1 in 10 young people in the UK cannot afford Period Products.

What is Period Poverty?

Period poverty is when a person cannot access safe period products and/or appropriate facilities to manage their periods. This is an issue for people across the world and within the UK. There are many factors that contribute towards period poverty, including financial constraints, social and cultural stigma, and limited education. Shockingly, 1 in 10 young people in the UK are affected by period poverty, however during the pandemic this increased to 3 in 10 (Plan International, 2020).

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Who is affected?

Period poverty is an issue that affects people from all types of backgrounds and has the potential to affect anyone. Period poverty can affect people struggling with homelessness, asylum seekers, disadvantaged families experiencing food insecurity, workers without access to toilets, students struggling to afford period products and those who identify as transgender and non-binary, who cannot access toilets and safe products.

What is the impact?

Period poverty has a devastating impact and can force people to resort to using unsafe alternatives in order to manage their periods, such as rags or toilet paper. This is particularly concerning as this can cause infection that may turn into Toxic Shock Syndrome, which is potentially fatal if left untreated.

Not only does period poverty negatively affect people’s physical wellbeing, it can also impact their mental health, with research finding that the anxiety of experiencing period poverty each month is linked to symptoms of depression. Additionally, it can prevent people from leaving their homes whilst on their period, which in turn potentially restricts their access to educational and occupational opportunities.

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