New this week: Shampon
Young stick tampons (Japan, 1977) - humor
Could you make your
menstrual blood disappear with a powder?
In 1959, Dr. Karl John Karnaky (his son, Dr.
Karl John Karnaky, Jr., told me he died in 1988) published an article ("A
New Absorptive for Menstrual Hygiene," in Arizona Medicine, 16 [September
1959: 605]) in which he stated that a powder
and tablet inserted into the vagina could transform menstrual discharge
into something apparently metabolized by the body.
I quote here Nancy Friedman from her book Everything
You Must Know About Tampons (Berkley Books,
New York, 1981), p. 148:
Karnaky's "advancement" was a combination
of powder and tablet. When both were inserted into the vagina just before
or during menstruation, they changed menstrual fluid into a "fine,
dry, non-sticky, inert, non-toxic sterile powder," highly acidic [the
healthy vagina is quite acidic; it becomes less so during menstruation,
making it more susceptible to harmful bacteria, protozoa and yeast], which
was "apparently" metabolized and reabsorbed into the circulation.
The major advantage of this method, Karnaky wrote, was that it circumvented
the problem of "deterioration" of menstrual blood, with its accompanying
malodors and flourishing bacterial growth.
Karnaky showed 200 women how to use this method
(it helped to have some advance warning that one's period was about to
begin), but he presented no data on their experiences. He did, however,
offer two addresses for physicians wishing to order glass or plastic vaginal
know anything more about what Friedman called
"one of the most bizarre footnotes in the history of menstrual products"?
His son said he had no knowledge of it other than the Arizona Medicine
Letters to your MUM
Celebrate menarche with the book Rites of Passage
I wanted to say "Congratulations and keep
up the great work with the Museum of Menstruation." [Many thanks!]
Best wishes to you in this important endeavor.
I wanted to invite you to visit our Web site,
http://www.spress.org. Synchronicity Press, Inc. publishes empowering books to celebrate the female cycle.
My new book, "Rites of Passage: A Celebration
of Menarche" is a gift book from parent/caregiver
to celebrate the special event of menarche. If you would consider us for
your links page, that would be great. We'll also be happy to add your site
to ours as soon as our site's links section is added. Also, I'd be happy
to send to you an autographed copy of the book, please let me know. Again,
best wishes in all of your endeavors.
Linda M. LaFlamme, M.S.
Author, Rites of Passage, A Celebration of Menarche
How much should television ads show of tampons?
[I'm a] long-time visitor of your site
(which is always informative!), but first-time writer.
Just wanted to thank you for bringing
back memories with the Pursettes tampon ad [there are many of them on the
site; start looking here]. Makes me a bit melancholy to think that I'm
actually old enough to remember that very same ad from "Teen"
and "Seventeen" magazines back when I was in high school.
One thing that's been on my mind, and
maybe it's a possible future topic for discussion on your site, is a recent
commercial I've seen on TV (primarily on Lifetime network) for Tampax.
It's for Tampax Compacts, or some such, and it shows the tampons out of
the wrappers, with stringy tails and all.
of two minds on this. On one hand,
I'm embarrassed. I remember a time, not so long ago, where advertisers would
never dare show such a picture of feminine hygiene. But, on the other hand,
as I'm trying to get a more liberated and empowered mindset of my natural
monthly cycle, I feel as though I
should be pleased that TV is no longer hiding the product, and, in effect,
making us feel like it's something to be "ashamed" of.
I'd be interested to see/hear other women's
opinions on this.
Thanks again for a great site!! [You're
welcome! My own opinion is yours, and it applies to hemorrhoid medication,
adult diapers, etc. These things must be talked about, and must be easily
available, even though they are often unpleasant to watch. That's life.]
I was fascinated to find your MUM on the 'Net. I spent a long time
wandering around, and your collection of Growing
Up and Liking It covers [and read the complete ones from 1944
and 1972, and read a list
of many similar books on this site] sent me to my box of stuff in the attic.
Where lo and behold, I found my copy, in a bag with belted
pads. (Why did we get belted pads? I know they made adhesive ones by
then - 1976; my mom used them.) [Belted pads from Kotex and Modess only
recently disappeared in America - read an announcement
from Kotex - although I believe women can buy generic brands in some
parts of the country, as well as washable
Anyway, reading through your list of alternate
terms, I don't see the one my grandmother used. She insisted that 'courses,'
or occasionally 'monthly courses' was the only polite way to refer to it,
if you had to refer to it at all. Needless to say, polite people didn't.
That whole side of the family is English or Scot, so I'm assuming it's
a regional thing. [I just added your contribution!]
You've got a really cool site. Definitely one to keep in the bookmarks!
Pap art exhibit starts 21 September in
Delray Beach, Florida
I am writing to request your participation and assistance in an exciting
and important project regarding women's health issues.
The world-renowned scientist and lover of the arts Dr.
George Papanicolaou, better known as Dr. Pap, inventor of the Pap smear
test, will be the subject of a special exhibition at the Cornell Museum
of Art in Delray Beach, Florida, beginning September 21, 2000. The
gala opening and artist's reception will be held on Thursday evening September
28, 2000. The foremost patient advocate and director of the Center For
Cervical Health in the United States, Carol Ann Armenti, will be the keynote
The exhibition will run through November 12, 2000, and will feature
recent works by international artist Olga Stamatiou,
Dr. Papanicolaou's niece. Stamatiou's works will be available for
acquisition and the profits will go toward:
1. The creation of "PAP MOBILES," vehicles that would be
used to provide testing for under-served women in areas, with the highest
incidence of cervical cancer.
2. The creation of a traveling multimedia art exhibition.
3. The production of a documentary film based on the life, work and
scientific legacy of Dr. Papanicolaou and his wife Mary.
4. The Center for Cervical Health.
5. The Papanicolaou Woman's Corp.
Our organization "PAP" - Prevention and Protection - will
have as its goal to raise awareness about women's health issues, including
the importance of having regular Pap smears and the provision of information
on new and existing methods for detecting cervical cancer.
The traveling exhibition, to be viewed in public spaces and museums,
will be a multimedia environment drawing on and inspired by Dr. Pap's love
of the arts and sciences. This environment will include permanent built-in
units that will provide creative spaces for national and local women's
health organizations to inform women on what is available involving health
The September 28th opening reception will also include international
guest artists and feature a wide range of styles and media. A percentage
of their work will benefit the above-mentioned projects.
Olympus Corporation of America will provide working microscopes and
monitors along with technicians on opening night to demonstrate how Pap
smears are read.
Washable-pad company for sale
Gayle Adams, owner of Feminine Options, wants
to sell the company to someone willing to put time and energy into it.
The Food and Drug Administration has already approved its products.
Call Gayle at (715) 455-1652 (Wisconsin, U.S.A.).
Money and this site
I, Harry Finley, creator of the museum and site and the "I"
of the narrative here, receive no money for any products or services on
this site. Sometimes people donate items to the museum.
All expenses for the site come out of my pocket, where my salary from
my job as a graphic designer is deposited.
You have privacy
What happens when you visit this site?
I get no information about you from any
source when you visit, and I have no idea who you
are, before, during or after your visit.
This is private - period.
Is this the new
millennium or even century?
You can get the correct information
if you go to these pages published by the U S Naval Observatory:
A comprehensive site from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich will put right any doubts:
Help Wanted: This Museum Needs a
Public Official For Its Board of Directors
Your MUM is doing the paper work necessary to become eligible to receive
support from foundations as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation. To achieve
this status, it helps to have a American public official - an elected or
appointed official of the government, federal, state or local - on its board of directors.
What public official out there
will support a museum for the worldwide culture of
women's health and menstruation?
Eventually I would also like to entice people experienced in the law,
finances and fund raising to the board.
Do You Have Irregular Menses?
If so, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome
[and here's a support association for it].
Jane Newman, Clinical Research Coordinator at Brigham
and Women's Hospital, Harvard University School of Medicine, asked
me to tell you that
Irregular menses identify women at high risk for polycystic ovary syndrome
(PCOS), which exists in 6-10% of women of
reproductive age. PCOS is a major cause of infertility
and is linked to diabetes.
Learn more about current
research on PCOS at Brigham and Women's
Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania State University
- or contact Jane Newman.
If you have fewer than six
periods a year, you may be eligible to participate
in the study!
New this week: Shampon
Young stick tampons (Japan, 1977) - humor
© 2000 Harry Finley. It is illegal
to reproduce or distribute work on this Web site in any manner or medium
without written permission of the author. Please report suspected violations