A tampon is a mass of absorbent material, primarily used as a feminine hygiene product. Historically, the word "tampon" originated from the medieval French word "tampion", meaning a piece of cloth to stop a hole, a stamp, plug, or stopper. At present, tampons are designed to be easily inserted into the vagina during menstruation and absorb the menstrual flow. Several countries regulate tampons as medical devices. In the United States, they are considered to be a Class II medical device by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are sometimes used for hemostasis in surgery.