60% of women need to “budget” for their periods, and how is this 2019?

Posted by
Jessica Rapana
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Period poverty

A new survey has found women on average spend £5000 on our periods. Shockingly, more than half of us have to budget to afford the products we need.

You can buy a lot with £5000.

You can buy a boat, for instance, or a second-hand car. Hey, if you’re feeling swanky, you can buy a deliciously extravagant bottle of champagne

You can even put that money down on a house deposit, albeit, not in London, but you get the point.

Though, we probably should caveat the above, based on gender: if you’re a woman, you can use that money to buy a lifetime-supply of sanitary products. In fact, if you’re a woman, you’ll have to.

Our periods are not only inconvenient and, often, painful, but they are also pricey. According to new research, women are forking out hundreds of pounds every year on sanitary hygiene. 

Periods are painful enough.

The survey of 2000 women, aged between 18 and 55, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of menstrual cup brand Intimina found the average woman spends £10.24 a month on period products, adding up to roughly £4,916 over a woman’s average reproductive lifetime.

What’s more disturbing though, is the financial toll this is taking on women. 

More than half of women surveyed say they have experienced period poverty as a result of these costs. 

In fact, 60% admitted to budgeting in order to afford sanitary items and 79% said they had made sacrifices or gone with less in order to afford the necessary products.

“Many women find feminine hygiene products overpriced, which of course only proves that the image of period poverty is real,” said Danela Žagar from Intimina.

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

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Period poverty is not only tied to finances, however, and can also result from a lack of accessibility.

The majority of women said they thought the government should mandate free menstrual products for everyone and that products should be stocked for free in schools, colleges, universities and workplaces.

While many workplaces already stock their bathrooms with menstruation products (something we do, here, at Stylist HQ) too many still do not. 

In fact, many women surveyed said they had been caught out without access to necessities and had to bail on commitments, such as skipping out on classes (46%), cancelling a date or leaving work early (45%).

More than half of women can't afford their own menstruation

If this makes you mad, good.

It’s shocking that, in 2019, the so-called “pink tax” still exists, with necessities such as sanitary products, contraception and hair cuts more expensive for women – despite the fact we are still being paid less.

It’s also sad to think that women are being forced to structure their lives around their periods, due to a lack of accessibility to the products they need, whether as a result of financial restrictions or otherwise.

Plus, imagine what you could buy with that £5000.

Images: Getty, Stocksy


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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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