Putting A Price Tag On Periods

Thoughts on the menstrual hygiene industry.


As if periods aren’t painful enough, have you ever thought about how much money they cost? For those of us with periods, there are plenty of methods to keep things under control at that time of the month. But, should something we can’t control cost us so much?

The average menstruator’s reproductive lifetime (AKA period years) lasts from ages 13-51. About 70% of menstruators opt for tampons, making them the most popular product. Those who use tampons use somewhere around 240 per year-- spending about $50 annually. A 2019 survey by INTIMINA and OnePoll determined that the average menstruator spends about $13.25 every month on period products. That’s about the same as your Amazon Prime subscription, so that’s definitely worth it to prevent some serious discomfort; right? Well, what about when we think about it as an average of $6,360 in your reproductive lifetime? 

In addition to making us daydream about having an extra $6,360 in our savings account, seeing these numbers puts period poverty into perspective. In the United States, period products are considered “non-essential” goods-- meaning that they’re taxed in 30 states, and menstrual hygiene has managed to become a $2 billion industry. Nearly 1 in 5 young people with a period in the U.S. has missed school or left early, because they don’t have menstrual products.

So, what can be done about how much we pay for our periods? 72% of people polled believe the government should provide free menstrual products. Many agree that schools, workplaces, and homeless shelters are some of the top places that should be required to stock them. Until then, for those of us lucky enough to have the products we need, we can daydream about what we’d spend that $6,360 on instead of cramp control.


Next up, 5 Simple Steps To Getting Beautiful Looking Skin Within One Month Flat