What is Period Poverty?

Posted by Mykayla Sorensen

Half the population is made up of menstruators. Typically once a month, we can be found discreetly placing tampons, pads or other menstrual hygiene products out of the way of seeing eyes and heading for the washroom. The quiet whispers of, “Shoot! I wasn’t expecting this! Can I borrow a tampon?” may be overheard in restrooms.

It’s all very quiet, all quite hush hush. What happens when someone gets their period and they don’t have access to menstrual hygiene products? This is a real issue that has been kept the quietest of all.

Every month, people all over the globe experience menstruation. Did you know, though, that even in Canada people experience period poverty? This is the lack of access to menstrual hygiene products and more often than not, this is a financial barrier.

A study by Plan Canada highlights that 12% of menstruating Canadians surveyed regularly have to miss out on activities because of lack of access to period products, while a larger 32% have to miss out occasionally.

Could you imagine having to regularly miss about five days of school or work every month because there is not enough access to these products? A person’s health can also be negatively impacted if unsanitary measures are taken- like trying to prolong tampon use, leading to an infection that may cause toxic shock syndrome.

Because menstrual products are an added cost, 27% of Canadian menstruators occasionally have to sacrifice other items in their budget to afford products for menstruation. The most at-risk population are those between the ages 18-24 years old. Sometimes this might even look like having to prioritize period products over a meal.

Periods are a normal biological function that half of our population deals with almost regularly. Breaking down the barriers to access of menstrual products is fundamental in normalizing periods and menstruation.

Join Us in the Movement Against Period Poverty!

Throughout February, Whole Family Health is supporting No Woman Without. Period in the collection of menstrual product donations, to raise awareness about period poverty in our own communities.

If you are interested in supporting this cause and helping to end period poverty, please stop by the clinic with your donations!

We will be offering a one-time 10% discount on your treatment when you bring in a menstrual product donation this month.

Also check out our ‘Stop Period Poverty and Period Pain’ Community Clinic Day on Sunday, February 23rd. Receive a free community acupuncture/ massage treatment in exchange for a menstrual product donation.
Register Today. Space is limited!


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