt, that alerts you when it’s time to change your tampon.
This might sound scary, but the company hopes to make you more comfortable, give you better predictions of the start and stop date of your cycle, and ultimately help prevent Toxic Shock Syndrome (and other complications that come from keeping a tampon in too long).
One for the data obsessed.
Women’s health startup NextGen Jane is also developing a kind of ‘smart tampon’ to help you better understand your body – in this case to detect and prevent poor health.
Scientists and founder Ridhi Tariyal imagines a device that allows menstrual blood to be monitored from the privacy of the home, alerting women to STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea, or painful disorders like endometriosis.
It will even help women to better understand their reproductive health taking fertility, ethnicity, genetics, hormones and other biometric measurements in to account.
Perfect for planning pregnancy and beyond.
Some of the best ‘tampons of the future’ aren’t actually tampons at all – as any menstrual cup converts will tell you.
Now, Flex is a Californian company that take the idea of a blood-collecting cup a step further, with a device that rests far deeper inside the wearer, right at the top of the vaginal canal.
The company not only claims that this can be worn for up to 12 hours, but that it reduces cramps, and empowers women to have ‘mess free’ period sex.
Even if you’re totally down with ‘messy sex’, you’ve got to admit, a ‘messy sheets’-free life does sound appealing.
Hate tampons? There are of course pads, or even sea sponges you can use.
But if you really crave freedom, it’s brands like THINX that are really rocking the boat with their sanitary product-free pants.
Designed to hold up to two tampons’ worth of liquid, these are moisture-wicking and anti-microbial, as well as environmentally and ethically minded (they’re a supporter of the very awesome Aafripads scheme).
Not sold? Well lots of people swear that THINX really are dry and comfortable for 10 hours on the trot (see glowing reviews on Bustle, BuzzFeed, Seventeen, Huffington Post, and a couple of ‘more balanced’ reviews on Refinery29, and Huff Po).
Periods might be pants, but your pants don’t have to be.