How Were Periods Dealt With in Ancient Times?

Periods are a natural part of the female reproductive system and have been around since the beginning of human history. But, how were periods dealt with in ancient times? Let’s take a look at some of the practices and beliefs surrounding menstruation throughout history.

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, menstruation was considered a normal bodily function and was not stigmatized. Women used papyrus as a form of menstrual pad and changed it frequently. They also used tampons made from softened papyrus or lint wrapped around small pieces of wood.

Ancient Greece

In ancient Greece, menstruation was believed to be caused by an excess of blood in the body. Women were advised to release this excess blood by sweating or bleeding through leeches. Menstruating women were also not allowed to participate in certain religious ceremonies.


In Rome, menstrual blood was believed to have healing powers. Women would offer their menstrual blood to male gladiators as a form of protection before battles.

Medieval Europe

During medieval times, menstruation was seen as unclean and women were often isolated during their periods. They would use cloth rags or moss as menstrual pads and were not allowed to attend church or social events during their period.

Native American Cultures

Native American cultures had varying beliefs about menstruation. Some tribes believed that menstruating women had special powers and were even more connected to nature during this time. Others believed that menstrual blood was dangerous and could harm crops or other people.

Modern Times

Today, we have access to a variety of menstrual products such as pads, tampons, menstrual cups, and period underwear. Menstruation is still stigmatized in many parts of the world but there are efforts being made to change this. Period poverty is also a growing concern, with many women unable to afford menstrual products.


In conclusion, the way periods were dealt with in ancient times varied greatly depending on culture and beliefs. While we have come a long way in terms of menstrual products and education, there is still work to be done in breaking down the stigma surrounding menstruation.