Where’s the Innovation in the Sanitary Protection Industry?

From an interview I had last week, appearing in Vice‘s Motherboard 3/13/15:

The thing is, the companies who would be the ones to develop new advancements in menstrual technology really have no incentive to replace the status quo.

“What’s happened is instead of genuine advancements in terms of new products, the industry has put its research efforts into just beefing up the existing products and creating a need for additional products,” said Karen Houppert, a writer and author of The Curse, a book about the sanitary protection industry. “It’s an effort to repackage the old as new and continue to alarm women about the prospect of anyone knowing that they bleed. That’s their stock and trade.” Read the article, “Why are Tampons Still a Thing?” by Kaleigh Rogers who wonders why, with all the advances in technology, hasn’t anyone come up with a better invention than tampons. “In 80 years the best option we’ve come up with is to shove some cotton up there,” Rogers says. (Note: She writes “cotton” in her article though in fact pads and tampons are not made of cotton but rayon and other stuff that the $2.8 billion global tampon market keeps under wraps. Top secret stuff, those tampon ingredients.)

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