Impacts of Period Poverty

Having a period is part of a woman’s biology, period! (No pun intended). Having access to period products, education, medical care, hygiene and proper waste disposal for that time of the month is a basic right for all menstruating women and no woman should have to make a choice on whether to buy food or pads. Global period poverty is real and we urgently have to do something about it.

Cartoon image of women from all backgrounds in colorful clothes

According to the World Bank, over 500 million women and girls globally lack access to adequate facilities for proper period care. To most people, period poverty is a bad situation that happens to poor people in distant lands, but period poverty is right here in your neighborhood. You don’t have to look too far to find women in need of period care. Your neighborhood homeless shelters, women’s shelters, food pantries, refugee camps, other temporary habitations, schools and colleges all have females that need personal hygiene products all the time. 


Cartoon woman holding her uterus area with image bubbles of her suffering from period pain and stress

Effects of Period Poverty 

The problems caused by period poverty does not stop at not just having period products. There are real emotional issues like depression, anxiety and physical health conditions that could result from lack of sufficient proper period care. 

Mental Health Risk 

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder PMDD, Premenstrual Syndrome PMS, cause mood swings, irritability and some women report clinical level depression and anxiety around that time of the month. Any woman you ask will be happy to provide you with a laundry list of emotional and physical symptoms they experience a week or two before and during their period. For some women, they have to take medications to help with the mood changes and menstrual cramps that come with their period. Having access to those resources should be as basic as having access to food. With all those emotional and medical needs, imagine adding lack of adequate period products and personal hygiene amenities to this list. 

Physical Health Risks

Infections: Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is caused by Staphylococcus aureus (Aureus). S. aureus is normally present in the vagina without a problem, but under the right conditions like trapped moisture due to long exposure to tampons, pads, cups etc., S. aureus can overgrow and cause TSS. Long exposure to moisture from a period product can also increase a woman’s risk of having UTIs, BVs and yeast infection. 

Diaper Rash 

Pads and diapers are typically made with the same kinds of materials and sitting on a pad or diaper with trapped moisture and friction will have the same symptoms as diaper rash including itching, swelling, skin redness and bad odor. 


 All menstruating women are at risk of being anemic due to the loss of blood during the monthly period. Some women lose a lot of blood during their period and they have to be closely monitored and replenished if needed. 

Financial implications of period poverty 

There are financial implications for both the woman experiencing period poverty and the society. TSS as we know, can be fatal in some cases and some infections can lead to MRSA which can be difficult to treat. Thankfully, healthcare has improved over the decades and most of the conditions are easy to treat but there is still the cost of treatment for the individual and the overstretched healthcare systems, not to mention lost wages for the woman. Prevention is always better and cheaper than cure or treatment. Also, a happier society is a better society, we can reduce the mental overload of period poverty on women by simply providing period basic needs. 


Two cartoon hands holding a heart with a pink cloud in the backdrop

How we are tackling Period Poverty at Maeves 

Biology does not stop because the environment or the financial situation of a woman is not favorable. Our women need help and we must do our best to meet those basic needs. At Maeves Pads, we are committed to alleviating period poverty for as many women in need of period care as we can reach. That is why our giving back program is targeted towards helping women in underserved communities both locally and abroad. For every purchase you make at Maeves Pads, we allocate 1% of it towards pad donation. We hope to give more in the future as the business grows. 

How you can help

For every purchase you make, 1% of the sale goes towards sanitary pad donation to underserved communities and agencies within our communities and far beyond. Our goal is to make the donations each month so we can meet the women’s monthly needs. Join us so we can fight period poverty together. 

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