Jess Commons | Deputy Editor | Tuesday, 16 August 2016

As Olympian Fu Yuanhui Admits She\'s On Her Period, We Look At Why China Is So Scared Of Using Tampons

As Olympian Fu Yuanhui Admits She's On Her Period, We Look At Why China Is So Scared Of Using Tampons

The Debrief: In China, just 2% of women use tampons due in part to frustrating and outdated concerns it could affect their virginity. So, what need to be done?

Things I could win an Olympic medal in whilst I'm on my period: watching Kate Hudson films. Eating Monster Munch for breakfast. Pooing enough in one day for an entire week.

And that's about it.

Fu Yuanhui though, the 20-year-old Chinese swimmer who charmed viewers the other day with her very cute reaction when she realised she had won a bronze medal, can do a whole lot more than that.

See on Sunday, Fu was on her period. Her relay team came sixth in the women’s 4×100-meter medley relay. That's still pretty good. Like insanely good. Afterwards, she was asked about the race and said, 'I feel I didn’t swim well today. I let my teammates down. Because my period came yesterday, I’m feeling a bit weak, but this is not an excuse.'

I mean, anyone that's bled out of their womb more than once knows that doing anything full throttle is a tall order when you're On but, that part aside, Fu has opened the previously firmly closed door on public tampon debate amongst Chinese women.

See, women in China aren't big fans of tampons.  A recent report said that just 2% of women in China use tampons and, whilst 85 billion sanitary pads were made in China last year, not a single tampon was. All tampons were imported.

Misconceptions about tampons in China are high. Website The Flamingo Group recently shared some concerns Chinese women posted about tampons on website Baidu Knowledge 百度知道. Fears like 'This is huge! It would surely stretch me out!' were prevalent. As were qualms about virginity. 'How can virgins use this product without damaging themselves?' Another said.

According to the BBC, such is the misconception about tampons that Fu Yuanhui was accused of fibbing on Weibo. 'Someone accused Fu of lying, asking how she could have gone in the water on her period'!

This week though, the first domestic tampon brand is set to launch in China; Danbishuang Tampons. Bizarrely, a 2005 version of Fearne Cotton seems to be advertising them.

tampon fearne cotton

So, will Fu Yuanhui and vintage Fearne Cotton be able to help the women of China come to know the glory of tampons? We sure hope so.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

Tags: Witness The Fitness, Periods, Rio 2016