to think that sanitary towels/tampons should be free?

(144 Posts)
marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 16:59:09

I mean, we cant help having periods, it happens, nothing we can do about it. 9apart from the pill or a couple of other methods to restrict/stop them, but generally.....

its like with babies theres the choice of pampers (still expensive) or the old fashioned terrys, (and they eventually grow and dont need them any more)but periods cant be helped.

i know there are the cheap supermarket normal flow ones but for heavier the cheapest i could find today was a pack of 10 for £1.99.(and this was in asda) and I get a lot of periods, every few days.

if not entirely free then what?

stressyBessy22 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:01:18

so should bog roll be free too? and food and gas and housing?

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 02-Apr-13 17:01:19

Maybe subsidised for those of us with flow issues? Mine are stupidly heavy and I haven't really found a hormonal contraceptive I've got on with.

TentativeWhistleBlower Tue 02-Apr-13 17:01:22

I suppose they could have a system where if you had really heavy or really frequent periods, you could go to the doctor and get it confirmed and get a prescription for them?

ParadiseChick Tue 02-Apr-13 17:02:58

They could at least be bloody VAT free!

Luxury my arse.

PollyEthelEileen Tue 02-Apr-13 17:03:15

YABU. What a peculiar notion.

yousankmybattleship Tue 02-Apr-13 17:04:03

Why should they be free? Should toilet roll be free too? Or food? After all, I can't help getting hungry....!

Letitsnow9 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:04:06

People used to be able to get them on the nhs, not sure if they still do them. I remember they were for people who had very heavy periods but I don't think many used them as they weren't comfy.

Still18atheart Tue 02-Apr-13 17:04:16

I think they should be VAT free.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 02-Apr-13 17:05:03

It's like saying first aid kits should be free. People can't help having accidents.

Anyway, go to Home Bargains for your sanitary protection. Large pads are cheap there.

ParadiseChick Tue 02-Apr-13 17:05:57

Have you tried a mooncup?

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 17:06:09

Possibly women should get an extra 5-10 pounds benefit per month to cover them if unemployed.

Have you tried a mooncup?

FFS this is the ultimate in entitlement!
Why in gods name should the state pay for bloody s

Sanitary protection?

Smudging Tue 02-Apr-13 17:08:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lakeofshiningwaters Tue 02-Apr-13 17:10:17

YANBU they are very expensive and only one sex has to buy them. Perhaps not free but certainly VAT free.

Am I the only one thinking if you're having periods every few days you should see your GP - has it always been this way?

wonkylegs Tue 02-Apr-13 17:11:58

I don't think they should be free, there are lots of necessities (food, heat, water, shelter) that aren't! But agree they should be zero rated for VAT as they are def' not a luxury item!

There is no way they should have VAT! I don't undertstand why you wouldn't be able to get protection for heavy periods prescribed. That is a medical problem if it is too heavy or frequent.

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 17:23:01

Razors are VAT free I think so I think sanitary products should be VAT free.

However have you heard of a mooncup? I've wanted to try one for ages but never have got round to it.
Sounds gross but its like a small flexible cup that you insert in your vagina when you are on your period, and you just take it out empty, wash and reinsert it.
Apparently they are safer to use than tampons, and no cases of that toxo thing have ever been reported using a mooncup.

BarredfromhavingStella Tue 02-Apr-13 17:25:29

Not free but definitely VAT free.

Theicingontop Tue 02-Apr-13 17:26:40

One word, mooncup! And I think they should be prescribed on the NHS. Just think about how much landfill waste could be prevented.

If you really wanted to, OP, you could have 'free' sanitary towels. Disposable isn't the only way to go.

crashdoll Tue 02-Apr-13 17:28:16

If they were free, they'd probably be really shitty quality. Also, I'd much prefer prescription medication to be free over sanitary products. I have a pre-payment certificate but it's still an expense.

Flobbadobs Tue 02-Apr-13 17:28:36

Washable pads or mooncup. It'll save you a lot in the long term!

CloudsAndTrees Tue 02-Apr-13 17:30:01

Of course they shouldn't be free. What a ridiculous notion.

They should be tax free though, there is no need for the government to earn money from sanpro.

marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 17:30:15

mooncup? er no thanx. not for me.

point taken about bog roll and stuff, nothing like that should be expensive.

i did ask for alternative suggestions.

GP cant do anyhting about my 'flow',btw. ive had present lot non-stop since Jan this year. long story.

or as someone said at least on prescription. or vat free.

i just know, apart from me a number of women who have frequent hevies and it ends up costing a small fortune.

incidentally i also have allergies to most pads, something in the material so can only wear the one make.

was just a wonderment.......

SarahStratton Tue 02-Apr-13 17:31:41

They should most definitely NOT be taxed. FGS it's archaic paying VAT on bloody sanpro.

gingeme Tue 02-Apr-13 17:32:34

mooncup, mooncup, mooncup , mooncup mooncup, mooncup

PhyllisDoris Tue 02-Apr-13 17:32:58

You could always go back to using rags and a safety pin, and wash them out each night. hmm

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 17:34:28

Have you been bothering your GP, that doesn't sound right and I was given hormones to sort my cycle out after a month of bleeding, let alone 3. Make sure they know how long this has been going on for. If the first one is unhelpful ask to see another.

Theicingontop Tue 02-Apr-13 17:34:30

Then I definitely think you should look into washable pads, OP. They're a lifesaver for people with allergies to the chemicals in disposable pads and tampons.

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 17:34:43

I agree that there should be zero VAT on the damn stuff. It's a ridiculous notionsad

Awizardsstaffhasaknobontheend Tue 02-Apr-13 17:35:00

Could we have free glasses and dental care first please before we start on sanpro! How about men and shaving? What about soap for washing. YABTotallyunreaslisticandU.

hugoagogo Tue 02-Apr-13 17:35:23


Reusables might work out cheaper for you and are certainly more comfortable.

I made my own, for very little money, so even cheaper. I haven't spent one penny on sanitary protection (confused why do they call the that?) since 2005.

mooncups are uncomfortable and leak ime.

what are the alternatives?

foreverondiet Tue 02-Apr-13 17:36:20


I haven't bought any sanitary protection for 10 years.... Apart from some post natal sanitary towels.

First I had a mooncup which is. One off purchase, then I got a mirena (paid for by nhs) and so no more periods!

Does seem ironic for me that pull ups for my 7 year old cuts me £££ but medication to stop night time wetting us free....

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 02-Apr-13 17:36:44

I think they should, if they give away condoms for free they should give away tampons and pads.

PeachActiviaMinge Tue 02-Apr-13 17:38:01

Quick search Directgov Epetitions found this which calls for sanitary protection to be VAT free but only has 2 signatures. Perhaps instead of complaining here try making a difference by signing it?

marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 17:39:03

okay okay okay!!!!!!smile

Flobbadobs Tue 02-Apr-13 17:40:45

Mooncup overload there? grin

marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 17:40:52

brandy're right.

although there are reasonable points about bog rolls and stuff.

juniper9 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:42:40

Did you know tax on sanitary and maternity pads is 5%, but on incontinence pads it's 0%?

The stuff you learn...


marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:55

peachjust went to sign that petition (didnt know it existed btw, did anyone else?).
maybe we could all do that?

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 17:43:59

Brandy they give away condoms in the hope to save on unwanted pregnancies, not so people can have fun sex. Obviously anyone sensible will only have fun sex with protection but there are plenty who might save on protection and then cost the state a fortune in pregnancy costs.

If women don't wear "san pro" then the only damage is to our own clothing, much less of a public issue.

SW1XMother Tue 02-Apr-13 17:45:14

Buy a mooncup.

Would you use a sponge? You wont be allergic to them as they are chemical free and you can re-use.

I found they made my periods lighter and less painful too, weirdly.

sydlexic Tue 02-Apr-13 17:45:54

I think all of my clothes should be free, I am not allowed to walk around naked or will be arrested.

motherhen1949 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:46:48

You could always use moss confused or a cork

McNewPants2013 Tue 02-Apr-13 17:47:45

I think disposable pads and tampons are a luxury.

Mooncups and other reusable products are available and will pay for themselves after a few months.

Flobbadobs Tue 02-Apr-13 17:47:56

Signed the petition.

Theicingontop Tue 02-Apr-13 17:48:05

Genuinely thought 'sanpro' was a brand 'til just now.


MsBella Tue 02-Apr-13 17:49:09

Well I definitely think they should be getting handed out more like condoms! You can buy condoms but you can also get a load of them for free. How about a bowl of free sanitary towels in doctors etc. And schools should give a load of samples out in sex education, different sizes, with/without wings etc. I was using toilet paper for quite a long while when I was an awkward teenager shock

Chocovore Tue 02-Apr-13 17:49:22

Mooncups are a revelation. In think they should be given out free.

Not everyone can use a mooncup.

Petition signed.

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 02-Apr-13 17:51:30

I don't think san pro is a luxury or can only damage our own clothing. It is a necessity and I wonder what would happen if every single woman refused to wear san pro and damaged public stuff like benches or bus seats ect ect.

MsBella Tue 02-Apr-13 17:52:38

Oh and also if anyones interested-
I got some free softcups -haven't tried em yet

DolomitesDonkey Tue 02-Apr-13 17:55:04

You seem to be paying way over the odds. Why aren't you shopping for deals and bogof? My entire bathroom is furnished by bogof. wink

iZombie Tue 02-Apr-13 17:56:36

I have signed.

marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 17:58:20

wish I could dolomites but have allergies to a lot of things. as does dc.

and DCs going to start soon too, shes already getting little 'niggles' at 12.

ComposHat Tue 02-Apr-13 18:00:41

VAT free yes...but not free altogether. If you want free towels make your own from old rags

I can't help having crap eyesight but sould I get free glasses?

Bonsoir Tue 02-Apr-13 18:01:59

I cannot help needing to eat and drink and have a roof over my head... but food and shelter are not free.

Life comes with costs. Complain to your parents!

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 18:02:50

Brandy I didn't say it was a luxury, its just not the same level of public health problem as unwanted pregnancy. We could all not use loo roll because the government isn't providing it and it would also be unpleasant. Where do you draw the line?

Fanjounchained Tue 02-Apr-13 18:03:17

MsBella just signed up for those freebies, thanks...

I bought a Mooncup a few years back but can't get on with it. It's fine when you're at home and if things get a wee bit messy you're right by a sink and can wash your hands but when I was at work or in a public loo it was a nightmare. Can anyone enlighten me how you go about rinsing it or washing blood off your hands in this situation...I must be missing something really obvious...

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Tue 02-Apr-13 18:05:30

They should be vat free, razors for men and they don't have to shave, but sanitary products are essential.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 18:08:26

Fanjo I wipe both the mooncup and my fingers with loo roll in the cubicle. Obviously hands need washing thoroughly afterwards but there is no visible blood when you leave the cubicle.

Think you're only supposed to do this once without a proper rinsing though.

Scholes34 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:11:36

VAT free yes, absolutely free no. The quality would be crap. Think back to what free NHS specs looked like.

Fanjounchained Tue 02-Apr-13 18:14:02

MrsHoarder I always meant to keep some wipes in my bag for a quick clean up but forgot to. Might give the mighty Mooncup a go again as it seems better than towels. Hate those bloody things but hate tampons even more...

SisterMonicaJoan Tue 02-Apr-13 18:17:24

Petition signed

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 18:20:20

Can you use the mooncup post birth? Just wondering, as most sanitary pads make me sore, especially the ones with the 'waterproofing' finish, and I know you can't use tampons post birth.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 02-Apr-13 18:20:31

Marj - naice products go on bogof too.

MrsHoarder Tue 02-Apr-13 18:23:53

Glossy no and I suspect you really won't want to.

Maternity pads should be ok though, they're intentionally "basic", no ultra-absorbancy, scents or waterproofing.

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 18:24:57

Thanks Mrs you can tell I've never done this baby thing before lol.

pukka84 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:35:00

I have just had a period from hell. Soaking through a super tampon and pad per hour. I managet to get a pack of 48 tampax super plus for £2.75 in superdrug.
But no I do not think they should be free. The nhs simply cannot afford it. Well this was back in feb. So find an offer and stock up.

yaimee Tue 02-Apr-13 18:36:38

Also do 20 for 78p in super and super plus!

EmpressMaud Tue 02-Apr-13 18:37:39

Yes agree, washable sanitary towels and/or mooncups.

yaimee Tue 02-Apr-13 18:39:31

Should say aldi!

marjproops Tue 02-Apr-13 18:40:28

Theyre not so naice! tesco value or always ultra are the only ones i can use but tesco value (okay 15p a pack not bad but as i have to have them everyday it adds up). but always ultra are the dearer ones.

ill try docs again definitely about something on prescription.

meanwhile niagara falls continues.........

Gingersnap88 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:47:11

They should certainly be VAT free! Moon cups should be free wink

midastouch Tue 02-Apr-13 18:51:09

It is unfair than men dont have the expenses that we do!

sweetiepie1979 Tue 02-Apr-13 18:51:37

When I was young I worked in boots and I saw a girl stealing sanitary towels, I stopped, looked then looked away because I felt so sorry for her she really looked like she couldn't afford them. It was all caught on camera and I was sacked and they made me empty my pockets before I left just in case I had been stealing.

yaimee Tue 02-Apr-13 18:54:33

Aww no sweetiepie I'd have dime the same as you, poor girl!
Can't believe you got sacked, your boss must have had no compassion at all!

OMG you were sacked?

montage Tue 02-Apr-13 18:59:35

If men had periods sanitary protection would undoubtedly be far cheaper.

KayHunt Tue 02-Apr-13 19:00:52

I have ordered some lovely cloth sanpro, its worth looking in to.

Sanpro should be VAT free. I really don't know why it isn't.

StuntGirl Tue 02-Apr-13 19:03:46

Should be VAT free for definite.

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Tue 02-Apr-13 19:23:44

Washable sanitary towels? I can't imagine them being comfy and I don't fancy washing blood soaked towels, tbh with five kids I have enough washing anyway without adding to it!

I have thought about moon cup but sometimes even tampons are uncomfortable, I get very 'bruised' feeling when on my period, along with theusual heavy, uncomfortableness and the only tampons I can use comfortably are the tampax pearl ones, any others hurt and I go running and swimming etc so washable sanitary pads just a non starter.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Tue 02-Apr-13 19:38:49

I agree that there should be no tax on them.

I use reuseable pads and they are very comfy.

otoh, I find the idea of shoving a mini plastic sink plunger right up myself really offputting. grin I would rather rinse out a bit of blood than suction cup my cervix grin

Smudging Tue 02-Apr-13 20:09:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Tue 02-Apr-13 20:11:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ihearsounds Tue 02-Apr-13 20:28:09

You cannot get sanitary stuff on prescription. You used to be able to years ago, but they stopped it.

It should be VAT free. Not entirely free though.

Voodika Wed 03-Apr-13 11:58:42

They must make a fortune on the VAT on sanitary products. Never thought about it before but I wonder how much it is?

If you go on a pill and take it back to back then that would be the free option I guess.

Yes, you should pay for sanitary products, but they should be VAT-free.
It's insane that you have to pay VAT on something that you really can't do without. I'd like to see how well it would go down if we walked around with blood dripping down our legs.

I've made a shedload recently - I bought a couple for a template and have made loads more. They're not really that difficult if you have an overlocker. And most of them I've used old fabric I already had, so have worked out quite cheap.

ProudAS Wed 03-Apr-13 12:19:02

Mooncups are highly recommended.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 13:31:37

Umm, but sanitary towels are really cheap confused

Tampons a bit more.

Scrubber Wed 03-Apr-13 13:34:11

Mooncups are uncomfortable, I despaired until I tried a Me Luna. They're fab!

HoHoHoNoYouDont Wed 03-Apr-13 13:38:01

They'd be free if men had periods. I couldn't see IDS forking out for them out of his £53 budget grin

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 03-Apr-13 13:44:31

hugo you make your own sanitary pads? How?

they're not really cheap.
they cost about £2 for 14. you need two packs per period (i usually need a bit more) which is £4 a month.
there are 15 period months in a year.
that's £60 a year just on catching blood.

it's not as expensive as a lot of things, but it's still money to spend.

Feminine Wed 03-Apr-13 13:52:15

Well I do have very light periods unique perhaps that is where I make my savings? grin

midastouch Wed 03-Apr-13 14:01:04

I use 2 double packs per period sine having DCs. They're 3.85 each not on offer, that's a lot of money 13 times a year! I didn't know they were taxed that's really disgusting!

it is very costly. my periods have been irregular since 2000. in 2008 i spent 8 months bleeding nonstop... and since then they can last 3-4 weeks at a time, with a few days/1week free in between, and can be so heavy that i need to change my towel AND my clothes after 30 mins

no doctor that i see will do anything about it as dh and i have been ttc since early 2009. yeah... try getting fucking pregnant when you only have on average, a week free to have sex every month angry

im 31... i dont think i have much time left sad

GreenEggsAndNichts Wed 03-Apr-13 14:18:07

Ones at Aldi are very good and very affordable compared with other own brands iirc.

Should definitely be free from VAT.

I flew through the things when I was on warfarin. I even moved into the shock super plus category. Plus added towels.

SnoogyWoo Wed 03-Apr-13 14:20:59

The government is already putting about £90 billion on its credit card a year so I dont think they will be able to afford it!

milktraylady Wed 03-Apr-13 14:21:53

Just signed the e-petition & put a link on my Facebook page.

Can't believe razors have no vat & sanitary does. Hairy face, who cares; blood everywhere, think that's an issue! confused

mumnosbest Wed 03-Apr-13 14:25:06

VAT free definately. Is it right mens razors are VAT free and women's aren't as they are a luxury? I've bought mens since I was told this as a teen and they do seem to be cheaper.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Apr-13 14:30:38

InLoveWithDavidTennant your GP is pretty poor to not help you with that, especially if you've been having trouble TTC. No scans or blood tests to check for the underlying cause? I had a GP who was a bit dismissive of "women's problems", but fortunately saw another one who helped.

Have you read this NHS page and gone in to ask for a referral?

LahleeMooloo Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:22

Yes cause handing out free stuff has worked out really well so far for our government...

KansasCityOctopus Wed 03-Apr-13 14:48:22

someone needs to post that petition separately!

MsBella Wed 03-Apr-13 19:11:13

Lahleemoo for fuck sake are you refering to benefits hmm

hugoagogo Wed 03-Apr-13 19:28:14

catch I used this pantyliner pattern 'tis easy and you can use old tshirts/sheets/towels so need to buy a lot of stuff, just a few snaps and some thread. You can also adapt the pattern, putting in more layers or making them longer for night or heavy days.

I made mine when dd was first at nursery I think & she starts secondary in september. grin

babyfirefly1980 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:53:50

I think they should be VAT free definately, they are not a luxury item and can't really understand why they are classed as such.

Emo76 Wed 03-Apr-13 19:59:32

I agree - they should be free. and if not, VAT free. Having periods is not a luxury or a choice. It is an utter disgrace that these items are taxed - why haven't any of the mainstream parties picked this as an "issue" - surely a potential vote winner with oooh say half the population?

MrsAceRimmer Wed 03-Apr-13 20:15:04

Have signed the petition and shared it on Facebook.
I use a mooncup, but night pads overnight.
Bloody ridiculous sanpro has VAT on it!

Snugglepiggy Wed 03-Apr-13 20:16:24

VAT free for sure.Was only lamenting earlier today how expensive it is to be a woman.Going through peri- menopause and some periods lasting three weeks and very heavy.I am sick to death of buying/ using sanitary products and dread to think over 40 years what the cost had been.

marjproops Wed 03-Apr-13 21:08:24

and in public loos the machines on the wall for you to buy a pad/tampon if you're caught short...the price just for ONE.

meditrina Wed 03-Apr-13 21:14:10

It's urban myth BTW that razors etc are free of VAT. So don't use it in serious argument.

meditrina Wed 03-Apr-13 21:19:04

VAT on sanprois already at a discounted rate of 5%, so again, be careful how you word what's being asked for.

Blankiefan Wed 03-Apr-13 21:27:28

Can you imagine how horrible they'd be if there wans no/less profit in them for the industry? That motivates constant product development and means we're not all using those huge thick "bricks" of pads you got when I was young... Or the ones with loops on the end and the garter belt thing my mum had to use...

IntheFrame Wed 03-Apr-13 21:28:47

Mens blades are really expensive.

Periods are only for women between 12 -50 and tampons are £1.20 for 20 in Tesco. People also tend to use their own, unlike...

..bog roll! Is used by everyone so costs me a fortune when people stay over.Twice the amount if they have a period too. Should be subsidised.

lottieandmia Wed 03-Apr-13 21:30:24

I think YABU, but then I've always had light infequent periods so maybe I wouldn't get it.

LynetteScavo Wed 03-Apr-13 21:31:06

We all need to eat. Basic food should be free.

I was genuinely shock as a child when I found out you had to pay for water.

And we all need warmth. Blankets should be free.

skrumle Wed 03-Apr-13 21:45:33

i use a femmecup - had less period pains as soon as i started using it, and over the year my periods have got lighter as well. no idea how that works but i LOVE it. seriously, finally get those tampon adverts featuring women rollerblading...

LahleeMooloo Thu 04-Apr-13 01:00:33

What I mean is that the government is in ££££ of debt and on the verge of bankruptcy, because of overspending, so we really shouldn't be looking to increase the burden on the state to provide more.

I agree, but sadly with this government that or anything else isn't going to be happening.
They are making so many cuts, some poor women may not be able to afford them the way things are heading sad

Heinz55 Thu 04-Apr-13 01:14:04

Well I reckon that OP Marj - and probably most of you, live in the UK where a visit to the doctor does not equal most of your weekly grocery bill and medicine is only free once you have spent €110 per month (each month - so you'd have to spend €120 monthly to get a €10 reduction!!); I have lived in Ireland for the past few years (moved from the UK) and have learned the hard way how WONDERFUL the NHS is. Free tampons???!!! that's so funny!
PS The government here is also €€€€€€€€€€€€'s in debt but not from trying to keep us alive and healthy unfortunately...maybe they'd consider free tampons though grin

I would agree heinz, but ole Cameron is trying to privatise the nhs too. So not too much into the near distant future that will be the case here too sad

Lets hope he doesn't get his hands on it, it may be fragile but its very well worth keeping. Without it i wouldn't have had the extra time with my young brother that is gave us.
Our family would have never afforded the treatment and care he was given and I'm truly thankful to the nhs for that and also for many other things like the births of my dc.

roundtheback Thu 04-Apr-13 01:28:48

VAT free, yes. Otherwise free, no.

Really wouldn't be happy if public funds were spent on this. It's no more essential than the other stuff human beings require, and should be providing for themselves. It's really not the remit of the state to provide everything everyone needs for free. That would clearly be insustainable.

Kytti Thu 04-Apr-13 04:55:23

Should def be VAT free. I mean, it's not like it really is 'rag-week' any more. Although, there's an idea for you if you want to save money!

Tortoiseontheeggshell Thu 04-Apr-13 05:04:20

In Australia, sanpro is not just taxed, it has a "luxury tax" applied (10% Goods & Services tax). $14,000 in revenue every year on sanitary products.

Condoms, on the other hand, are GST-free.

anonymosity Thu 04-Apr-13 06:32:13

I think you can get enormous sanitary pads for free from the GP. At least that was my experience (I was offered) many years ago.

Tampons appear to be a luxury, purchase at will....

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Apr-13 03:47:19

Washable sanitary towels? I can't imagine them being comfy and I don't fancy washing blood soaked towels, tbh with five kids I have enough washing anyway without adding to it!

I made my own, they are made of cotton & they are really (ridiculously) comfortable. It is like wearing fresh knickers, tbh. Instead of layers of plastic. You don't feel sweaty when it is hot, I don't suffer with thrush anymore. Most brands give me thrush, so I needed an alternative, haven't been able to use tampons since having dd1, so don't think a mooncup would do.

The washing is an excuse. I expect you wash underwear? Well you just put them in a laundry bag & wash them with the undies. Simple really.

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Apr-13 03:51:06

They're not really that difficult if you have an overlocker.

I don't have an overlocker, but still managed, so it can be done. smile. Infact I think I owned my sewing machine for a few weeks before I made mine, that is without any experience of sewing machine sewing too. Just found a basic recipe (as dh calls them) on the internet!

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Apr-13 04:08:49


I make mine slightly different to hugo...I used a shop bought saniatry towel, drew around it on hard cardboard, cut it out & use that as a template for the towel.

Used a liner (drew around it as before) and used that as a template for inserts.

I cut out material (cotton, fleece) for the outer towel, (2 parts per towel) and cut out inserts (terry towelling)

I use 2 pieces of terry for light days (3 or 4 for heavier), put them in the centre, between 2 pieces of the outer fabric & stitched straight through all layers twice (that is to keep the inserts in place, other wise they move) Then I stitched the out fabric together at the edges. I used a snap fastener to keep them in place. My first ones are rough & ready, but they do the job perfectly.

So mine look more like this

differentnameforthis Fri 05-Apr-13 04:12:50

catch various pattern ideas here

Gingefringe Fri 05-Apr-13 07:03:57

Well, my daughter's period started when we were on holiday in France a couple of weeks ago and a small packet of a well known brand of pads was 5 euro! Food for thought.

NandH Fri 05-Apr-13 07:25:39

when signing that petition make sure to click on the link in the email or your signature doesn't count!!

crazycatoholic Tue 19-Nov-13 13:41:13

I feel strongly that something should be subsidised with sanitary protection. With the basics for everybody there are subsidies, which as you've mentioned previously include benefits to cover the essential costs of shelter, warm, food and water, free NHS prescriptions to cover illness-related costs, free condoms, and free STI testing. This includes incontinence protection. And the Government are currently subsidising reusable nappies, and provide additional benefits for children. But, there is this extra cost just for women, and for all women of childbearing age, and that just isn't fair. If it was men that menstruated, I bet that that would be covered too!

To say that sanitary protection is only to protect our clothing, well surely nappies, incontinence products and loo roll in public loos are too? No, sanitary protection is for our dignity. I can bet that if we didn't have any, it wouldn't just be our clothing ruined, either. I would imagine there would be pools of blood left all over seats in public areas (private too!) and we'd find both us and men constantly trying to dodge the random stranger's bloody stuff. And then there is the extra cost that women would have to pay to clean or replace their clothing.

If you take the example of a teenage girl on £1 a week pocket money and parents that expect her to buy all her own toiletries as they're a 'luxury', then she may very well have to spend her entire month's pocket money just to have some dignity. Whereas, the same parents have a teenage son, and he can spend the whole £4 on whatever he likes! The same concept carries forward to later life, where some women unfortunately find themselves dependent on benefits. If benefits are only meant to cover the basic essentials, then either women aren't getting enough, or men are being overpaid? Either way, men have that little bit extra to spend on whatever they like every month, whereas women have this essential burden.

Something should change if our society wants to keep up the pretense of sexual equality. Threaten your GP that you'll get pregnant to stop your periods until they give you free sanitary protection (which, of course, the NHS will pick up the pieces for at a hugely inflated cost), take loo roll from hospitals and GP surgeries to use for sanitary protection (so the NHS are paying for sanitary protection), go on strike and leave bloody pools everywhere for men to dodge! Yes, they're extreme examples, but the men that run this company need to take notice.

In the meantime, I do think that reusable sanitary protection is a good idea, for our pockets and the environment. Not least because it seems to be a way to avoid paying VAT on being female! But, as mentioned previously, the Government do subsidise reusable nappies, so it is only fair to be subsiding reusable sanitary protection too. The whole idea of the scheme is to save the environment, right? Well, shouldn't they be doing the same for sanitary protection, at the very least to save the environment?? I'm really not sure how the amount of disposable nappies and disposable sanitary protection currently dumped in landfills compares, but they're surely in the same ballpark? Sure, babies use more nappies in the short-term, but then they grow up and stop using them. Women can use disposable sanitary protection, for say, an eighth to a quarter of their lives for 40 years, and that's a whole half of the population? It soon stacks up.

In conclusion, there are subsidies for every basic essential and every method of giving dignity back to people in this country, except this one area specific to women, and that just isn't fair. Something should change. I'm only in my 20s and I've already noticed this and it frustrates me, imagine how I'll feel after another 20-30 of essentially paying a tax on being female! A female allergic to normal sanitary protection at that, so not even via the cheapest available method! And yes, I have told numerous doctors about my allergy and they simply don't care. Any other allergy? They probably would. Female-specific allergy? No chance. I once rocked up to an STI clinic because of the state 'downstairs' was in due to this, and they confirmed that I'd had 'a severe allergic reaction to sanitary towels' and they just gave me some antihistamines and sent me on my way, dreading the next time I menstruated. Oh, and the state 'downstairs' was in, led to me developing a yeast infection on top, so that was another cost for them to treat and for me to worry about each month. Surely prevention is better than cure...? Nope, because I'm a woman and should just suck it up or pay for the priviledge of comfort and dignity hmm

Tried signing the petition, but it was closed.

mitchsta Tue 19-Nov-13 15:05:52

Free from VAT, yes. Completely free, no. We can't help our need for nutrients either, but we don't get our food for nothing.

Fakebook Tue 19-Nov-13 15:11:25

You can get free contraception to stop your periods. Nobody is forcing you to buy tampons and pads. You could use toilet tissue or cloths if you wanted.

Opalite Tue 19-Nov-13 16:03:57

Fakebook... SERIOUSLY??! shock

Manchesterhistorygirl Tue 19-Nov-13 16:06:58

Again, what if you don't react well to hormonal contraceptives? I'm currently trying microgynon and running two packs together resulted in a three week period. NOTHING else has agreed with me so Fakebook you might want to not be so clever with your remarks.

Twit Tue 19-Nov-13 16:14:24

Mine are free, I made my own.
But to be helpful, vat should not be added, it isn't exactly a luxury purchase is it?

Boaty Tue 19-Nov-13 17:08:18

I'd rather see glasses and dentures free.
We are just over the threshold for help. DH had his teeth removed because of cancer in his mouth and has dentures, they now need replacing, we can't afford them and both of us wear glasses. We can't see without them!
Teeth are needed to eat, glasses to see, both fairly useful!

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