What Is Period Poverty? Your Questions Answered

Periods generally start between ages 11 and 14 and will continue until menopause at around 51 years old. That is an average of 450 periods in a lifetime, and roughly 9,120 tampons are used in a single menstruating person’s lifetime!

The sheer amount of sanitary products needed in a single lifetime is shocking, and with the prices of these products rising, so is period poverty. What is period poverty? How many people struggle with it, and what can we do, as a society, to help? 

Breaking the stigma and shame around menstruation is the first step in fighting back against period poverty. Keep reading to see what you can do to help.

What Is Period Poverty?

Simply put, period poverty is the lack of access to resources, such as menstrual products, education about menstrual cycles, and safe hygienic places to use period products.

Period poverty affects the menstruating person’s life in various ways. Not only is there shame and stigma related to the topic, but their education, as well as their work, suffers. This is because many people stay home during this time of the month as they have a fear of staining their clothes, as well as a general lack of comfort. 

What Is the Main Cause of Period Poverty?

While there are many causes that lead to period poverty, one of the biggest barriers people face is obtaining period products.

Economic hardship is a factor in this as people are regularly faced with the issue of either buying sanitary products or other items needed to survive. For many low-income households, the cost of sanitary products makes them unattainable.

How Big Is This Problem?

This is a global crisis with over 500 million people experiencing period poverty every month and it is only getting worse.

People are not only facing increasing period product prices, but also a shortage of products due to supply chain issues. The economic hardships and the lack of menstrual equity can be seen all over the world, but developing countries have a disadvantage. 

How to Overcome Period Poverty

There are various social, economic, political, and cultural barriers about periods that need to be overcome before period poverty will be a thing of the past.

Period poverty is a topic covered in shame and stigma. This makes the issue harder to tackle as people shy away from talking about the various problems menstruating people face.

Choosing a sustainable tampon alternative is a big step in the right direction as it is a much cheaper alternative in the long run. This is also an eco-friendly alternative, as it will cause fewer tampons and sanitary towels to end up in a landfill.

Education About Menstrual Cycles

Education is the first step to reducing the stigma about periods.

By talking about the issue, you are not only raising awareness but also tackling the taboo surrounding periods. If more people are aware of the suffering around us, then more will be done to ease it.

What Can I Do About Period Poverty?

So, what is period poverty? It is the lack of resources and knowledge regarding safe periods. While period poverty is an issue that causes countless problems, purchasing a sustainable menstrual alternative, either for yourself or to donate, is a step in the right direction.

Continue to learn and grow in regards to education about the stigma and struggles that people around the world face. 

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