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China Health & Science

That Time of The Month? Chinese State Media Explain How to Use Sanitary Towels

Shortly after a large-scale fake sanitary pad scandal has been exposed in China, state-run newspaper People’s Daily explains women how to correctly use menstrual pads and how to differentiate real from fake ones.

Manya Koetse

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Shortly after a large-scale fake sanitary pad scandal has been exposed in China, state-run newspaper People’s Daily teaches women how to correctly use menstrual pads and how to differentiate real from fake ones. Many netizens do not appreciate the ‘non-counterfeit sanitary towel’ crash course.

A few days after a ‘fake sanitary pad’ scandal sparked health concerns in China, People’s Daily – the most influential state-run newspaper in China – explains to women on Weibo how to correctly use sanitary pads, and how to tell if they are real or fake.

“Girls, are you really using sanitary pads correctly?”

“Girls, after all these years, are you really using sanitary pads correctly?”, the People’s Daily posted on Sina Weibo on October 29, as spotted by What’s on Weibo.

Nanchang police recently discovered counterfeit sanitary pads that were sold under Chinese well-known brand names such as ‘ABC’ or ‘Sophie (苏菲). The fake sanitary pads were produced in a factory without the proper sterilization, which could potentially cause health problems for women using them.

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“How can you tell if a sanitary pad is counterfeit?”, People’s Daily posted: “And what are the common misconceptions about the use of sanitary pads? How can women choose the right type of sanitary towel?”

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People’s Daily posted several infographics explaining how to differentiate a fake pad from a real one, and how to properly use sanitary pads.

“How to differentiate real from fake menstrual pads?”

Under the header of “how to differentiate real from fake menstrual pads?” (“如何鉴别真假卫生巾”), the Chinese newspaper warns women to pay attention to the look, smell, shape, and quality of sanitary pads.

Non-counterfeit sanitary towels are properly packed and have no visible damages. There should be no chemical smell to the pads, and their thickness should be even. They should also be able to quickly absorb 10mm or more of water – which is a quick test to see if a sanitary pad is real, according to the Weibo post.

Besides offering a crash course in differentiating fake from real menstrual pads, People’s Daily advises women to change their sanitary pads every 2-3 hours – no matter whether their menstruation is heavy or light – to avoid reproduction of bacteria.

The infographic also warns women not to use old sanitary towels, even if they have never been opened, because keeping them for too long after the production date might allegedly affect its quality and hygienic standard.

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The state media outlet advises women to frequently change sanitary napkins that have high absorption capacity and not to use sanitary pads if it is not necessary to do so.

Lastly, People’s Daily says that women should be cautious about buying menstrual pads that are sold at a discount price and to buy reputable brands instead of new or unknown ones.

“It should not be up to women to distinguish real sanitary pads from counterfeit ones.”

The People’s Daily Weibo post soon triggered thousands of reactions from netizens. Many are angry that the newspaper advises women on how to look out for fake menstrual pads.

“I feel that it should not be up to women to distinguish real sanitary pads from counterfeit ones; it is up to the concerning departments to control and supervise [the sale of menstrual pads],” one netizen comments: “The people involved in illegal sales should be heavily punished!”

“This is too funny!”, another Weibo user says: “Now all women have to master how to differentiate between fake and real sanitary napkins.”

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“We are already in pain, and now we also have to think about if what we buy is real or not,” another female netizen complains.

“You don’t realize how poor many people are, and how expensive menstrual pads are. And now they can not only be fake, but you also tell us to change them every 2-3 hours, well that’s at least 7 pads a day (..) – the costs are just too high.”

“When you live in China, you have to able to tell if meat is fake, if alcohol is fake, if hotpot ingredients are fake, if gasoline is fake (..), and now even women ‘whose aunt is visiting’ are encountering fake products!”

“Now my menstruation just scares me even more.”

By now, the People’s Daily post has been shared thousands of times on Chinese social media, with the hashtag “Are you really using sanitary towels correctly? (#你真的用对卫生巾了吗#) being one of the top trending topics on Weibo’s ‘hot search’ list.

The issue has also been covered by other media outlets, from newspapers to (local) TV channels. Although People’s Daily is serious in its intention to teach women how to correctly use non-counterfeit menstrual pads, most netizens are either angered or humored by this ‘crash course.’

“As women, we already have to endure so much and now this too,” one person writes.

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For other Weibo users, all this talk about ‘that time of the month’ just is another reason to dread it. “Now my menstruation just scares me even more,” one netizen writes.

– By Manya Koetse
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©2016 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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Manya Koetse is the editor-in-chief of www.whatsonweibo.com. She is a writer and consultant (Sinologist, MPhil) on social trends in China, with a focus on social media and digital developments, popular culture, and gender issues. Contact at manya@whatsonweibo.com, or follow on Twitter.

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China Health & Science

Chinese Doctor Knocks Herself Out in Controversial Self-Experiment

Dr. Chen wanted to warn about the dangers of sevoflurane and other drugs.

Manya Koetse

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A female doctor has become a topic of discussion on Chinese social media for her self-experimentation with anesthesia.

Dr. Chen (陈大夫), a Nanjing doctor who works in the Obstetrics and Gynecology department, conducted the experiment in response to an ongoing discussion on whether or not a handkerchief dipped in inhalation anesthetics could cause immediate unconsciousness (“一捂就晕”).

The discussion was triggered by news of the death of a 23-year-old woman from Foshan, Guangdong Province, on February 8. The recent college graduate was found in a hotel room and it was later ruled that the cause of death was acute respiratory failure due to sevoflurane toxicity. The victim’s company supervisor, a 39-year-old man named Peng, is now suspected of fatally sedating and raping the young woman.

The case led to speculation among netizens whether or not sevoflurane could have knocked out the woman in seconds. There have been ongoing debates on the effects of general anesthetics used to sedate unsuspected victims, with some specialists arguing that it is not so easy to make someone slip into unconsciousness within a matter of seconds – saying it would take much longer than and only if an unusually high dosage is used.

Dr. Chen posted on February 10 that she was certain that it is possible for certain inhalation anesthetics to immediately make someone pass out, but her claim was refuted by others. The popular Weibo blogger Jiangning Popo (@江宁婆婆), a police officer, was one of the persons involved in the discussion claiming Chen was wrong.

Dr. Chen is active on Weibo under the handle @妇产科的陈大夫, and with over two million followers on her account, she is somewhat of a ‘celebrity’ doctor.

Instead of spending time arguing back and forth on the internet, Dr. Chen decided to put the issue to the test herself with an unopened bottle of sevoflurane that she had previously purchased for the planned sterilization of her dog. The sevoflurane had already passed its expiry date.

On February 16, Dr. Chen then asked someone else to film her doing the self-experiment and she posted the video on Weibo, in which she inhaled sevoflurane on a cloth. The doctor soon passed out in the video, which has since been deleted.

The experiment in the video lasts 64 seconds, and shows Chen:

– 00:01-00:06 Opening the bottle of sevoflurane
– 00:07-00:12 Preparing a cloth
– 00:13-00:23 Putting the sevoflurane on the cloth
– 00:23-00:26 Closing the cap of the bottle
– 00:27-00:28 Putting the cloth on her mouth and nose
– 00:29-01:33 = the time frame of losing consciousness (with first symptoms starting at 0:44) to going limp and falling on the floor (1:20) and being completely unconscious (1:21-1:33).

Dr. Chen’s experiment immediately sparked controversy after she posted the video on social media.

Although sevoflurane is a prescription drug and a controlled substance, it is also sold online as a type of drug. According to The Paper, the number of rape cases in China facilitated by drugs have risen over the past three years, with many ‘date rape drugs’ being sold and bought over the internet.

With sevoflurane being a controlled substance, Dr. Chen’s video triggered discussions on whether or not she was actually involving in a criminal act by doing the self-experiment. She also received criticism from within the medical community that she used this medication outside of the hospital environment.

Dr. Chen soon deleted the video herself and then called the police to personally explain and apologize for the incident, with the news soon going viral (#女医生拿自己做实验后报警并致歉#, 270 million views).

But despite the controversy, the doctor still defends her actions to some extend. Although Chen stated on February 17 that her self-experiment was “not right,” dangerous, and should never be imitated by anyone, she later also explained on her Weibo page that she thinks sevoflurane as a prescription drug is too easy to get your hands on and that the existing laws to prevent people from buying it are too weak.

The doctor has succeeded in raising public awareness on the dangers of these kinds of drugs. She also reminds both women and men never to leave their drink unattended, as the dangers of someone slipping something in your drink are real and the consequences can be grave.

As the incident has gone trending on Chinese social media, many commenters praise Dr. Chen for her experiment, while others also praise her for being transparent and admitting her mistakes.

 
By Manya Koetse
with contributions by Miranda Barnes

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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China Health & Science

Applying China’s New Civil Code, Shanghai Court Annuls Marriage after Husband Hides HIV-positive Status from Wife

The court case triggered discussions on the need for premarital health checks.

Manya Koetse

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Jiang is HIV-positive but did not mention his status to his partner before getting married. Under China’s new civil code, the marriage is now annulled.

On January 4, a Shanghai court applied the new rules of China’s Civil Code for the first time to annul a marriage.

The Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China was adopted by the third session of the 13th National People’s Congress in May of last year and is effective since January 1st 2021. Some experts within China call the law a “milestone legislation” that will better protect people’s civil rights.

On Monday, January 4, a landmark court case in which the new civil code was applied for the first time in Shanghai went trending on Chinese social media.

The case involves a married couple of which the husband had failed to inform his wife that he was HIV positive before getting married.

In June of 2020, Mr. Jiang and Ms. Li got married after Li became pregnant. Afterward, Jiang confessed that he had been HIV-positive for multiple years, and was taking medication to control his disease.

Jiang alleged that, due to his medication, there was effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to his partner. But Li, who did not contract HIV, could not accept the situation and decided to terminate her pregnancy and applied for a marriage annulment.

Under the new civil code, annulment of marriage is possible when a partner who is “seriously ill” – which now includes HIV/AIDS – fails to inform their fiance of their condition before getting married.

Since Jiang had not informed his wife of his condition before tying the knot, the Shanghai Minhang Court ruled in Li’s favor and annulled the marriage.

On Weibo, the case has attracted a lot of attention, with one hashtag about the case (#男方婚前患艾滋未告知婚姻关系被撤销#) attracting 690 million views on Monday.

The news item also led to another hashtag gaining many views: “The Need for Premarital Medical Examination” (#婚前体检的必要性#) had 200 million views on its hashtag page on Monday.

One popular relationship blogger (@感情感分析异地恋) argues that the Shanghai court case shows the importance of couples getting a medical examination before getting married: “It’s not to discriminate against those who are HIV positive or who are suffering from other illnesses, but it’s about informing your partner about these things before getting married.”

Premarital health checks were previously compulsory in China, but these examinations are no longer required since 2003. Many couples do still go for premarital health checkups. According to Xinhua, over 61% of Chinese couples had a medical examination before getting married in 2018.

Although the application of China’s new civil code is generally praised by Weibo users in this case, it has previously also received a lot of negative attention. The new law also introduced a mandatory 30-day “cooling off” period for couples seeking divorce.

This “cooling off” period is seen as harmful to those who are suffering abuse within marriage and already have difficulties in leaving their abusive partner. The case of Lamu, a Tibetan vlogger who died after her husband set her on fire, also led to more online discussions of the “cooling off” period and how it makes women more vulnerable within their marriage.

By Manya Koetse

Spotted a mistake or want to add something? Please let us know in comments below or email us. First-time commenters, please be patient – we will have to manually approve your comment before it appears.

©2021 Whatsonweibo. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce our content without permission – you can contact us at info@whatsonweibo.com.

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