A brand of sanitary pads containing ground-up dirt claims to ease women's period pain without drugs, but a top gynaecologist has hit back, calling the product "ridiculous".
The NannoPad, created by the company NannoCare, claims to use "nannogenic technology" and "organically occurring earth elements", aka dirt, to reduce menstrual cramps and minimise odour and bacteria.
"Nannogenic™ technology takes organically occurring earth elements and brakes [sic] them into nanoparticles, which are then embedded into the NannoPad™ via natural fibres," reads the product description. "This technology has the amazing ability to naturally and safely release the needed amount of energy that helps microcirculation, resulting in a decrease of menstrual cramps without the use of drugs or medication. Nannogenic™ technology also purifies the pad, thereby minimising odour and bacteria."
However, Canadian gynaecologist Dr. Jen Gunter has debunked the company's claims and advised women against using them. Gunter has gained legendary status among women's health professionals for debunking numerous "trends", including vaginal glitter bombs, and Goop-endorsed procedures such as coffee enemas and vaginal steaming.
"Dirt doesn’t give off therapeutic 'energy' for your uterus, everyone knows that’s what jade eggs are for! Just kidding, jade eggs are a scam," she wrote in a new post on her myth-busting blog, titled "A menstrual pad with ground up dirt will not help your period pain".
"Medically speaking there is no 'energy' from the earth that impacts the flow of blood in the uterine blood vessels or that can treat painful periods. I mean, if the earth’s crust had this magical element then we would probably have never given up the whole Red Tent practice.
"In fact, as we would be exposed to this dust all the time we wouldn’t have period pain at all! The claims of pain relief are the part of the sales pitch that angers me the most. Women with bad period pain can be desperate and taking advantage of it is wrong," she added. Indeed, doctors have compared some women's period pain to that induced by a heart attack.
NannoCare charges $12 (about £8.70) for a box of 20 regular pads, which is considerably more than a standard pack of sanitary pads.
"Nannocare Inc. claims they are a 'group of inventors, engineers, scientists, product developers and most importantly, women who are tired of dealing with crippling menstrual cramps during their period," Gunter concludes. "Well Nannocare Inc, I’m an OB/GYN who is tired of people making false medical claims and using the obfuscation of quasi medical terminology to sell bullshit to women."
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