First and most importantly, women seek protection: the avoidance of soiling of the underwear and/or outer garments during menstruation (Fig. 1). Why is protection so important for consumers? Today, approximately 50% of all women
Odor Control # 2
Odor Control # 2
Figure 1 Factors of importance women seek from a feminine hygiene pad. Source: Courtesy of Research International Agency. (See color insert p. 8.)
experience at least one episode of staining of their undergarments during their menstrual period and approximately 10% of all women experience at least one blood stain on outer garments.
In addition to effective protection, women want to be reassured that wearing the pad will help reduce the malodor that may develop in the vulva area during the menstrual flow. Although the level of odor might not be very high, especially when the woman practices good vulvar hygiene, there is a psychological effect driving women to seek a proper odor control from the pad. It is also important to women that the pad remains comfortable when it is worn over several hours. When both the basic protection performance and the comfort elements are satisfied, women claim that it is important that the pad provides the needed discretion. Women want to continue their regular activities as much as possible during the menstrual period and do not want the pad to limit activity or be noticeable through clothing.
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The term vaginitis is one that is applied to any inflammation or infection of the vagina, and there are many different conditions that are categorized together under this ‘broad’ heading, including bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and non-infectious vaginitis.