Women spend £5,000 on period products in their lifetime

Period products are a necessity that cost the average woman £5,000 in her lifetime, a new study has found.

The study, commissioned by Menstrual cup brand Intimina, found a woman spends £10.24 per month on menstrual products adding up to £4,916 during an average reproductive lifetime – 12 to 52.

Period poverty in the UK is not a new thing, but it’s something that has come to the forefront of conversation over the past couple of years – starting with activist Amika George’s #FREEPERIODS campaign in 2017 and culminating in March this year when the government announced it would introduce free sanitary products into all English secondary schools.

Yet, adult women also suffer from period poverty and the study found that half of the 2,000 18 to 55-year-old women surveyed reported experiencing it.

Two-thirds (60 per cent) of respondents said they have had to budget in order to afford sanitary items and 79 per cent said they have made sacrifices or gone with less to be able to buy menstrual products.

Danela Žagar of Intimina said in a statement: “As studies have shown, many women find feminine hygiene products overpriced, which of course only proves that the image of period poverty is real.

“Moreover, it not only brings financial issues to the table but also drags behind strong feelings of stress, which can lead to health problems and lower self-esteem.”

Most of the women surveyed felt the government should mandate free menstrual products for everyone and, while this is a long way off in the UK, earlier this month Germany scrapped its tampon tax in a landmark vote. In Germany menstrual products were classed as ‘luxury’ items and placed in the 19 per cent tax bracket – a tax of 7 per cent VAT now applies. In the UK, the tax rate on menstrual products is currently five per cent.

As well as leaving women out of pocket, menstrual products are also harming the environment. Women in the UK use an average of 11,000 disposable menstrual products during their reproductive lifetime. This results in tampons, pads and panty liners producing more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, which can take centuries to biodegrade.

You can read our full guide to eco-friendly period products here.


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