The Evolution of Menstrual Pads

As we observe Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness throughout February, it is crucial to shine a light on menstrual hygiene, an integral aspect of women’s health. 

The evolution of menstrual pads over the years has been a fascinating journey filled with challenges vis-à-vis stigma and stereotypes surrounding the topic, and a push for innovation and sustainability. 


This article looks at some intriguing facts surrounding the history and advancements in menstrual pad technology.

Before the advent of disposable pads, women resorted to using an array of materials like rags, cotton, sheep’s wool, and even grass to manage menstrual flow. 


The first sanitary pad, Lister’s Towels, was introduced in 1896. However, societal taboos surrounding menstruation hindered its success, as many women felt embarrassed to openly seek and use the products.


During World War 1, French nurses ingeniously utilized wood pulp bandages as makeshift sanitary pads. This marked a pivotal moment, laying the foundation for modern disposable pads widely used today. 


Ever since the evolution of pad design from belted napkins to adhesive strips and ‘wings’ has revolutionized comfort and convenience for women worldwide.


Despite the convenience brought by disposable pads, their environmental impact cannot be overlooked. Traditional pads contribute to non-biodegradable waste. In response to this concern, reusable cloth pads are a better alternative, which has gained traction for their eco-friendliness and long-term cost-effectiveness.


Furthermore, access to menstrual hygiene products remains a pressing issue globally, particularly in developing nations. Factors such as lack of awareness, affordability, and inadequate sanitation facilities pose challenges for women and girls. 


For instance; in Rwanda, over 18% of women and girls still struggle to afford menstrual pads, while 15% of girls attribute missing school to their period, and 23% of women and girls report missing participation in economic activities, (WEEAT and WaterAid, 2022), resulting in a potential loss of $215 per woman annually.


Initiatives, such as Kosmotive promoting menstrual health education and improving access to sanitary products, must reinforce efforts to bridge these gaps and ensure menstrual hygiene for all.


Proper hygienic product use 


Dr. Jeanne D’Arc Uwineza, an obstetric gynecologist, emphasized the potential risks associated with prolonged pad usage. 


“Skin reactions, pad rashes, and vulva irritation can result from friction, excessive moisture, or underlying infections,” she said, advising that to mitigate these issues, one should opte for alternative sanitary products like reusable pads such as Kosmopads may be beneficial.


Kosmopads are reusable cloth pads tailored for menstrual hygiene management. They are composed of three layers, including fleece, zorb fabric/microfiber for absorption, and polyurethane laminate. 


Kosmopads offer a breathable, non-toxic, and cost-effective solution. With proper care and maintenance – washing with mild soap, air-drying, and ensuring complete dryness before reuse.


Kosmopads can last up to two years, offering superior absorbency and economic value.




Why is my period late?

Some women might often miss their period without being pregnant, or their periods might stop altogether. Regular menstruation cycles usually last around 28 days. However, it’s also common for cycles to last from 21 to 40 days. Periods may be early or later, may last from 3 to 7 days and might be heavier or lighter.
There are various reasons why periods might stop. The most common ones are pregnancy, stress, sudden weight loss, being overweight, doing too much exercise, taking the contraceptive pill, menopause and/or polycystic ovary syndrome. Other reasons include medical conditions, such as heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, an overactive thyroid, or premature menopause.

– If you’re sexually active and your period suddenly stops, you might be pregnant
– Wait a few days to see because your period might just be late
A pregnancy test could confirm whether you’re pregnant or not
– It’s possible to get pregnant in the days after your period is normally due
Illness and stress might delay the release of an egg leading to pregnancy

Stress can lead to:
– Longer or shorter menstrual cycles
– Periods stopping altogether
– Painful periods
How to calm stress:
– Regular exercise can help you relax
– Breathing exercises can also help
10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress

Weight irregularities
Sudden weight loss: restricting the amount of calories you eat stops the production of hormones needed for ovulation
Being overweight: your body may produce an excess amount of oestrogen one of the hormones that regulate the reproductive system in women

Excessive exercise
– Stressing your muscles too much through excessive physical activity can affect your hormones
– Losing too much body fat through intense exercise can stop you ovulating

Contraceptive pill
It is normal to miss your period sometimes when taking the contraceptive pill.

Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles, which are underdeveloped sacs in which eggs develop. If you have PCOS, these sacs are often unable to release an egg, which means ovulation does not take place.

Irregular periods
Causes of irregular periods include:
– Puberty, periods might be irregular for the first year or two
– Menopause, usually between the ages of 45 and 55
– Early pregnancy
– Some types of hormonal contraception
– Weight irregularities
– Medical conditions, such as polycystic ovaries syndrome

Heavy periods
Heavy periods (also called menorrhagia) are common and may be normal for you. If they’re affecting your daily life, you might need to see a doctor.
– Need to change your pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours, or empty your menstrual cup more often than is recommended
– Need to use 2 types of sanitary products together, such as a pad and a tampon
– Have periods lasting more than 7 days
– Have blood clots larger than about 2.5cm (the size of a 10p coin)
– Bleed through your clothes or bedding
– Avoid daily activities, like exercise, or take time off work because of your periods
– Feel tired or short of breath

For some people it can be normal to have heavy periods. They can be heavy at different times, like in puberty, after pregnancy or during menopause.
Other causes include:
– Conditions affecting your womb, ovaries or hormones, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, fibroids, endometriosis and pelvic inflammatory disease
– Some medicines and treatments, including anticoagulant medicines and chemotherapy medicines
– Stress and depression

When to see a doctor
– Periods are affecting your daily life
– Heavy periods occur for a long period of time
– You have severe pain during your periods
– You bleed between periods or after sex
– You have heavy periods and other symptoms such as pain when peeing, pooing or having sex
– You experience fever, nausea and vomiting

healthline. Why Is My Period Late: 8 Possible Reasons.
NHS. Stopped or missed periods.
NHS. Heavy periods.
NHS. Irregular periods.

Ingaruka zo kugira isuku nke mu mihango

Mu bice bimwe na bimwe usanga umugore mu gihe cy’imihango atabasha kubona iby’ingenzi akeneye byamufasha kwita ku isuku neza; aha twavuga nk’amazi meza, udutambaro tw’isuku two kwibinda, isabune, ndetse n’ahantu h’ubwiherero habugenewe yakwifashisha. Ibi byose rero bikaba byatuma isuku ikenewe ititabwaho ndetse ubuzima n’iterambere ry’umugore muri rusange bikadindira.

Isuku idahagije ishobora gutera ingaruka zitandukanye mu buzima. Zimwe mu ngaruka zaterwa no kutagira isuku ihagije mu gihe cy’imihango harimo: Kwandura zimwe mu ndwara ziterwa n’udukoko duturutse mu gukoresha udutambaro tudasukuye mu kwibinda bikaba byagera no kuri nyababyeyi, kurwara indwara ku ruhu rukikije imyanya ndangagitsina, kurwara indwara z’udukoko mu myanya ndangagitsina, ndetse  n’ikwirakwizwa rya zimwe mu ndwara zandurira mu matembabuzi nka hepatite ndetse na virusi itera SIDA, indwara zo mu miyobora y’inkari, kuzana uduheri ku myanya ndangagitsina, kurwara kanseri y’inkondo y’umura bishobora kuvamo no kutabyara.

Kugirango umugore agire isuku ihagije mu gihe cy’imihango hari bimwe mu byo akeneye harimo: amazi meza yo gukoresha bisukura ndetse banasukura udutambaro n’imyambaro, kubona ahantu habugenewe biherera bari mu isuku, kubona ibikoresho bikenewe bibafasha mu gihe cy’imihango, kubona aho babasha kujugunya imyanda cyangwa se udutambaro bakoresheje.

Ni byiza rero kwita ku isuku mu gihe cy’imihango kugirango twirinde ingaruka ziva mu isuku nke.

Uko umwangavu yakwita ku isuku y’imyanya ndangagitsina

Kutagira isuku y’imyanya ndangagitsina bishobora gutera impumuro mbi mu gitsina, indwara z’uruhu, harimo n’indwara zandurira mu myanya ndangagitsina na kanseri. Ni byiza kwita ku isuku haba mu gukaraba cyangwa imyenda wambara y’imbere.

Ku mwangavu, imyanya ndangagitsina igomba kozwa buri munsi hakoreshejwe amazi meza kandi ahagije; ni byiza gusukura imyanya ndangagitsina hakoreshejwe urupapuro rwabugenewe cyangwa amazi nyuma yo kwihagarika; ni byiza gusukura mu kibuno hakoreshejwe amazi cyangwa urupapuro rwabugenewe igihe umaze kwituma; ni byiza kubanza koza mu gitsina ugakurikizaho mu kibuno ariko ukoza uvana imbere werekeza inyuma; birabujijwe gukoresha mu gitsina amasabune n’amavuta ahumura, imibavu cyangwa puderi, kuko byakwangiza utunyangingo turinda umubiri; ni byiza kwambara imyenda y’imbere itagufashe kandi ikozwe mu gitambaro cya cotton; ibuka guhita umesa umwenda wawe w’imbere igihe umaze kuwukuramo; birabujijwe gutizanya imyenda y’imbere.

No mu gihe uri mu mihango ugomba gukomeza kwita ku isuku nk’ibisanzwe, ugakaraba byibura kabiri ku munsi, kandi ukibuka guhindura agatambaro wambaye buri masaha atandatu.

Kutabyara: imwe mu ngaruka zaterwa n’isuku nkeya mu gihe cy’imihango

Abangavu cyangwa abagore bashobora kugira uburwayi buterwa n’udukoko, buzwi nka infection mu ndimi z’amahanga, dufata imyanya ndangagitsina yabo biturutse mu gukoresha udutambaro dusa nabi mu gihe cy’imihango, kwambara udukoresho bibinda igihe kinini, kudahindura udutambaro twabugewe mu gufata amaraso buri masaha ane, kudutizanya, n’ibindi.

Igihe ugize isuku nkeya mu gihe cy’imihango ukandura udukoko dutera uburwayi mu myanya ndangagitsina, bishobora kugera no mu miyoborantaga y’umugore ndetse no kuri nyababyeyi, bityo tukahangiza bikaba byakuviramo ubugumba cyangwa se kutabyara.

Ni byiza kwita ku isuku mu gihe cy’imihango kugirango twirinde ingaruka zose zaturuka ku isuku nkeya.


Wari uzi ko ushobora gusama uramutse ukoze imibonano mpuzabitsina idakingiye uri mu mihango

Yego birashoboka, bitewe n’uko intanga ngabo ishobora kumara iminsi igera kuri itanu mu bice ndangagitsina by’umugore itarapfa, udusabo tw’intanga z’umugore turamutse dutanze igi mu minsi ya mbere akiva mu mihango kandi umugore akaba yarakoze imibonana mpuzabitsina mu minsi ya nyuma ari mu mihango haba hari amahirwe ko intanga ngabo yahura na rya gi akaba yasama; ibi biterwa n’uko ukwezi kw’umugore kungana.

Ibiryo ushobora kurya n’ibyo wakwirinda mu gihe uri mu mihango

Iyo umwangavu cyangwa umugore ari mu mihango, rimwe na rimwe bahura n’ibimenyetso bibabangamira harimo nko kuribwa mu nda, umutwe, kugira iseseme, umunaniro, guhitwa n’ibindi.

Tugiye kurebera hamwe ibyo kurya wakwifashisha n’ibyo wakwirinda byagufasha kwirinda bimwe muri ibyo bimenyetso.

Ibiryo warya bikagufasha uri mu mihango harimo: imbuto, imboga z’icyatsi, ibishyimbo, inkoko, ifi, icyayi cya tangawizi, shokora y’umukara, amazi, yawurute, ndetse n’amata.

Ibyo wakwirinda harimo: umunyu mwinshi, isukari nyinshi, ikawa, inzoga, ibiryo birimo amavuta menshi, ndetse n’inyama zitukura.

Ibikenewe ku mwangavu n’umugore kugira ngo bite kw’isuku bari mu mihango

Kimwe cya kabiri cy’abagore batuye isi bari mu myaka y’uburumbuke, nyamara benshi muri bo bagorwa no kubona ibikenewe by’ibanze kugirango bite kw’isuku mu gihe bari mu mihango.

Bimwe mu by’ibanze baba bakeneye harimo ibi bikurikira: ubumenyi buhagije ku bijyanye n’isuku mu gihe cy’imihango, amazi meza n’isabune byo gukaraba, ibikoresho by’isuku– nk’udutambaro two kwibinda, ubwiherero bakoresha bahindura udutambaro, ndetse no kubona ahantu habugenewe babasha gushyira imyanda.

Birakwiye ko abangavu n’abagore bashyigikirwa kugirango babashe kubona ibi by’ibanze bakenera buri kwezi, bityo n’ubuzima bwabo bubashe kubungabungwa neza.

Bimwe mu byagufasha igihe ujya mu mihango ukagira ububabare

Kugira imihango ibabaza ni kimwe mu bibangamira umugore cyangwa umukobwa igihe ayigiyemo; bamwe bagira ububabare mbere gato y’uko bajya mu mihango, abandi bakagira ububabare bari mu mihango nyir’izina. Hari abagira ububabare bworoheje ndetse n’abagira ububabare bukabije ku buryo bakenera kuba bafata imiti. Ubu bubabare buba mu nda hasi ndetse no mu mugongo wo hasi.

Ububabare umuntu agira ari mu mihango biterwa n’uko ibyari kuzatunga umwana nyababyeyi iba yarabitse biba biri kwiyomora kuri nyababyeyi kugirango bibashe gusohoka, akaba ari byo bisohoka nk’ariya maraso tuba tubona; ibi bituma habaho gufunga imitsi izana amaraso kuri nyababyeyi, noneho bigatuma umwuka utagera kuri nyababyeyi bigatera ububabare.

Bimwe mu byagufasha harimo: gushyira icupa ririmo amazi ashyushye ku mugongo wawe ku gice cyo hasi, gukora “massage” ku nda yawe ahagana hasi, kuruhuka igihe wumva unaniwe, kwirinda ibyo kurya birimo imisemburo ya kafeyine n’umunyu mwinshi, kwirinda kunywa itabi n’inzoga, gukora siporo– aha ubushakashatsi bwagaragaje ko umugore ukora siporo adakunda kubabara mu gihe ari mu mihango.

Bimwe mu byo kunywa byagufasha kugabanya ububabare harimo amazi, icyayi cy’icyatsi (green tea), umutobe w’inanasi, n’ibyo kunywa bita “smoothie” bikozwe mu mbuto n’imboga.

Si byiza gukoresha fanta ya coca ndetse n’ikawa igihe ugira imihango ibabaza kuko byifitemo imisemburo ya kafeyine ishobora gutuma ugira imihango ihindagurika mbere utayigiraga. Igihe ibi tuvuze hejuru byanze kukugabanyiriza ububabare ahubwo bukiyongera, ushobora kugana muganga akaba yaguha ubufasha bwisumbuyeho.



Impinduka zishobora Kuba ku mugore mu gihe ari mu mihango

Igihe umugore agiye kujya mu mihango hari impinduka zishobora kuba mu mubiri we bitewe n’uko hari imisemburo iba irimo ikorwa mu mubiri itari isanzwe.

Zimwe muri izo mpinduka harimo: kubabara umugongo, kubabara umutwe, kubyimba amabere ndetse ukumwa asa n’akubabaza, kubabara mu ngingo, guhinduka kw’ijwi, guhinduka mu byiyumviro ukaba wagira uburakari, kumva udashaka kurya, kuzana uduheri mu maso, kwigunga ndetse n’ubwoba.

Izi mpinduka ziza mbereho gato yo kujya mu mihango zikarangirana n’igihe cy’imihango; mu gihe ugize kimwe muri ibi bimenyenso bije bikabije wagana kwa muganga bakaba baguha ubufasha.

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