If I Could Invent Something, What Would It Be: the Dream Invention of Heated Compression Shorts

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Nearly every month, a woman experiences her menstrual cycle, involving vaginal bleeding and needed for healthy, hormonal balance. During this time of the month, most women suffer from mild to severe abdominal pain that can prevent them from participating in daily activities. Most common in women under 30, this cramping and heavy-feeling pain often occurs in the pelvic area, lower back, stomach or even legs. Based on my personal experience with such discomforting pain, my feminist technology will be based on the invention of heated compression shorts for women with menstrual cramps. Women can wear these under all types of clothing to help ease their pain and will ultimately eliminate the use of heating pads since they aren’t portable or wearable. Acquired from basic research, studies show that heat therapy is among the most effective methods for easing menstrual pain and will therefore support my idea for the feminist invention.

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To start off with some background, painful periods or dysmenorrhea, comes in two forms: primary or secondary. “Primary dysmenorrhea is the most common kind of period pain. It is period pain that is not caused by another condition. The cause is usually having too many prostaglandins, which are chemicals that your uterus makes. These chemicals make the muscles of your uterus tighten and relax, and this causes the cramps.” ( Though a period lasts a few days or longer, the pain can start a day or two before a woman even begins her cycle. More commonly in young adolescent girls, the pain tends to decrease in pressure as you get older. Whereas, “Secondary dysmenorrhea often starts later in life. It is caused by conditions that affect your uterus or other reproductive organs, such as endometriosis and uterine fibroids. This kind of pain often gets worse over time. It may begin before your period starts and continue after your period ends.” (

Regardless of whether a woman experiences primary or secondary dysmenorrhea, heat therapy is one of the most common and effective methods for reducing pain. Going back to my invention, the heated compression shorts would work the same way, similar to a heating pad. A heating element, along with small built-in wires would be inserted into the fabric of the shorts near the most common areas of pain: the stomach and lower back. Meanwhile, a temperature control unit located on each side of the shorts – one for the stomach and the other for the back, would manage the amount of current entering into the heat elements ranging from low to high temperatures. Both units would also maintain the charge of the shorts through thin rechargeable batteries inserted into a storage pocket-like structure on the shorts for easy application and less discomfort during wear. That way, one side of the body could remain to function in case the other dies. At the same time, a thick and breathable cotton fabric would be lined from the vagina to the buttocks to neutralize odor and prevent leakage that could interfere with the heat elements.

Even though my invention does not solve an international crisis, it will certainly change the lives of women all over the world. Women would feel more comfortable and don clothes they normally wouldn’t wear during their time of the month. The technology would resemble close to shapewear with an elastic band to keep the shorts in place and provide women with a chic garment that guarantees odor control, leak-resistance and less pain. The rechargeable batteries inside the temperature control unit would minimize the risk of being electrocuted or shocked by other heating products (i.e. pads and blankets). While simultaneously, the heat from the shorts would relax the muscles and ease the pain, causing less stress and more tranquility during the cycle.

Specifically designed for women, my invention wholeheartedly embodies the topic of “Women and Technology.” This product relates to women in that it focuses solely on their needs, rather than neglecting them. Not only does the project aid as a trendy fashion item, but the attire participates in regulating women’s physical and mental health. This garment also relates to technology in that it stores and releases heat through the wired heating element inserted into the fabric. The shorts then incorporate a built-in temperature control unit to keep the product charged and maintain the temperature and amount of current flowing through.

Considering the product would be invented, produced and worn by women, it draws increasing attention to feminine technologies and advances more women in the STEM field. “Feminine technology – technologies associated with women or made by women specifically for women.” The compression shorts would inspire women to feel less awkward about the natural cycle, despite all of the stereotypes created by men. Although compression wear was initially marketed for male athletes to prevent injury, modern society has alternated the purpose of the form-fitting clothing to women for reasons such as maternity, sports or exercise and hosiery. “Feminist – technological innovations that would enhance women’s lives through women’s agenda to make them equal; has a ‘democratic design’ meaning it doesn’t favor one group over another.” Unlike other menstrual products like pads and tampons that use pastel colors or floral designs to distinguish themselves stereotypically to women, the compression shorts would be designed in neutral colors – blacks, browns, and nudes, in order to be equal among all groups. Aside from being just another piece of clothing, the purpose of my invention is to support women during menstruation and encourage a comforting lifestyle. This invention will discourage women from using anti-feminist and sexist products like birth control pills and certain menstrual products and instead promote a healthier and more natural coping method for pain similar to men.

Going back to a previous article by Autumn Stanley, she suggests that “it is important to correct the record with respect to women’s inventions for two reasons; to bring attention to women inventors so they don’t disappear like they have in other aspects of society and to make knowing about women inventors/inventions more accessible.” She hints that women inventors in the past often disappeared and received little recognition if their products did not fit the “norm” framed by men. But without these past accomplishments, present and future inventors of feminist technologies would have no one to look up and result in less inspiration for game-changing inventions. Feminist products and technologies like mine need to be encouraged and accredited for in order to stop women from using products created by men with sexist attitudes towards a woman’s way of life. Thus, putting an end to the stereotypes men have created towards the monthly cycle and paving a path towards equality for all parties.

In spite of compression shorts having already been invented, my idea of generating heat through insulated wires and rechargeable batteries within the shorts makes the invention significantly unique. After conducting an extensive patent search on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website, there are currently no patents specifically issued for my feminist technology. On the contrary, there are a substantial number of patents for heated clothing developed for people during cold weather. These include heated scarves, socks, earmuffs, hand warmers and more popularly, jackets and gloves. Of course, there is the material inventions of the heating pad and electric blanket, but neither are yet patented for wear. Likewise, once I completed the patent search, I discovered a company, Heat Experience who aims to produce heat-generating clothing from top to bottom for cold weather. The zip-away heated shorts, one of their most recent inventions, are designed to go past the knee and wear over top base layer pants. Unlike the purpose for my invention, the zip-away heated shorts are meant for skiers to maintain warmth, comfort and control while on the slopes. Therefore, after conducting an extensive patent search and finding basic research, my invention of heated compression shorts is proven to be non-existent and brand-new.

To conclude, every woman experiences her menstrual cycle needed for healthy, hormonal balance. During this time of the month, most women suffer from harsh abdominal pain that can prevent them from participating in daily activities. Furthermore, women can often feel like their needs are being neglected by society due to the anti-feminist technologies founded and forced upon by men with sexist attitudes towards periods. Based on my personal experience with menstrual pain and knowledge of feminist technologies, my idea for the unique, life-enhancing invention of heated compression shorts can support women during their cycle while having a meaningful impact on women’s lives. Not only will the product empower women and encourage a healthy and natural lifestyle, but it will also bridge the gender divide and lead to a greater advance on women in technology. While considering my invention, it is especially important to recognize the challenges women continue to face when trying to commercialize and patent their products. Although my invention has yet to be patented, feminist inventors and technologies similar to mine need to be praised for their efforts in ending the gender-specific stereotypes and creating equality within today’s society.

Works Cited

  1. “Period Pain | Menstrual Cramps.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 18 Mar. 2019,

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