Looking back at history, periods have come a long way. Now, we live in a world where there are menstrual cups with the ability to text you about your flow and underwear built to protect you from leaks. Now, another upgrade is in the works to make periods suck a little less. Thanks to Ridhi Tariual and Stephen Gire, the founders of NextGen, there will soon be “smart” tampons that can detect specific medical conditions.
The tampons have been in development at an infectious disease lab at Harvard University. Biomarkers enable the tampons to provide information regarding fertility and make diagnoses for diseases such as sexually transmitted infections, endometriosis, and cervical cancer.
“We had to come up with something that would allow women to find out about these conditions sooner than every year,” Tariual told Fast Company. “You can pick up a disease any time, and letting it sit there for a year until your next visit can have consequences downstream that you don’t want. The system has to change.”
Tariual and Gire’s goal is to empower women to take control of their health in a more timely manner. With this technology, women can keep tabs on their health and find out what is really going on inside of their bodies before their next doctor visit. For now, the “smart” tampons will only work for cisgender women, but hopefully future advancements will allow the device to work for nonbinary people and transgender men.
This new invention would be another revolutionary development for women in this country, and we look forward to getting more updates on the gadget after the clinical trials.
In other awesome period news, the New York City Council passed a bill this week that will make tampons and pads available for free at public schools, homeless shelters, and jails.