CN: blood. (I also don't want to upset people with gruesome descriptions - answers that stick to the clinical side of things would be appreciated.)
In a medieval fantasy setting, what would women do for INTERNAL sanitary products when they had their periods? There is minimal magic - those who are either very rich or magically gifted themselves might be able to rely on magical means, but assume that the vast majority of the population wouldn't have access to this kind of alternative.
While medieval, the setting is not just limited to a mock-European location (Africa and Asia are fair game, if certain resources might be more easily found there).
I'm not fussed about contraception or period-regulating effects (I can solve these with some herbs and handwaving), but more the actual physical issue of how to deal with monthly bleeding with available resources. I've done some reading about external pads (cloth tied around the waist, and a skin filled with rags/moss tied between the legs), but would like to know more about internal options (can a girl go swimming without leaving a trail of blood behind her?)
Keeping things sanitary and hygienic would be helpful - I'd quite like not to give all the women infections once a month. Cheap/affordable materials would be ideal, as would some idea of how absorbent, say, moss is as compared with a modern tampon.
Would medieval technology allow women to use internal sanitary products, or would they have to use pads/strips of cloth/etc.?