If you know someone who needs period supplies please contact us so we may help them.
According to the American College of Physicians, social and economic barriers inhibit adequate access to menstrual hygiene products and education in the U.S.—particularly for vulnerable populations including school-aged individuals, those experiencing homelessness, low-income individuals, and incarcerated individuals. This is sometimes referred to as “period poverty.”
Menstrual hygiene products, including tampons, pads, reusable menstrual cups, and other products, are important health tools for managing periods for the more than 800,000,000 people globally who menstruate on any given day. The average person who menstruates has their period for a cumulative 7 years of their life, uses between 10 to 35 pads or tampons per cycle, and uses up to 16,800 products over the course of their lifetime at a cost of roughly $1,800 in the U.S. However, despite the role of menstrual products in maintaining hygiene and health, many Americans are unable to afford or otherwise lack access to these basic necessities. In one study, 64 percent of low-income women were unable to afford needed menstrual hygiene products in the past year while 21 percent experienced this monthly; 46 percent couldn’t afford both food and menstrual hygiene products in the past year.
Those experiencing homelessness or who are incarcerated have also reported limited access to menstrual hygiene products, especially since these products are rarely publicly funded in budgets for schools, shelters, and crisis emergency centers. They are also not readily available in all correction and detention facilities and are often prohibitively expensive given meager prison wages and inflated prices. Additionally, menstrual hygiene products are generally not covered by public health and nutritional programs and are not exempt from sales tax in many jurisdictions like other necessities.
As a result, some people who menstruate have been reported to resort to other unsafe or unsanitary options, including using things like rags, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, dirty socks, used paper bags, or a single tampon or pad for longer than the recommended time. Inadequate or improper use of menstrual hygiene products can have devastating medical consequences and may possibly result in urinary tract infections, vulvar contact dermatitis, yeast infections, bacterial vaginosis, (and, in rare cases, toxic shock syndrome), and overall low quality of life.
Insufficient access to menstrual hygiene products clearly poses a threat to public health and personal dignity. Lucy Leaks believes that women should have access to affordable, comprehensive, and nondiscriminatory health care coverage over the course of their life. This should include access to affordable menstrual hygiene products.
A small donation of $20.00 can help someone in need access menstrual supplies for a month. Make a huge difference in someone's life by giving them the opportunity to live with dignity.
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