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25th May 2022

Study shows cost of living crisis is affecting period hygiene

Ellen Fitzpatrick

How to delay your period - what works and what doesn't

More to be done.

The cost of living crisis is now having an impact on the costs of period hygiene, with almost a quarter of people struggling to afford these products.

New research from WaterAid has found that almost a third of people who have periods believe they will no longer be able to afford essential hygiene products like tampons and pads in the near future.

The charity asked 2,000 people in Britain aged 14 to 50, with 20% saying they cope by using homemade materials, and 26% saying they use period products for longer than they should.

15% of people surveyed said they have missed school or work due to periods.

These statistics, especially the 26%, pose a risk to people’s health, with infections, leakages and other issues rising.

The study also discovered that a third of schools lack “decent toilets” with many people needing to miss class due to their period.

According to the study, last year 22% of British women and girls relied on free products given at schools, work, food banks or charities, with 30% of people looking to cheaper brands to cut costs.

61% of people said that if these were made cheaper or free completely, it would improve their mental wellbeing. 41% of school aged girls said that they too worry about the cost of period products and the impact it has on their parent or caregiver.

Therese Mahon, regional programme manager at WaterAid, told “Periods do not stop for pandemics or economic crises.

“That is why WaterAid is calling on all governments to prioritise the needs of women and girls globally: providing them with access to period friendly toilets and clean water – their fundamental human rights – along with menstrual health information and support so they can manage their periods hygienically and with dignity; enabling them to be more resilient whatever the crisis.”