A behind-the-scenes look at the safety assessment of feminine hygiene pads

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Dec;1092:66-77. doi: 10.1196/annals.1365.006.


Forms of menstrual protection have evolved with time. Today's disposable feminine hygiene products, notably sanitary pads, include a wide range of designs and features to meet women's needs for reliable, discreet, and comfortable protection. Manufacturers support substantive research and testing programs to ensure the safety of these products. The premarket safety assessment of feminine hygiene pads is a systematic, stepwise process that includes toxicological evaluation of the raw materials, the conduct of prospective, controlled clinical trials to assess product safety-in-use, and, in some cases, independent scientific review. A broad clinical database, developed over the past 20 years, substantiates that modern, feminine hygiene pads are not associated with significant gynecological, dermatological, or microbiological effects. Postmarket surveillance provides reassurance that the products are acceptable to consumers worldwide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Female
  • Feminine Hygiene Products / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing