In the UK, it is estimated that one in 10 females are unable to afford sanitary products relying on alternative solutions, friends, family and foodbanks.
When admitted into hospital it can be a worry to know what to do if you start your period, but now that anxiety is taken away. From this summer, all women and girls being cared for by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) will be given free sanitary products on request.
Sarah Dexter-Smith, director of therapies at TEWV said “Experiencing mental health difficulties and being admitted into hospital can be incredibly stressful. Many women and girls are unable to afford sanitary products or do not have time to bring products with them. We hope that this new initiative will give those in our care one less thing to worry about when coming into hospital and will help them to focus on their recovery.
“Upon discharge, every patient who needs it will be given products for one menstrual cycle. We will also provide advice and support on reuseable items and the various charities offering free sanitary products.
“Talking about menstruation is important. A survey of more than 1,000 girls found nearly half were embarrassed by their period and many were afraid to ask for help because of the stigma. Providing free sanitary products is something simple we can do to avoid unnecessary embarrassment and is fundamental to maintaining the dignity of the people we support.”