It’s been noted that women in early Egypt used makeshift tampons from papyrus fibers. Making the Papyrus font the second most offensive thing we’ve ever been subjected to.
Women in ancient Japan, in what sounds like a personal dream, secluded themselves in special huts under zelkova trees during their time of the month.
In the 1600s, British women bled straight into their clothes, something that’s known as “free-bleeding” and feared by every woman who has ever owned a pair of white jeans.
But in the 1700s, women were literally on the rag. The word “Rhakoi” in Greek means “rags,” which protected woman from leakage and gave birth to the term we’re all familiar with today.
Knitted pads were all the rage in Norway in the 1800s. Think about opening that gift from grandma in front of the family over the holidays.
By 1890, sanitary napkins were being mass produced and sold in the Sears catalog, which was convenient if you didn’t want to DIY at home anymore.
Pads weren’t self adhesive though — that didn’t happen ‘til the ‘70s. They were held in place with safety pins or by a belt throughout the 1930s and ‘40s.
By 1931, we got tampons with applicators resembling the products we use today. The cardboard tube was invented by Dr. Earle C. Haas of Denver, Colorado.
During the 1960s, in the spirit of free love and less waste, natural sponges — yep, things from the ocean — became an alternative to sanitary napkins and tampons.
Animations by Lyla Ribot for ©BuzzFeed.com 2016