Sanitary protection for school girls

Since I had Cygnet my periods have been a lot heavier than they were before I had a baby.  One of you commented on my blog post about the clitoris that your orgasms have been different since you gave birth.  I don’t know why periods and orgasms might be different after childbirth –  I haven’t done my research yet, but I do know that on the first day of my period each month I wish I had shares in Tampax tampons.

By pure coincidence, it was the first day of my period when I read the news story about sanitary protection for school girls.  School girls in Leeds have been truanting when they have their periods because they don’t have access to sanitary towels and tampons.  I had just spent the day at work needing to change my saturated tampon every 30 minutes and squirming uncomfortably towards the end of a two hour meeting as I became aware that my tampon was leaking.  Too much detail?  I know, I’m sorry.

sanitary protection for school girls

The school girls’ stories of using sellotape to stick toilet paper to their knickers and of shoving an old sock in  their underwear resonated more than they would have done had I not been having a period-from-hell day.  I applaud the teachers who had been buying sanitary protection for their pupils so that they would have the confidence to come to school.  These teachers are great, but they shouldn’t have to do that.  There is now a fundraising campaign to buy sanitary protection for school girls.

We tend to think that lack of access to proper sanitation and the stigma surrounding menstruation only inhibits young women in third world countries.  If you told me that school girls had been truanting at the time of their periods I would naïvely assume you were referring to school girls in sub-Saharan Africa, in India, in Iran, in Muslim countries.  It wouldn’t even occur to me that the lack of sanitary protection was holding girls back in Western countries. 

Delve a little deeper and you’ll find that it is not just school girls who suffer from not having access to proper sanitary protection each month.  Bloody Good (and I applaud them for their Bloody Good name) are a charity that provides sanitary protection for asylum seekers.  Bloody Good argue that asylum seekers have enough to worry about without having to worry about their period as well. 

Imagine what it must be like to be homeless and to have your period.  Homeless shelters regularly give out condoms but they do not provide free sanitary towels and tampons. The Homeless Period believes that tampons and towels should be available through homeless shelters in the same way that the government provides condoms.

Next month, as I change my tampon for the twelfth time in as many hours, I won’t be sitting on the toilet thinking about buying shares in Tampax tampons, I will be donating some instead.  I will be donating tampons to my sisters who really need them.

P.S.  This isn’t a collaborative or a sponsored post. My heavy period made me realise the importance of sanitary protection for school girls … and for asylum seekers … and for homeless women … and for all women if women are to realise their potential. 

Sparkles & Stretchmarks Sunday Best
Accidental Hipster Mum
My Random Musings


  1. March 19, 2017 / 12:45 pm

    Great article! We have done a project at work where we donated handbags or toiletry bags full of sanitary products and donated them to women’s refuges as its one of the major things that don’t get donated! Good on you for raising awareness!

    • thesingleswan
      March 19, 2017 / 10:51 pm

      Thanks Katie. Pen x

  2. March 19, 2017 / 12:51 pm

    Hi, I heard about this on the news earlier in the week. You would never associate periods with truancy and it is sad that these young girls can not have access to an essential product. Lets hope the campaign gets the support it needs, Chloe #SundayBest

    • thesingleswan
      March 19, 2017 / 10:51 pm

      Thanks Chloe. I will be donating. Pen x

  3. March 20, 2017 / 2:15 am

    Wow! I never thought about the need of tampons and pads! Probably because its something our society thinks is too icky to talk about. Next time I buy my pads, I’ll grab another box to donate!

    • thesingleswan
      March 20, 2017 / 8:28 pm

      Me too. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      March 20, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Thanks for your comment Laura. Pen x

  4. March 20, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    Great post! Sanitary products for homeless women has been something I’ve supported for quite a while – glad to hear there’s a similar project for asylum seekers.

    I think that the scrapping of VAT on sanitary products is a big step forward, but that there still needs to be some sort of control on the price – which is prohibitive for many people.

    Cee Arr recently posted…Nerd Church – Planet Earth is Blue…My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      March 20, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      You are right. I am always staggered at how expensive sanitary protection is. Pen x

  5. March 20, 2017 / 1:03 pm

    Wow! This is something most of us just take for granted. Periods were bad enough in school and that was with tampon/pad dispensers in all the bathrooms. I can’t even imagine.


    • thesingleswan
      March 20, 2017 / 8:25 pm

      True. thanks for your comment. Pen x

  6. March 20, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    This is brilliant. My daughter is 11 and this is a topic I will be facing soon. Whilst I can provide these things for my daughter at home, what if she runs out at school? What if she doesn’t want to put extra sanitary towels in her bag in case someone sees and she gets teased? It is great that this subject is being highlighted.
    Ali Duke recently posted…My Mother’s Day WishlistMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      March 20, 2017 / 8:22 pm

      Ali, I am sure it will be okay. You will buy your daughter sanitary protection and I have no doubt that you will remind her. She’ll learn to hide a tampon up her sleeve. Pen x

  7. March 21, 2017 / 9:04 pm

    Well done for bringing it up. Periods are still such a taboo and my sister suffers from endometriosis which is never spoken about amongst her friends because they all assume it’s a ‘period issue.’ Why don’t we talk about it more? Why don’t we speak up? It’s always such a secret and it shouldn’t be. #RVHT

    • thesingleswan
      March 22, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Hi Emma,

      thanks for your comment. There are so many things that we should be able to speak about more freely. Periods are one. Endometriosis is another. Pen x

  8. March 22, 2017 / 3:19 pm

    I had no idea this was an issue for school girls here – it’s shocking that it’s reached the point where girls play truant due to their period. As if having a period at all isn’t stressful enough as a teen without the added possibility of an embarrassing leak!
    Thanks for linking up to #AnythingGoes 🙂
    Random Musings recently posted…Blogger Club UK Linky #60My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      March 22, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Hi Debbie,

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

  9. March 25, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Oh my God, I had no idea! In LEEDS! I’m from Grimsby and it’s always on the news for being a poor areas, Leeds has always seemed quite affluent to me. I had no idea this was happening!

    I recently attended a talk from the woman who runs our local women’s shelter and she encourages people to make boxes containing things like pads, fresh knickers, toothbrushes etc. I can’t imagine having a terrible time and then having a period come along and make it so much worse. Periods ruin my normal times as it is. I’m going to look into how to donate.


    Thanks for linking up
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum) recently posted…Choosing Disabled Shower EnclosuresMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      March 25, 2017 / 10:00 pm

      Hi Jenny,

      Thank you for your comment. I hope you manage to donate. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      March 26, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Hi Sian,

      thanks for your comment. Pen x

  10. March 26, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    It’s terrible this is such an issue. But I guess they are expensive and it can be embarrassing for young girls. Hopefully there’s more people who will bee able to donate #brilliantblogposts

    • thesingleswan
      March 27, 2017 / 8:43 pm

      Thanks Emma. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      March 30, 2017 / 9:58 pm

      Thank you Vicki. Pen x

  11. March 30, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Great post! I hadn’t heard this story about UK teenagers, but it is so sad. I have never even considered this before, but it must be awful! Thank you for raising awareness of this important issue and I hope that the government get their act together and start providing #brillblogposts
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Five Incredibly Useful Linky Tips For BloggersMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      March 30, 2017 / 9:55 pm

      Thanks Lucy. X

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