Unmet Menstrual Hygiene Needs Among Low-Income Women

An image of menstrual pads with what appears to be blood in the middle of them Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

“Period poverty” happens when someone can’t afford to access menstrual products, clean and sanitary facilities, or accurate information about menstruation. This research project interviewed 183 low-income people about their access to menstrual products and what they do when they cannot afford to buy them.

Menstrual hygiene supplies are a basic necessity that many low-income women lack. Adequate menstrual hygiene involves access to clean sanitary materials that can be changed in private as often as necessary, access to soap and water for washing, and access to a place for the hygienic disposal of used sanitary materials or washing, if reusable pads are used. Inadequate menstrual hygiene has been associated with infections and poor health-related quality-of-life.”