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Iron Suppository Tampon

For the anaemic.
(+1, -1)
  [vote for,

Many young women have chronically low blood-iron. The cause is often heavy blood loss during menstruation. Trying to get enough dietary iron doesn't always work. Supplements are the most common treatment, but taking iron pills is notoriously unpleasant, and for some the nausea or stomach pain is unbearable. Other drugs are available for serious anaemia, but they're not prescribed for the garden-variety sort.

The iron suppository tampon -- it is conceivable that marketing will change the name slightly -- provides a gradual infusion of the mineral when it's most needed. It's possible that some iron will be washed away, but this might not be a serious problem.

Monkfish, Dec 09 2002

the myth that spinach is high in iron is down to a typo http://www.finefood.../news/news-347.html
I yam what I yam... [po, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

Ask the Dietician http://www.vhihealt...diet/diet_q242.html
Sadly, Guinness turns out not to be much cop on the iron front, either. I'm crushed! A number of alternative iron sources are given but, sadly, no advice as to which orifice should be used. [DrBob, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]

The role of iron in cancer and infections http://www.medicard...nd%20infections.htm
Something to keep from the venture capitalists. [Monkfish, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Spinach is icky.   

       Note about dietary iron added, though.
Monkfish, Dec 09 2002

       I think you're sticking it in the wrong hole.
dalek, Dec 09 2002

       thank you bliss, I now have either a migraine or an epileptic fit coming on ....
po, Dec 09 2002

       //Spinach is icky.//
Not everyone thinks so.
Pharaoh Mobius, Dec 09 2002

       jutta: Yes, but iron's rarely encountered where I'm proposing to put it. Absorption in this spot obviously isn't the usual mechanism; the question is whether or not it's possible. Of course, I don't know the answer, and google was strangely cagey about it. I've got an idea that a chelated iron suppository might be practical.   

       The rest of you: Yes, yes, spinach and bok choy are lovely. But dietary changes aren't always made and aren't always effective if they are; the problem wouldn't exist otherwise.   

       Man, building a better tampon is hard.
Monkfish, Dec 09 2002

       I see no +... I'll let you have one of mine, so long as you promise never to bring up the icky subject again.
yamahito, Dec 09 2002

       After having gutted and skinned a brace of pheasants this evening, I can assure you the two are not mutually exclusive ;op
yamahito, Dec 09 2002

       Iron cannot be absorbed willy nilly thru any body surface. If this idea worked, so would taping nails to your skin. Various transport factors are needed, and iron is only absorbed through a specific part of the small intestine.   

       The real question is why some mechanism did not evolve whereby menstruating mammals could recapture the nutrients and iron in that blood - it seems very wasteful. The probable reason: in nature, mammals rarely menstruate. Females who can become pregnant rapidly do. Females who cannot are either too sick or too old to menstruate.   

       Also: mmmm pheasant.
bungston, Dec 09 2002

       >> If this idea worked, so would taping nails to your skin.   

       That's pretty stupid. Still, if you can properly confirm that it's not possible to absorb any sort of useful iron across the vaginal wall, please do. I agree that that's very possibly the case.
Monkfish, Dec 09 2002

       ...and give up an excuse to eat all the liver and onions, clams, and oysters I want at least once a month? never. also, *everyone* should be on age/gender specific daily vitamins......
Marassa, Dec 09 2002

       Guys, put that cast iron away. Maybe back when we were riddled with parasites and lost loads of blood in the stool men could use that extra iron, but now men get too much. So cook on aluminum and give blood.   

       I suppose the cast iron might be OK for the ladies. But it is so hard to clean.
bungston, Dec 09 2002

       IVnick8or: You wouldn't particularly expect to find digestive enzymes in a vagina. The question is whether the absorption is possible in the usual manner of a suppository.   

       Also, please no one post the tip about leaving nails in apples. It's not relevant.
Monkfish, Dec 10 2002

       i know someone who swears that by placing a clove of gralic in her rectum daily, she never gets sick. in fact, she has her whole family do it. when they were rushing to the hospital to have their second baby, she was yelling at her husband "don't forget the garlic cloves for the baby!". she says that her kids have never been sick in their entire lives.
mihali, Dec 10 2002

       I hate to be a suck about this, but that seems like a lot of fishbones for an idea no one's shown to be pointless or impractical. A woman's blood iron is low, she hates supplements, she's going to use a tampon anyway, the period of tampon use coincides with that of greatest iron need -- seemed like a good fit. What's the matter with you people? Don't you like suppositories?   

       I wonder if it's too late to change the title.
Monkfish, Dec 10 2002

       Thanks blissmiss, yamahito, UnaBubba, for your ambiguous support/pity.
Monkfish, Dec 10 2002

       "Hard as Nails"
po, Dec 10 2002

       That's cool, waugsqueke, we respect your neutrality here.
Monkfish, Dec 10 2002

       Forgive me for thinking of the obvious here, but it seems it's been overlooked as of yet. IF the vaginal wall were able to absorb iron, low iron wouldn't even be a problem to consider. I'm guessing that the iron in the blood that's present in the average tampon would be re-absorbed more readily than any synthetic method or suppository, as it's already in a biologically compatible form. While you guys mull this over and think of a dozen reasons to call me stupid, I'll be digging through the cupboard in search of a garlic clove to stick up my ....well, you know.
X2Entendre, Dec 11 2002

       X2Entendre: No, not really:   

       1) I think the iron in blood is probably much less likely to be re-absorbed than another form of the mineral. Blood iron is bound up in hemoglobin, which -- I think -- can't cross this sort of barrier -- it _is_ the blood.   

       2) Besides, it's a question of levels of concentration -- unless I was misled in school, absorption across a membrane happens because particles to which the membrane is permeable move from high to low concentrations. Menstrual fluid isn't remotely as high in iron as this would be.   

       3) Anyway, a trickle of fluid isn't the same as a piece of dense matter held in contact for a prolonged period.   

       4) Even if some small proportion was reabsorbed, there would always be loss; in this case, it would be perfectly sensible to make more available.
Monkfish, Dec 11 2002

       Maybe I'm just not seeing the logic or ease of this idea (assuming iron could be absorbed in this manner) because A) vitamins are easy to take and, B) not all women wear tampons as tampons have been known to cause serious health problems. You want another idea? How about an iron "patch" much like the nicotine patches and new birth control patches. Again, assuming iron could be absorbed in such a manner.
Marassa, Dec 11 2002

       Or, you could try iron-enriched garlic cloves, if you go for that sort of thing.
Pharaoh Mobius, Dec 11 2002

       Marassa: Vitamins are easy to take, large-dosage iron supplements aren't -- they're reportedly very unpleasant.   

       Getting things to absorb across skin is difficult. If you can get minerals to do it, good luck to you. There's no harm, regardless, in having different delivery mechanisms. This one has the special advantage of being something that would be used anyway, and always at precisely the right time.   

       The fact that not all women use tampons isn't an argument against. Some do; that's enough. The little I know about these things makes me think that the target market are more likely to than average.   

       (DrBob, dieticians are notoriously prejudiced in favour of oral delivery. Pay no attention.)
Monkfish, Dec 11 2002

       "Irn 'On"? No? Okay.
Monkfish, Dec 11 2002

       Unfortunately, I think there is another, so far unconsidered flaw to this idea.
Creating iron limiting conditions in ... various places... is part of the human bodies defence against bacteria. Many pathogens have specific mechanisms to scavenge iron from the environment inside the host. So massively increasing the free iron in a body cavity is probably a recipe for disaster.

       Plus they'd go rusty :-)
Loris, Dec 12 2002

       That's an interesting point. I'd hold out some hope that a top team of gynaecological engineers could work around the problem, but, since I can't face any more web searches on vaginal suppositories, it's difficult to say.   

       Link on the issue provided.
Monkfish, Dec 13 2002

       Toads: you cannot absorb iron thru the vagina. Consider people who have had stomach bypass for obesity or other reasons. They get iron deficient and eat iron like crazy. That iron is in contact with the gut for hours and hours and yards and yards, and the gut is adapted to soak things up. But they don't soak it up - it just gets pooped out. Often these folks need to get their iron IV. Absorbing iron requires specialized tissues.
bungston, Jul 30 2004

       This is a brilliant idea JAMA 12.17.2008 page 2712 says that maternal iron is predictive of schizophenia Moms with iron less than 10 milligrams per deciliter have 4 times the rate of schizophrenic children rate was about .8 per hunfred births The US alone that is 2ish million cases of schizophrenia averted Worldwide that is 44ish million cases of schizophrenia averted More people than there are Californians   

       .8 per hundred is pretty near a quarter of 3 pt, which is the historic total birth defects figure If the JAMA reference is well supported better iron supplementation could ease a quarter of all birth defects   

       Obviously things like folic acid n B12 go well with this application as well   

       I thought hmmmm maybe an fe supplemented tampon then remembered reading it here first   

       Bungston knows his chemistry yet I've read that sodium lauryl sulfate causes 40 times higher passage of organics across dermis thus I think there might be a way   

       I am concerned about creativity though, what if there is an optimal Iron range that promotes divergent thinking yet is less than a supplement provides
beanangel, Dec 28 2008

       Beany baby, am I correct in assuming that you're recommending that pregnant women use iron-impregnated tampons? I think you might be unaware of some very basic biology here.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 28 2008

       Dear [beanangel].
Many Thanks for the two commas that you managed to provide us with' I think that they will comma in handy!!
Say!. Next year it would be just swell if you could send me a Full Stop. <-------Just like this one.
gnomethang, Dec 28 2008

       //But dietary changes aren't always...effective//   

       I think an occasional night of vampirism should be sufficient.
ldischler, Dec 28 2008


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