The Menstrual Misfortune

The Menstrual Misfortune

When I go into the school bathroom, I constantly see dispensers for tampons calling for money in order to serve their purpose, and every time I do, I think to myself that I never have any money for anything, let alone if I did have an emergency at school, which is always uncontrollable and sudden.

Then, when I go to the store, I see the prices of menstrual products being higher than necessary, considering the quantity and quality of the product, and it makes me open my eyes a lot to what other girls must go through who have more problems with this than me, as well as struggle financially because of it, and it makes me upset to constantly see these things and not have it be considered a real problem.

My take on this issue is that feminine hygiene products should be free in public bathrooms and cheaper in stores.

My first point addressing paying for pads and/or tampons in public bathrooms is that toilet paper is a free necessity in these places.

To me, I think it is absolutely fair to compare pads/tampons and toilet paper and consider them a toiletry. So, pads/tampons shouldn’t have any cost because they are as necessary as toilet paper, which is free. Having any girl pay for a customary item used in a bathroom, that they would rather not have to use, to me is ridiculous.

To add onto this argument, I have first-hand experience with this as a 15-year-old girl, and I have never once encountered any other girl say that they enjoy having a period, let alone having to pay extra for it.

In a 2,000-women survey conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by INTIMINA, four out of five think that these financial issues are a real problem.

In the same poll, it is revealed that the average woman spends an estimated total of $6,360 in an average woman’s reproductive lifetime, which results from spending $13.25 a month on menstrual products, which 72% voted is too expensive.

These statistics support my second argument, which addresses that menstrual products should be less expensive in stores.

I don’t entirely think that they should be free, just because they are still a consumer product and bring money to companies, but I definitely think the price should be decreased.

Obviously, a great deal of money is put towards menstrual products, and with a lot of money being spent, there’s built-up stress. Most women suffer from PMS (premenstrual syndrome), while on their period, which can also increase immense stress. Therefore, if this pricing is doing anything, it is inducing and worsening women’s stress levels, and if on their period, simply worsening their symptoms.

Brand manager of INTIMINA, Danela Žagar, supports this argument by saying that this is clearly a problem by how many women are stating that menstrual products are overpriced, and in addition saying that financial issues are the only thing being brought to the table, which can lead to health problems, low self-esteem, and stress.

Furthermore, 79% of women in the same survey said that they have made sacrifices or gone with less in order to even afford their other necessities, so with this data, it is clear that a change needs to be made.

Feminine hygiene education and product distribution to the less fortunate are what is needed to combat this problem financially, as well as, most importantly, making products free in public bathrooms and less expensive overall.

There may not be a concrete solution that will please the majority in the near future, but there will be steps taken to help resolve the issue.

More problems have been produced from this than benefits, and it’s high time that has changed for the better for women and girls alike.

I would like to not have to worry about my menstrual cycle and it’s unpredictability more than I already have to in public settings such as school, with it costing money in order to even gain access. I also would like to feel the same when buying these products in stores.

A period is a burden for me, and with solutions clearly possible, I’d like to make it less of one.