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Lack of access to sanitary products, education about menstrual hygiene, washrooms, sinks for washing hands, and/or waste disposal is referred to as "period poverty."
Additionally, the word refers to the heightened economic vulnerability that women and girls experience as a result of the high cost of menstruation supplies. The availability of sanitary items such as pads, tampons, and cups is limited in the least-developed and low-income nations.
Millions of people are affected daily by the lack of access to menstrual products, which forces them to make inadequate substitutions such as using toilet paper, cardboard, rags, paper towels, or even old pads. Additional expenses for painkillers and clean underwear, not to mention the cost of infrastructure requirements like flowing water for toilets and sinks for handwashing, as well as hygienic waste disposal, all create a high barrier that many people are unable to overcome.
The social costs of not having access to menstruation products are also significant. Many females tend to skip school and other extracurricular activities because of periods. This can surely make them experience loss in their education and endure emotional and psychological well-being. Some individuals may choose between feeding their family and buying menstruation products because period supplies are not covered by insurance.
Alternatives like rags, paper towels, or old pads could fill a temporary need, but they don't provide a long-term fix because they increase the risk of diseases like yeast infections, urinary tract infections, and bacterial vaginosis.
The implications of period poverty go beyond the physical and financial aspects, as there are several negative effects on mental health that can result from not having enough menstrual supplies, including increased anxiety, low self-esteem, and depression.
Menstruating people continue to suffer the most from periods of poverty, and while there is no simple fix for such a complicated problem, there are important actions that we can take to end the inequality and give millions of people back their dignity. It consists of: