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The latest weird reproductive health product on the marketplace is something called the “NannoPad.” Released last month, it’s basically a pad with dirt in it—or, as parent company NannoCare calls it, “organically occurring earth elements broken into nanno particles.” And it's supposed to help with period cramps.

In a press release, NannoCare describes how the pad supposedly works:

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These nanno particles naturally and safely work with your body to emit a needed amount of molecular vibrational energy into the body which may increase blood flow. Through increasing microcirculation within the body, over 75% of women tested via our in-house study found NannoPad effective for menstrual cramp relief. Nannogenic technology also purifies the area around the pad from bacteria which has been proven to decrease odor.

Hmmmmmmmmm.

In the weeks since the “NannoPad” was announced, a few different people have warned readers not expect any life-changing "vibrational energy."

Beloved internet gynecologist/blogger Dr. Jen Gunter (you know her from her Goop takedowns) writes, “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.” She suspects that the pad 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.” (Activated charcoal would neutralize odor—it's used in "fart-proof underwear" products—but not effect cramping.) In short: “The idea that a pad can treat period pain is ridiculous.”

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Refinery29's Kimberly Truong gave NannoPads a try. She writes, “As much as I wish I could say NannoPads really did lessen my need for painkillers, that wasn't the case. In the first few days of my period, I was still writhing in pain, downing Advil every few hours.” She also talked to a physician at a reproductive health center who warned that because the pad’s ingredients aren’t listed, using one might effect your vag’s pH levels and put you at risk for a UTI—or even a kidney or bladder infection.

Gunter writes that the product is irresponsible precisely because so many people suffer from bad period pain—selling a “snake oil”-type product (as she calls it) is just unethical. “The claims of pain relief are the part of the sales pitch that angers me the most,” she writes. “Women with bad period pain can be desperate and taking advantage of it is wrong.”

In short—I’m sticking with Advil and a heating pad, and I suggest you do, too.

top photo: PublicDomainPictures.Net

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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