Period products are a necessity that women have to fork out for every single month. But you might be surprised to find out just how much spending on sanitary products adds up to.
New research has revealed that the average woman will stump up £5,000 on period products in her lifetime.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of menstrual cup brand, Intimina, revealed the average woman spends $13.25 (£10.24) per month on menstrual necessities which adds up to a whopping $6,360 (Approx £4,916) during an average reproductive lifetime of 12 to 52.
It’s no surprise therefore that in the survey of 2,000 women (aged 18-55), half reported having experienced period poverty, with 60% of respondents admitting to budgeting in order to afford sanitary items and 79% claiming to have made sacrifices or gone with less in order to afford their monthly necessities.
To combat the issue the majority of participants in the study felt that the government should introduce free menstrual products for everyone.
If menstrual products were free, there are a variety of ways women would spend the extra cash. Results reveal 41% would use the money to go on holiday, while 39% would think to the future and put the money saved towards their retirement.
A third of women surveyed would put that money towards getting on the property ladder.
A permanent resolution to period poverty might be some way off, but things are starting to change.
Following on from the news that free sanitary protection will now be provided to all patients in NHS hospitals, the Government has pledged to end period poverty around the world by 2030.
The pledge will see millions go to projects providing sanitary protection, like the efforts made by Scotland who now offer free sanitary protection to women and girls living in period poverty.
READ MORE: Menstrual cups: everything you need to know
Other options for tackling the issue that were suggested in the survey include donating products to homeless shelters and food banks (62%) and having the companies that produce sanitary items donate them as well (53%).
Commenting on the findings Danela Žagar Brand Manager of Intimina said: “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.”
Aside from cost implications, respondents to the survey also admitted they've had menstrual emergencies due to lack of access to products.
An emergency leak can happen anywhere, seeing as how the average woman has two menstrual leaks per cycle.
Just over half (55%) of those polled admitted to having been in need of a menstrual product when they didn't have one.
The top locations where women think menstruation products should be stocked for free were high schools (61%), and colleges and universities (55%).
Workplace environments (51%) and hotels (44%) were other important locations where women believe there should be access to sanitary items free of charge.
Additionally the survey found that if women had easy access to necessities then they would be less likely to skip out on commitments due to their periods.
Almost half (46%) of respondents admitted to skipping studies because of menstruation, while 45% cancelled a date or left work early.
“Period poverty is strongly tied to finances, but its accessibility is the other as important issue,” added Žagar.
“Still, in this so-called modern century, there are hundreds of thousands of women that have limited access to the menstrual hygiene products.
“Therefore, we need to make sure that by educating and donating these products to schools and organisations, we reach as many women all around the world as possible.
“Raising awareness is the crucial point in the period movement to fight period poverty and increase the accessibility of feminine hygiene products.”
Additional reporting by SWNS