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Feminine hygiene products (also called menstrual hygiene products) are personal care products used by women, for menstruation, vaginal discharge, and other bodily functions related to the vulva and vagina.

These products are either disposable or reusable. Sanitary napkins (American English) or sanitary towels (British English), tampons, and pantiliners are disposable feminine hygiene products. Menstrual cups, cloth menstrual pads and period panties are the major categories of reusable feminine hygiene products.

Products meant to "cleanse" the area of the vulva or inside of the vagina, such as feminine deodorants, douche, feminine powders, feminine soaps, and feminine wipes are also considered "feminine hygiene" products.



Society and cultureEdit

In low-income countries, womens’ choices of menstrual hygiene materials are often limited by the costs, availability and social norms.[1]

Costs and taxEdit

The cost of commercial products for menstrual management is considered to be unacceptably high for many women. At least half a million women across the world do not have enough money to adequately afford these products. This can result in missing school or even dropping out.[2] In 2015 a petition was put forward in England seeking the elimination of the 5% "tampon tax". The government voted in favour but it has yet to be implemented due to Brexit complications. In the United States, nine states have eliminated the tampon tax, and seven states have introduced legislation. In January 2018, California rejected a proposal to eliminate tampon tax.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ UNESCO (2014). Puberty Education & Menstrual Hygiene Management - Good Policy and Practice in health Education - Booklet 9. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, France, p. 32
  2. ^ "Could this be the first country to end 'period poverty'?". Retrieved 2 May 2018. 
  3. ^ "Women get their periods every month — and it's incredibly expensive". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2 May 2018.