Nanotechnology. Am I right?

Sigh.

And with that I introduce to you the NannoPad™ with “nannogenic™” technology from nanoparticles.

Here is the NannoPad™ sales pitch….

So much stupid and snake oil and skulduggery to unpack here, but as God is my witness I am going to give it a try.

“Organically occurring earth elements”

Mmmmk. Like, there are a few. Like a whole Periodic Table worth. Also, earth’s elements are all organically occurring, but I guess you need to say organic to make the sale.

Personally, I feel PeriodicPad™ has far better alliteration and is a superior play on words, then again I’m no charlatan so what do I know?

But back to the elements. Carbon? Copper? Arsenic? Lead? A potpourri from the continental crust (i.e. backyard dirt) ground up into a nice powder?

It is entirely possible there is simply a strip of material impregnated with activated charcoal in the pad, after all, you can buy pads of activated charcoal for both your period and for flatulence. Be a nifty marketing trick and not at all incorrect to call it one of earth’s organic elements.

“Brakes”

OK, if that is how you are describing the manufacturing process of your nanoparticles I totally do not trust your manufacturing process. I am really leaning towards a homeopathic quantity of backyard dirt. Maybe they wave the pads around absorbing the energy memory of the earth’s elements from the air? Kind of like grounding and earthing, but not. I may take odds on when these will appear on GOOP.com.

“Embedded into the NannoPad™ by natural fibers”

What does this even mean? I suppose it is an attempt to say the cotton fibers are impregnated with *cough* nanoparticles.

“Safely”

Kind of hard to say it is safe when you don’t know the ingredients! Here’s hoping it’s not asbestos or talc. Then again those are not elements, although I may be assuming too much if I suppose they know the difference between an element and a mineral?

“Energy that helps with microcirculation.”

Dirt doesn’t give off therapeutic “energy” for your uterus, everyone knows that’s what jade eggs are for!

Just kidding, jade eggs are a scam.

Medically speaking there is no “energy” from the earth that impacts the flow of blood in the uterine blood vessels or that can treat painful periods. I mean, if the earth’s crust had this magical element then we would probably have never given up the whole Red Tent practice. In fact, as we would be exposed to this dust all the time we wouldn’t have period pain at all!

The claims of pain relief are the part of the sales pitch that angers me the most. Women with bad period pain can be desperate and taking advantage of it is wrong.

“Purifies” the pad

Somehow the dirt/nanoparticles are going to keep the pad pure and clean? No, but I guess the idea of needing something “pure” against the skin is a good marketing technique.

Final thoughts…

This is likely a regular pad with processed wood pulp (i.e. the hipster name for rayon) and/or cotton. If it has anything “different” it could be activated charcoal, but the components are not listed. The idea that a pad can treat period pain is ridiculous.

If it is a novel pad they will need FDA approval because menstrual pads are regulated by the FDA. They are selling them with a subscription service. Here’s hoping they submitted the right paper work and that the FDA is totally ok with the “resulting in a decrease in menstrual cramps,” because that sounds a lot like a medical claim.

Nannocare Inc. claims they are a “group of inventors, engineers, scientists, product developers and most importantly, women who are tired of dealing with crippling menstrual cramps during their period.”

Well Nannocare Inc, I’m an OB/GYN who is tired of people making false medical claims and using the obfuscation of quasi medical terminology to sell bullshit to women.

Join the Conversation

21 Comments

  1. I made the mistake of reading this while drinking a beer. Almost wasted good beer…. Loved Periodic Pad. Did you really trademark that? Another gem from Dr Jen.

  2. Sometimes I have to laugh as I read your words but then I am frightened. Snake oil has not gone out of fashion just changed its stripes.

  3. Dr. Jen, you are, and will always be, the best. I can barely type as I am laughing so hard; I’d better “break” before I “brake” my phone. My charcoal undies are almost full.

  4. Re silly Nannopads, their own promo materials say “brakes” when they mean “breaks”! Sheesh.

    I enjoy your posts. And your humor.

    Thanks.

    Best wishes,

    Mary Ellen Donovan >

  5. Maybe they meant organically occurring RARE earth elements. How about some gadolinium in you tampon, ladies?

  6. Not only is it a scam, but they know it’s a scam. Here’s a quote from their Terms and Conditions:

    “NO INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE SERVICES IS INTENDED TO BE, AND MUST NOT TAKEN TO BE, FACTUAL OR ACCURATE KNOWLEDGE, ADVICE, DIAGNOSIS OR TREATMENT.”

    So, none of the information on the site is intended to be true and, indeed, must not be taken to be true. In other words, all of the information is intended to be false. Wow, that’s quite the business model.

    They also have a binding arbitration clause to protect themselves from real judges and livid juries.

  7. I…but…how…why…
    I spend my life covered in dirt and “elements” and I guarantee they’ve never helped my cramps.

    I legitimately worry they’ve gone and done something ridiculous like put diatomaceous earth in a pad. Ladies, you do not want that anywhere near your lady bits.

    Another great post, Dr. Jen. Keep spreading the good science.

  8. I’m not sure what Jen takes “organically occuring” to mean? Not all members of the periodic table are found in nature.

    (What the manufacturers meant – if they meant anything beyond stringing together words with positive association – is another question.)

  9. There’s a sucker born every minute. That means there are 525,600 (thanks, Rent!) suckers birthed every year. With a suckerhood expectancy of 70 years (uncertain, because kids are ineligible, but suckers likely live shorter lifespans than average), there are about 36,792,000 suckers presently alive in the US. This is a bit more than 10% of the US population.

  10. “‘Energy that helps with microcirculation.’ Dirt doesn’t give off therapeutic ‘energy’ for your uterus, everyone knows that’s what jade eggs are for!”

    Maybe some women don’t like to wear/use their jade eggs on their period. Or maybe they need a pad because a jade egg is already up there so a tampon is out of the question….

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