Before Tampons, What Did Women Do? Dear BeingGirl Experts, What other forms of internal menstrual protection did women use before tampons were introduced? Sydney --- Dear Sydney, Women used internal and external menstrual protection just as we do today. Internal protection has been used for more years than external protection. Depending on what was available where they lived, women used wool, papyrus, cotton and absorbent roots placed just as commercially manufactured tampons are today. Women have also used a variety of materials to collect menstrual blood outside their body like women who use menstrual pads do in modern times. Today’s pads are disposable, but before the late 1890s, women used a variety of materials to collect menstrual blood as it left their body such as fabrics, grass, rabbit skins, sponges, rags or other homemade knitted pads. Today’s commercially manufactured tampons and pads are more reliable along with being much more hygienic and comfortable. We certainly have come a long way with menstrual protection! Your BeingGirl Experts Learn about safety before tampons are used. get answers to your questions at BeingGirl.com.