Periods in Pandemics

The Impact of COVID-19

At a time when we are all facing the stresses of lockdown with many aspects of our life on hold, one thing continues to flow – our monthly period!

For some, this is now more easily dealt with at home, but for many the impact is very different. With restricted access to sanitary products through free supplies from schools, youth centres and food banks, as well as reductions in availability at supermarkets and pharmacies, period poverty is becoming more prevalent than ever.

A new report has found that 3 in 10 young women and girls across the UK are struggling to access sanitary towels, tampons and other period products during the lockdown and over half (54%) have been forced to use toilet paper instead. The study, conducted by Plan International UK (April 2020), a children's charity that campaigns for equality for girls, also found that 1 in 5 girls (20%) had been unable to access toilet roll due to stockpiling.

Evidence is also showing that our menstrual cycle has been distorted over the period of lockdown leading to either more frequent periods or unusual delays in monthly bleeds. Nothing feels normal during these times!  Medics suggest that the stress of coping in a pandemic can impact both mental and also physical health, and that this could lead to a change in our cycles, even to heavier and more painful periods – the last thing we all need!

Periods are normal…natural and part of our everyday lives, but for those struggling during COVID-19 we need to recognise that even more help and support is required.  Please support your local charity in eradicating this issue and providing much needed supplies of sanitary products.  Everyone has the right to these basic needs…. even in unprecedented times!!