Facts and Figures
- At least 500 million women and girls lack a private place to change their sanitary protection during menstruation. This is equivalent to every female living in developed countries.
- Around 137,700 UK girls miss school each year because they can’t afford menstrual products (2017). (Source)
- In parts of China in 2020, pads could cost more than a month’s salary (Source)
- Only 12% of India’s 355 million menstruating women use sanitary products during their periods. (Source)
- 20% of US girls have left school early or not turned up because they didn’t have period products. (Source)
2.3 billion people globally lack basic sanitation services.
What girls are saying
Menstruation Matters Report from Australia found a common story for many young menstruators. (Source)
- ‘A friend of mine dropped an unopened pad in front of my all-girls, grade 9 year level and everyone made fun of her for it. There is a huge stigma
- ‘The pain can be unbearable, tampons and pads can be in shortage. You feel very unclean. You may not have a spare pair of underwear. You worry people can see the blood. You stop concentrating at school and sometimes friends will tell others you’re on your period to embarrass you.
- ‘I didn't tell my parents for a year. In my culture it’s like a taboo.’
‘Many girls skip school due to having their periods because you don’t feel comfortable.’
- Student, Melbourne
Talking about the postpartum experience is key to changing perceptions and women openly talking about their needs.
- One year after the birth, 22% of the women had symptoms of stress incontinence. (Source)
- When your baby moves down through your vagina to be born, your pelvic floor stretches and it remains stretched for some time. The combination of hormones and stretched muscles means the muscles that control your bladder are weakened. However, for some women, it can take months while other women find their pelvic floor never recovers fully. (Source)
- Women with urinary incontinence after giving birth are almost twice as likely to develop postpartum depression as those without incontinence. (Source)
Hot flashes were reported by over a third of women during pregnancy and/or postpartum.
- 2 in 3 women were blindsided by their menopause (Source)
- There will be an estimated 1 billion globally in menopause by 2025. Indeed, there are 13 million peri or postmenopausal women in the UK right now - a third of the female population. (Source)
- Most women become menopausal between the ages of 45 and 60 with the average age for Australian and New Zealand women being 51 years.
- 51% of women can name only 3 of the 48 symptoms associated with their menopause. (Source)