Why Are Sanitary Pads And Tampons Expensive Despite Being A Necessity?

Have you ever wondered why sanitary pads and tampons cost so dearly?

Nearly every single woman between the ages of 13 and 51 menstruates at least once a month. Each menstrual cycle lasts an average of three to seven days. If you take the total number of monthly periods women experience for 38 days, it adds up to approximately 2280 days or 6.3 years. In those 38 years, women and girls need menstrual support in the form of sanitary hygiene products.

Some women even argue that public restrooms should provide free sanitary hygiene products. Others argue that women should get free menstrual support supplies because men do not have a similar expense to cater for. However, it is almost impossible to provide free pads and tampons because making them costs money.

What Is The Cost Of A Menstrual Period?

Sanitary pads and tampons make the bulk of sanitary hygiene products most women use for their menstrual cycles. However, many other menstrual support products are also available, with some being more popular than others. They include menstrual cups, panty liners, reusable period underwear, and panty liners. Menstrual period expenses are inevitable, just as having access to the support products is.

Period hygiene products come in different sizes, shapes, and for different functions. The products also differ from one product to the next. Many countries levy taxes on sanitary pads, which is one of the reasons for their high costs. However, some states are trying to repeal sanitary pads and tampons tax to give women some reprieve. Another factor that contributes to the high period maintenance is that most of the products are not reusable.

So, how much does each type of sanitary product cost?

Sanitary Pads and tampons can cost anywhere from $1.50 to $15, depending on the brand, kind, size, absorbent level, and other factors.  Australian women spend approximately $17 monthly on sanitary products, which equates to $204 annually and $5,100 over a lifetime. Today, many women prefer using organic sanitary pads and organic tampons to conventional products.

Even though there is a misconception that organic products are more expensive, the truth is they are not. If they are, the difference is minimal. Take, for example, regular Tampax tampons vs. organic tampons. One piece of conventional tax tampon costs anything from 7 to 17 pence, depending on the brand. A piece of organic tampon costs an average of 14 pence.

Most women prefer using sanitary pads to other products because they feel more comfortable. Women also prefer pads to tampons because they do not have to insert them inside their vagina. There are different types of sanitary pads, with some being more costly than others are.

Examples of sanitary pads

  • Anion Sanitary Pads

Anion pads are the latest entry into the market of hygiene sanitary pads. They contain an anion strip that contains negative ions meant to fight and prevent infections and cure many other health issues. Anion pads are highly absorbent as they have several layers, they are soft and comfortable, construction is 100% breathable organic cotton, and biodegradable. Anion pads do not come cheap.

  • Regular sanitary pads

Women with regular period flow prefer to use regular sanitary pads. The level of absorbency of these pads is moderate. Today, organic cotton sanitary pads are a favorite for many women because their construction material is natural and biodegradable.

  • Maxi pads

Super pads are another favorite with women that experience heavy monthly flows.

  • Overnight pads

Women prefer wearing lengthier overnight pads at night to avoid getting up to change their sanitary napkins. Besides supporting more coverage, overnight pads do not leak, and they are discreet. However, they are slightly more expensive than regular pads.

The above sanitary pads come with adhesive wings that provide more leakage free support and keep the pad from sliding or bumping.

The Most Effective Alternatives to Tampons and Sanitary Napkins Available

If you want to save money on sanitary pads or tampons, you can opt for the following two alternatives.

  • Period underwear

Period underwear is a washable and reusable undergarment that a woman can use for a long period if taken care of properly. Some women, though, prefer to use period underwear during their light flow days. They are cost-effective, eco-friendly, and a great option for those that do not like inserting any menstrual product into their vaginas. 

A pair of period underwear costs an average of between $15 and $50. The cost also depends on the brand, materials used, and level of absorbency. Though they might seem costly to buy, eventually, they save money since you can reuse the same pairs of underwear for all your subsequent menstrual cycles.

  • Menstrual cups

Menstrual cups are another cost-effective period support solution that women can use for their entire life. You can use a menstrual cup for up to 10 years before you replace it. The price of one menstrual cup ranges from 25 to 50 dollars, depending on the size and brand.

Why Choose Organic Sanitary Products Over Conventional Regular Products?

Many women today are choosing organic over non-organic sanitary products because of their benefits. Furthermore, the cost disparities between the two are minimal and not enough reason not to switch. Some of the benefits of switching to organic are as follows:

  • They are biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Organic tampons and sanitary pads are made from 100% organic cotton
  • They do not contain any harmful chemicals or artificial fragrance, which might cause infections and allergic reactions
  • They have high absorbency
  • Many of them are cost-efficient

Should Sanitary Pads Be Available Freely In Every Public Women’s Restroom?

Many women can recount several occasions when the menses caught them unawares. A visit to the public restrooms when in this situation will only provide you with free tissue paper, which begs the question; shouldn’t sanitary pads be free too? The reasons why many women think that sanitary pads should be freely accessible in public bathrooms are:

  • Buying menstrual products is not cheap, and states should offer them freely especially for those that cannot afford them
  • Saves the environment
  • They would save women caught unawares with a flow

Free supplies will help to save them the embarrassment of possible leakage leading to blood stained clothes. Providing free sanitary pads also minimizes the shame and agony of going around asking for period support from other women.

Many women caught off-guard will almost likely end up disposing of their stained underwear because they could not find any period support from a pubic bathroom. All the stained underwear ends up in landfills, which add to pollution, especially if the material is not biodegradable.

Wrapping up

Sanitary hygiene products, the bulk of which are pads and tampons, are a necessity and not a choice, yet they cost too much. The cost is something that bothers almost every woman. Moreover, some girls from certain developing countries cannot even access hygiene sanitary pads and tampons because of their cost. The provision of free and easily available sanitary pads and tampons can assist those who menstruate save large sums of money throughout their menstruating life. Making the products freely accessible or cheaper may also alleviate stress, especially for those that cannot afford to buy sanitary hygiene products and reduce waste.