I’ve always been frustrated by pad design. Why feminine hygiene brands feel the need to make pads longer and longer is something I’ve never understood. Think about it: The majority of vulvas are under an inch long*. But as you go down the feminine hygiene aisle looking for ~*~*tHe PaD tHaT’s RiGhT fOr YoU*~*~, pads get longer and longer and thinner and thinner, without any reference to the quality of absorption.
Unless I’m very wrong, variation in pads is supposed to reflect variation in period flows. But instead of targeting absorbency–the quality that actually affects the functionality of a pad–pad manufacturers seem to focus on inching pads further and further up your ass. My flow may vary, but my vagina remains in exactly the same place from the first to the last day of my period. There’s no blood coming from any other part of my body. So how the fuck is a pad inching up my ass supposed to affect the blood coming out of my vagina??
I recently had an experience that pushed me over the edge. I came across
a box of discounted pads at the grocery store and bought them based on price without regard for their design. When I came home and opened them, I could not believe my eyes. As I sat on the toilet, my roommates heard me laugh as I unfolded the longest pad I’d ever seen. This was some next level shit. At over 13 inches long, these pads spanned from the tip of my pelvic bone to well beyond my asshole.
I tried to wrap my head around the logic that went into designing it. Maybe the designer was hoping to advertise it as a dual purpose pad-diaper hybrid? Perhaps some hyper-prepared designer said to herself, “Hmm, this pad just doesn’t look long enough to me. What if I have a cut on my belly button and I wanted it to function as a diaper, pad and band-aid all at the same time? Guess we’d better tack on a couple more inches”? There are only two phases in our lives when we may need to wear diapers, and neither overlaps with the chapter of our lives in which we menstruate. How did we get here!? Is there actually a demand for pads so long they can barely fit in our underwear? Or are we so beat down by the patriarchy that we will be subjected to this mockery of our menstrual cycles?
We do not have to stand for this any longer! I can’t be the only person who has this issue. I invite you all to join me in the Ovulation Transformation!! Let us express our discomfort and create demand for a more vagina-sized pad! Let our voices be heard and our vaginas be cared for! We must not choose unstained underwear at the expense of comfort! Together, we can move forward!
Let us move from this:
*It was actually shockingly difficult to find this information. One source informed me that statistics on female reproductive anatomy only began to be collected fairly recently, compared to the collection of data on the male sexual anatomy, which was already available and published as early as 1899. In the interest of fairness, however, it seems that most attempts to quantify the vulva and vagina have been met with frustration, simply due to the wide variability of the female anatomy from person to person. The figure I use refers to data collection on labia minora length in a study which found 87.7% of participants to have labia minora of under .75 inches in length.