how do menstrual pads absorb blood clots and pieces of the uterine lining?

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My sister tried explaining to me and I didn’t really understand it. How does some absorbent cotton manage to do… that?

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Take, say, a wet sponge and set it on top of some paper towels. The water from the sponge will get absorbed, but the sponge itself will stay on top of the towel. With menstrual blood, you don’t always have clots or large pieces as its often pretty broken down at that point, but when you do have some clots or larger pieces of tissue, it will be like the wet sponge on paper towels.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Same way diapers work. The protein sticks to the surface liner, the water goes into the absorbent polymer inside.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Honestly, not well. Because they were never tested to absorb blood. Ever. At least not until August 2023.

Turns out all previous studies used a saline solution to test absorbency, which shockingly, doesn’t in any way realistically mimic period blood and uterine lining.

The first ever study of absorbency of period blood in menstrual products started last year. Which basically means there aren’t any products on the market that can make accurate claims about absorbency.

I kid you not. For decades they tested menstrual products with flipping salt water. They figured that was close enough. SMH. We won’t know until they’ve concluded the first study of its kind about the absorbency of menstrual products, how absorbent they are.

And I’d wager that the results won’t be shocking to women, because we know that they aren’t very absorbent, and they don’t work very well.

[Scientific American: No one Studied Menstrual Product Absorbency Realistically Until Now](https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/no-one-studied-menstrual-product-absorbency-realistically-until-now/)

[Vox: The Weird, Bad History of Tampon Testing](https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/23893044/period-tampon-menstrual-cycle-menstruation-cup-pad)

Anonymous 0 Comments

Thank you all, I appreciate the answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Anything that is a clump doesn’t fully absorb. It stays more on the surface until the pad is changed. It is not very comfortable.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They don’t. The *bits* often just sit on top, until they eventually get flattened/fused to the top layer. (It’s made so that material sticks to it, but liquid passes through)

Anonymous 0 Comments

They don’t. You feel like you gave birth to a jellyfish until you go deal with it, several dozen times over the course of your period. It’s awful. I am having a hysterectomy on Tuesday, so I never have to deal with it ever ever ever again. Huzzah!