Menstrual Belts: Menstrual Protection in the Past
In today’s world you probably have never heard of a menstrual belt and probably have questions about it. It wasn't until the 1970s that women started to wear disposable self-adhesive menstrual pads. Before the popularity of these pads, women had to use some way to hold the pad in place. The menstrual belt was one such thing which helped women to hold their menstrual pads in place until the mid-20th century. The menstrual belt was the most commercially popular form of menstrual protection from the late 19th century and most women choose adjustable menstrual belts which were the best available option over suspenders and hooks. Back then there were a lot of brands commercially selling menstrual belts and the earliest ad known today was dated back to the year 1891.
What is a Menstrual Belt?
Menstrual belts were something used by women more than half a century ago. When we look back into the history of commercial menstrual products for women, we will come across washable pads to disposable menstrual pads. Before the mid-20th century women had to find a way to keep their menstrual pads in position. It didn't matter whether their pad was washable or non-washable. Menstrual belts were used for this purpose and were in common use among women for about half a century. Slowly the introduction of self-adhesive pads made the use of menstrual belts obsolete and today menstrual belts are not in common use. But up until the mid-20th century the use of menstrual belts were popular and many kinds of belts were introduced from the late 19th to mid-20th century; for instance, the options were as diverse as metallic belts to cloth belts.
How was a Menstrual Belt Worn?
Many older women might be able to recall the use of a menstrual belt in the past. In today’s world many of these women would recall the use of a menstrual belt as a struggle. These belts, in the words of some women, "felt like a huge widget under their skirts". They felt that they could not stay free wearing this thing under their skirts, and hence one of the first brands who introduced self-adhesive pads was named 'Stayfree’. The belt was worn around their waist and at the bottom they had pins or hooks to which the menstrual pads would be attached. The hooks in the belt would be used to keep their pads in position.
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