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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?

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!

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?

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.

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

Fakebook... SERIOUSLY??! shock

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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.

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

catch various pattern ideas here

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 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 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.

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....

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.

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!

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.

pumpkinsweetie Thu 04-Apr-13 01:22:13

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.

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

pumpkinsweetie Thu 04-Apr-13 01:03:33

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

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.

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...

PotteringAlong Wed 03-Apr-13 21:31:45

free sample of a moon cup type thingy here

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.

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.

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