'It's not just a pound' - 18 things you said about period poverty in the UK

Some leading doctors have called on the government to make sanitary products universally available to women.

Thursday, 28th June 2018, 2:38 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2018, 5:24 pm
Do you think sanitary products should be made freely available?

So we asked you for your view on so-called "period poverty" - and many of you have backed calls for towels and tampons to be free for all.

Some argued that the prices can be very low in some shops - but others insisted that the prices still add up and can be unsustainable for some women.

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The British Medical Association (BMA) has also urged hospitals to give in-patients access to products to ensure a dignified recovery for those menstruating. Proposing a motion, Eleanor Wilson told delegates that access to sanitary products "is a basic human right for all".

Here's what you had to say about the story on social media:

Rachel Elizabeth Marshall: "If they can give condoms out for free, why not sanitary towels? You can choose to not have sex but you can’t choose to not have a period."

Laura McGarry: "Its hard enough being a teenager without not being able to have tampons/towels etc because your parents can't afford them. Or make them cheaper."

Mandy Purvis: "Why does everyone want everything free. It's not free, us workers will end up paying for it in increased prescription costs. For God's sake they are coppers to buy and would rather NHS money be used for life-saving medication."

Susan Cummings: "Absolutely! I don't need sanitary products anymore but always buy them for the collection for the food bank along with deodorant and razors. It adds to a person's feeling of well being if they are well groomed."

Marie Kennedy: "You can get a packet of sanitary towels in Aldi for 55p Home Bargains, two packs £1... and I know Asda does their own branded ones I’m not sure how much, they are cheap enough to buy I think."

Libby Listens Bassnett: "If a family has two or three girls and a mum and are waiting on UC it does not cost just a pound. Daytime and night flow is different, if someone has heavy periods they use more sanitary items quicker. So night pads too. Then depends on so many changes a day. Certain brands work better than others. So it's not just a pound."

Joanne Perry: "I can understand them being provided in hospitals to a certain degree but as many have pointed out here you can buy sanitary products for less than a pound in most supermarkets. And also as someone said they would still have to be paid for most likely by the taxpayer. I don’t agree with VAT being charged though as they are most certainly not a luxury item."

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Read more: Doctors call on government to end period poverty with free products

Claire Foster: "I think the companies should be taking more responsibility for this, sure they make enough profit and can afford to donate to charity and organisations to hand these out. No woman should ever be in that situation in this age."

Andrea Vest: "I agree I think woman's sanitary products should be free! I have two girls and me. It's costs me around £40 a month it's a lot of money to someone who doesn't have it!"

Wyn Scott: "My mam had eight daughters, she had to buy them for us. I think a lot of people have their priorities all wrong and are spending their money on things that are not important."

Kirsten Middlemiss: "I don't think some people on here realise that we're not arguing for ourselves to have free sanitary products. I work, I can afford them. I'm arguing for those people who can't argue their own case on here. They should be free. They aren't a luxury. Yes, have a basic towel and a basic tampon for free and accessible. I'll happily pay more tax for those people to have this. It's not just a £1. Some people don't have that. I'm speaking on behalf of those people."

Alison Robson: "Free, free, free that’s all we hear. It’s not free at all, someone has to pay for it."

Patricia McKitterick: "It is dreadful to think that this is happening."

Liam Christopher Ritchie: "Sanitary products are defined as luxury items by EU law and as such are taxed at an unacceptable rate. Once we leave the EU we can change that."

Melanie Stonehouse: "All of you saying they shouldn't be free and everyone can afford them, what about the homeless?"

Rachel Mavin: "If contraceptives are free these should be too."

Lisa Angus: "I think it should be free in schools and hospitals only."

Jade Fairlamb: "Why should we have to pay? We don’t have a choice weather we want them or not?"