Your period can officially do some good. Scientists at Harvard University have begun working on a tampon that can detect health problems like sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and cervical cancer. We haven’t had this much good news about our periods since tax was removed from tampons!
Many women in Canada—and all over the world—don’t visit the doctor as often as they should. We assume that unless we see something actively wrong with our bodies, they’re fine and don’t need tending to. Often, this way of thinking leaves individuals missing their checkup when something does go wrong. Many STI’s don’t show dramatic symptoms in women, and by waiting for your next checkup to tend to your body, you’re allowing for them to grow and spread.
Endometriosis is another disease that can effect women. This occurs when the lining of the uterus grows on the outside rather than the inside of the uterus, which is both dangerous and can cause fertility problems. Cervical cancer is another growing problem that’s often forgotten.
Blood, which can be used to test for all of these health issues, is something that’s abundant during your period. Cue the brilliance of Ridhi Tariul and Stephen Gire, who are the founders of NextGen. Since the body’s already releasing large quantities of blood during your period, why not put it to good use?
These brilliant minds decided that it was time for women to take their health issues into their own hands… and uteruses. The “smart tampon” will work like a normal tampon, while also checking your body for a variety of issues. How you’ll get the results is still unclear as the scientists are focused on spending time in the lab rather than doing an abundance of interviews. Not that we blame them!
Either way, these tests will be revolutionary, and possibly even lifesaving. Another amazing feature of the “smart tampon”? It will test your fertility. That’s right, no more intrusive doctor’s visits to talk about the chances of you getting pregnant. Score!
So this tampon of pure magic is, unfortunately, still in the testing stages and won’t be out for another year or so. (It takes a lot time to perfect tests like these.) It’s certainly something to look forward to since it’s another step forward for female healthcare!
As annoying as our periods can be, we’re excited for the day they can actually help us out!