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Period poverty lowers quality of life; women in 20s hit harder: study

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Period poverty must end now.

In NZ period products are free for school girls.

Could the Japanese government match this?

18 ( +26 / -8 )

The Japanese health authorities conducted their first survey on women suffering from "period poverty" as the coronavirus pandemic sheds more light on the issue, with its results released Wednesday showing women who struggle to buy menstrual products not only face emotional challenges but a decline in quality of life.

Groundbreaking study by Japanese medcal experts shows that women who lack the resources to obtain basic necessities face emotional challenges and poor quality of life.

LDP response: A big marketing contract to Dentsu to promote our "womenomics" initiative.

Another sign of Japan's decline into a late stage capitalist dystopia.

13 ( +17 / -4 )

Of course if blokes had regular wiping or plugging issues, such ‘poverty’ would be far more addressed.

9 ( +19 / -10 )

Maybe skipping on an iPhone or Starbucks might help them pay for something that should have priority. 40.1 percent were forced to cancel private outings it said, which means they have money to go out but no money to buy sanitary products, strange

2 ( +20 / -18 )

Maybe if some of the companies that produce these feminine products would stop advertising the hell out of them, paying large fees to talents and famous actresses, they could sell them at a cheaper price making it easier for all women to buy!

9 ( +15 / -6 )

40.1 percent were forced to cancel private outings it said, which means they have money to go out but no money to buy sanitary products, strange

No, it means they don't have the money to do both.

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

A few handbags or tapioca drinks less and you can save some money and put a supply for the next decade into the depot at home. I am not sure as a man, but there are quite some rumors that there’s even some free supply at selected places like restaurants, doctors’ and clinics, higher level department stores and shops, boutiques etc., but I can’t verify that, of course.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

Regarding reasons for not being able to afford sanitary products, 37.7 percent cited low income, while 28.7 percent said they simply did not have enough money to spend on themselves.

Sounds like a distinction without a difference unless they had to buy the latest iPhone so could not afford maxipads. But somehow I doubt that.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

means they have money to go out but

Last time I checked, going out was free.

no money to buy sanitary products, strange

You have no idea how costly that can be. That varies, in some cases, you don't need much, but many women get really complicated periods (for a while after childbirth, all the time due to a condition...), they need more specific products, larger quantities and that can be thousands of yen per month. Probably that should be counted as a medical expense.

19 ( +23 / -4 )

How much are we talking here? Seems one route is to provide them free at nurse’s office from junior high.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

coskuri,

Good points. Also, not covered in the article (and perhaps not by the survey itself) is the fact that in some cases sanitary products are not the only costs associated with menstruation. For example, sometimes painkillers or supplements are required for cramps, or women have to take time off from school/work etc.

Disclaimer: I'm a guy, so what would I know? (I do have sisters, though.)

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Scotland was the first country in the world to make period products available for free to girls/women who needed them. Japan should do the same.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

The government should provide a generic level of these on health insurance and in schools and universities. I suspect this would be best done without means testing, because that just adds lots of costly bureaucracy.

I'd imagine this would not cost much, because many women who can afford them would choose to buy upsold products with their own money.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

There just needs to be more education about reusable options. Pads and tampons are wasteful, a recurring cost and non-environmentally friendly. It's a bigger initial cost, but I use a single menstrual cup (about 2500 yen) along with a couple of washable leak-proof 'bousui' hygiene pants from Daiso (they were 330 yen). Then that's it. That's all you need from then on.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

its about priorities in life.

in this case about priority of spending of own money.

i believe main issue is that ladies are spending on unecessary things and easily culd save for these basic things costs no fortune...say skip brandofuku,iphone,gamecenters and instead of it buy stock of necassry hygienic items-this makes sense for me.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

49.6 percent of the respondents said they were unaware of support measures, such as free distribution of sanitary products by local municipalities.

This seems to be such a problematic issue in Japan. Resources are available but not properly relayed to the public so they end up struggling because they think no support is available or they don't know where to get the support. More transparency is needed when it comes to these services. Also, are sanitary products taxed in Japan? If so, they should do away with it. These are essential products; taxing them is unfair.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Coskuri

Last time I checked, going out was free

Yeah but when was the last time you went out and didn't spend any money?

Come on, be real. You go out and spend money on a train ticket, petrol or parking. While your friends are enjoying a latte or lunch you just sit there next to them with nothing because you got no money to spend, right? There is always a thousand yen or a little more to spend on hygiene products, if not live cheaper.

If I don't have money I don't go on private outings, period! So that's the same for women who don't have a little to spend on pads or tampons, I bet they're not starving to death. It's all about priorities

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

zichiToday  11:21 am JST

Matthew Hopkins

I am 70 but not in a nursing home and don't have any free diapers.

Neither did his mother-in-law.

I buy from the local store.

He bought from Amazon.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The survey found that period poverty causes emotional stress and forces those facing the situation to make sacrifices in their daily lives.

There is the problem.

Did a google search (have no idea of the cost) for tampons ¥800~¥1,000 for a pack of 32.

If I skipped a ¥100 yen a day I'd save about ¥2000 a month.

However, I do think that these items should be given freely at schools for girls whose families are having a rough time.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

A lot of information is missing in this article. For example any estimate about how many women are really unable to pay for sanitary products, how much money is required to buy a sufficient supply of such sanitary products per month for one female, or it is said income less than 3 million yen per household per year, but what means 'less' - how much 'less' than 250.000 yen per month? It's also a big difference about the region where you are living. For example Yen 150.000,- is not much money in the larger cities, especially if you have to pay rent, but it is a reasonable income in rural areas if you have your own house.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yes let's end this now. Also for Transgender women

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Always Ultra sanitary pads cost about ¥2500 a month person.

a mother with three daughters will cost ¥10000 a month. God help single mothers or families who have lost work due to COVID-19.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Average number of pads used per cycle 4-5.

I’d say that was nearer the average number used per day, not per cycle

4 ( +8 / -4 )

There is a lot more poverty in Japan than just menstrual products.

Food poverty (Japanese children not African) is prevalent enough for charities to run ads for donations in the media-surprised?

The wages in Japan aren’t competitive either.

Japan is on the decline...

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

It is shameful that the government charges consumption tax on such essentials. At the very least, make these things tax-free!

8 ( +11 / -3 )

so what is the cost per month would you say?

It will vary a lot from woman to woman of course, but if we take the average of five pads a day for six days (usually count it as seven days, but the last couple of days are usually lighter), that's 30 pads per month (assuming again a regular monthly cycle; it can be anything from 20 days to 35 or so). At ¥1000 a pack of 20, that's ¥ 1500 per cycle, 13 cycles a year is ¥19500. For a family with a couple of daughters, that's a pretty heavy daughter-tax that isn't levied on families with only sons (apart from the tax on Mum, of course)

Not sure that a pack of 20 would cost that much, though, especially if she shops around. If she's on a tight budget she won't be going for the fancy stuff, I imagine.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Cloth menstrual pads are cloth pads worn in the underwear to collect menstrual fluid. They are a type of reusable menstrual hygiene product, and are an alternative to disposable sanitary napkins or to menstrual cups.

government should give women several of these reusable menstrual pads free every year. It would lighten expense and help the environment.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

So some men are here trying to do mental gymnastics to debate why women don't need these products for free. What a surprise.

As inkochi said above, if men were the ones bleeding out of their orifices every month, suffering sometimes debilitating cramps or other reproductive health issues, and thus needed these ESSENTIAL items to deal with it all, we'd be finding pads and tampons in every single public bathroom for free, or maybe even handed out on the street like those tissue packets you can get from flyer distributors. -smdh-

P.S. As cleo aptly explained above, a lot of women cannot use just one pad per day, unless they want to soak it through and feel disgusting, possibly ruin their clothes. The cost of using these essential items adds up...and sometimes when you are struggling even just to put food on the table, it ends up being one of the first things to go despite being equally necessary to the woman's physical and mental health.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@zichi

Average number of pads used per cycle 4-5.

No no... that's per day, if you use pads. Plenty of women can't depending on what they're doing in a day as pads don't allow for certain clothes/activities.

I'd say if you have a light/regular period it's about 2000 yen a month-ish. Menstrual products are not only pads fellas. Probably at least two days of painkillers for your average woman as well.

Meanwhile I bled heavily for 18 months, every day when my daughter was just 2 years old, and required very expensive medication, hormones, weekly blood tests for iron levels, etc., supplements... because I have endometriosis... a surprisingly common and horrifically painful disease. Luckily I had the funds and a decent amount of support. Most people don't. If I only had 150000 yen a month to pay for everything in my life I would not have even remotely been able to afford even 1/4 of the menstrual products I required just to be able to leave the bloody house every day.

We get it bros, you can do basic math. Yeah if you have an exceedingly simple cycle and absolutely no mitigating factors you're probably looking at a 15$ a month expense. If you're conservatively one of the 25% of women who don't fall into this category then it's way more. Sorry to burst your bubble.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's a serious issue for everyone, not just women. I am a guy, and my wife, daughter, and sisters, all regularly suffer, crap us guys will NEVER understand, nor I believe be able to cope with, if we had them, the effects of their menstrual cycle, and I can not count how many times I got sent to the store to purchase pads and tampons.

That stuff costs money, and I agree that the companies making them should stop with advertising them as every single woman KNOWS what's out there, believe me, I bought the wrong one's ONCE, and had to go back and return them!

Companies COULD very well drop the prices and save women money!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

savethegaijin Today 06:13 pm JST

We get it bros, you can do basic math. Yeah if you have an exceedingly simple cycle and absolutely no mitigating factors you're probably looking at a 15$ a month expense. If you're conservatively one of the 25% of women who don't fall into this category then it's way more. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Excellent response.

The cost rises exponentially considering all the extras, such as pain meds, doctor visits, and buying several types of products - there are light days, normal days, heavy days, and then there are the days when you literally leave a trail of blood behind you. Multiply that by the number of women in the household, and costs rise fast.

Then there are lost wages for the days you can't move from the pain and are forced to take time off.

In this day and age, seeing that this info is out there for anyone who cares to look it up, you'd think you would not see so many ignorant comments.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yes it's difficult for women in poverty to afford sanitary products. But also rent, food, train fares, clothes, healthcare....and everything else.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Wow is the economy that bloody? Sanitary products should be free in schools!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The cost rises exponentially considering all the extras, such as pain meds, doctor visits, and buying several types of products - there are light days, normal days, heavy days, and then there are the days when you literally leave a trail of blood behind you. Multiply that by the number of women in the household, and costs rise fast.

Then there are lost wages for the days you can't move from the pain and are forced to take time off.

In this day and age, seeing that this info is out there for anyone who cares to look it up, you'd think you would not see so many ignorant comments."

Periods are not an illness, sorry.

It is like saying people with sinusitis or bleeding nose from time to time (can be genetic) shall be granted special care and days off. For the elite country where one does not even realize the comfort we live in.

Ask what a woman in some poor countries think about that.

I had for several months some good high pain very frequently. Did not ask for days off. I endured and made it through life. Are successful women without periods ? Learn not to complain for what is about confort and not illness.

I know seems harsh comment but life is not that easy on Earth for so many, be aware.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

i believe main issue is that ladies are spending on unecessary things and easily culd save for these basic things costs no fortune...say skip brandofuku,iphone,gamecenters and instead of it buy stock of necassry hygienic items-this makes sense for me.

There is a well known solution from the past to all of this: "LET THEM EAT CAKE!"

From my earliest knowledge of what women have to deal with in their lives (including males), I have blessed the gawds for my 'Y' chromosome. As we (e.g. governments) provide schools to train our young into whatever the local milieu and power structure believes to be true and to provide for 'special needs' in those schools, so too should we provide for those conditions which are innate to Human existence or, in the case of menstruation, vital to it. To allow 'profit', a form of parasitism, to determine who receives the basic needs of Human life is an evil that for so many seems 'normal'. As some broader mentalities here have pointed out, if males required these "special needs", there would be little question of ample supplementation of supply. And because such discussions are promoted as 'embarrassing', so many more cement-headed males cannot understand the absolute burden that just being a Human female puts upon a person. Sure, males are expected to be willing to die in wars for their respective elites but relatively few do. Almost EVERY woman, though, must bear the burden of the continued existence of Humanity itself and, despite being less regarded in reward for their work, must also pay for their extra, but species preserving, burden. Any voice which would oppose providing free assistance to women related to menstrual necessities (and the needs of the aged, zichi), is in reality a voice of irrational ignorance, of not understanding and disregarding the needs of our fellow Humans. We can spend ourselves into profound debt for weapons to murder other Humans but whine cravenly when asked to provide that which would make Life more comfortable for our most necessary, but disrespected, members. What sort of creatures are we, really?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The average age for commencement of menstruation is 12.5 years. Due to improved diet and lifestyles, this is much earlier than would have been the case around 150 years ago when the average age would have been 17 years.

Comments like this are like the people that run the companies, a MAN trying to calculate what a woman needs without actually consulting any women to find out of they are even close, and without any experience whatsoever!

It's idiotic to even attempt to do this as no two women experience the same things every month for as long as they have their menstrual cycle.

Probably like the guys who count how many pieces of toilet paper people should be using for one wipe! It's asinine!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jonathan PrinToday 03:22 am JST

Periods are not an illness, sorry.

No, but periods cause illness. You've never heard of dysmenorrhea, endometriosis, menorrhagia, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, anemia...?

It is like saying people with sinusitis or bleeding nose from time to time (can be genetic) shall be granted special care and days off. For the elite country where one does not even realize the comfort we live in.

Sinusitis or a bloody nose doesn't happen every month for a week or more, nor does it cause blood loss to the point of anemia, or pain so crippling that the person is unable to walk, move, sit up, work, or go out. For a lot of women, menstruation can be debilitating and effect the quality of life. Chronic pain is chronic pain, and I don't quite understand why you think womens' chronic menstrual pain is somehow less-than other types of illnesses that cause similar levels of chronic pain.

Ask what a woman in some poor countries think about that.

I'm sorry, but are you trying to say that because women in poor countries have a hard life, women who are more privileged somehow don't experience any hardship? Or that if they do experience hardship, they have no right to talk about it? That makes no sense at all.

I had for several months some good high pain very frequently. Did not ask for days off. I endured and made it through life. Are successful women without periods ? Learn not to complain for what is about confort and not illness.

This isn't a contest where the person who can tolerate the most pain wins. Only women who are privileged enough to afford it can actually take days off. The rest of us suffer in silence. We function despite the pain, and no one is complaining in the way that you are suggesting is happening. I doubt like hell you are ever aware of who in your office is menstruating. If there are 30 women in your office, it's guaranteed that every day of the week one or more of them is experiencing pain that they don't even talk about.

What's interesting to me is that you mistook this article for complaining, when it is merely factual and informational.

I know seems harsh comment but life is not that easy on Earth for so many, be aware.

Wow. Do you honestly think a 50 year old woman needs a man to explain that life is hard for a lot of people? I don't think this is the worst example of mansplaining I have experienced, but it is some of the most ridiculous.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wow is the economy that bloody? Sanitary products should be free in schools!!

Why do people keep on harping on this point alone? Sounds like they are wearing blinders and think that women stop having their menstrual cycles after they graduate from school!

This issue is about ALL women, not just school aged!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Mr KiplingMar. 24  09:26 pm JST

Yes it's difficult for women in poverty to afford sanitary products. But also rent, food, train fares, clothes, healthcare....and everything else.

So, what's your solution?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@gir_in_tokyo

Because as a woman of 50, you think you are allowed to berate me (and neatly all men in general) ?

Medically article was about need for free products about periods, not illnesses stemming from periods. Do you agree about that ?

Getting free something means somebody is paying. I don't want to pay something which is about comfort after all. My opinion.

And I am aware about the days when women are having their periods because most of the time, it is easy to spot a behavioural change if you know them. And I adapt and I have never patronized in any way women because of that. But so many do...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

zichiMar. 24  11:43 am JST

painkiller

your comment lacks content. Do you have anything useful to add?

I clarified the comment that you had confusion with. You're welcome.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

And I am aware about the days when women are having their periods because most of the time, it is easy to spot a behavioral change if you know them. And I adapt and I have never patronized in any way women because of that. But so many do...

This comment alone deserves a reply. There is no way in hell you can "spot a behavioral" change, even if you know them and automatically make the assumption they are having their period.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Jonathan PrinMar. 26 01:30 pm JST

Because as a woman of 50, you think you are allowed to berate me (and neatly all men in general) ?

I think I'm allowed to counter your comments for a few reasons.

Fee speech. It works both ways!

What you call "berating" I call "countering poorly thought out arguments".

But what the heck, let's call it "berating". It actually makes me smile to think of you so upset over having a woman call you out that you feel berated. :)

Nearly all men? I think I was only talking to you.

Medically article was about need for free products about periods, not illnesses stemming from periods. Do you agree about that ?

The reason this is connected to the article is because a bunch of men decided that they know better than women how periods can effect womens' lives, and that periods don't negatively effect womens' lives as much the article is suggesting. Do you think women are supposed to sit back and listen as men discuss our menstrual cycles? Maybe I should start a convo about mens' reproductive issues and then get mad at the men who comment.

Getting free something means somebody is paying. I don't want to pay something which is about comfort after all. My opinion.

This is such a weird comment on so many levels. You do know that reproductive health care is medical care, right? And you know that men also require reproductive health care? And you further are aware that Japan has a tax-funded health care system, correct? You also know that when you go to the doctor for your own health problems, aka "comfort", that I'm helping pay for that with my taxes? So in a way, I'm paying for your comfort. Should I stop, since you seem so adamantly against it?

I seem to recall you saying that you are an older gent (forgive me if I am wrong). Would you prefer to pay for all your medical care 100% out of pocket on your pension?

And I am aware about the days when women are having their periods because most of the time, it is easy to spot a behavioural change if you know them.

Is this in response to what I said about it being unlikely that you would even notice which of the women around you are menstruating? Because if it is, then saying "if you know them well" doesn't address that. I have little doubt you would know if your wife or daughters (if you have them) are menstruating. But that is not what we were talking about, is it.

And I adapt and I have never patronized in any way women because of that. But so many do...

May I point out that you are arguing with a woman about menstruation and won't give up the idea that you know more about it than she does.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just a little bit of reference for those that don't know, all of us are different but for example, I need about 6-7 tampons a day, I can't use only pads because I'm too heavy flow but I use them to catch what the tampons can't.

I have had to throw away bed sheets too on several occasions when that hasn't been enough. My mensies lasts like a week on average and the first three days require painkillers. I started when I was 13 and I'm 29 now.

Also not very nice side note but, a lot of us get diarrhea on our periods for first couple of days as well as shooting pains in the bum/bumhole area. II actually didn't know why but I just looked it up but its to do with the prostaglandins that cause constractions. It's a little more than tummy ache and bleeding. Also the food cravings because you're losing blood and fatigued, you can have intense cravings too. It takes all my willpower not to buy steak and chocolate.

Just sharing a little bit of insider info about the experience not meant to be provocative or trying to debate.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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