Boots renames ‘feminine hygiene’ aisle to ‘period products’

Campaigners say word ‘hygiene’ perpetuates stigma that periods are unhygienic

Saman Javed
Friday 08 April 2022 09:34 BST
The change hopes to challenge stigma around periods
The change hopes to challenge stigma around periods (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Boots has joined Asda in renaming its signage for menstrual products from “feminine hygiene and care” to “period products”.

The change has already come into effect on the high street pharmacy’s website, with tampons, pads, menstrual cups and liners now listed under the category.

It follows years of campaigning from menstrual equity groups which argue that common wording such as “hygiene” and “sanitary” perpetuate a stigma that periods are unhygienic, and “feminine” wrongly suggests that menstruation is only experienced by people who identify as women.

In a statement confirming the news, which was first reported by Tyla, Boots said the change will be rolled out across its stores this year.

Jamie Kerruish, beauty director at the retailer said: “When it comes to periods, we know retailers can play an important role in changing people’s perceptions, including the words we use to describe products.

“We are proud to be implementing this change at Boots, starting with removing words like ‘hygiene’ and ‘sanitary’ and much more proudly saying ‘period products’ on and the Boots App.

“We are currently reviewing signage in store too, which will be updated later in the year.

“Period products are essentials, and we want to ensure our customers can find and access all of the products they need with ease at Boots.”

Asda announced the renaming of its feminine hygiene signage last month, earning widespread praise from campaign groups and social media users.

The supermarket said it first began rolling out the changes to its stores at the end of 2021.

Gabby Edlin, founder of Bloody Good Period – a campaigning group which “fights for menstrual equity and the rights of all people who bleed” – described the change as “brilliant news”.

“This new name/announcement displays an inclusive attitude to gender with periods, which is so important to make sure everybody is able to talk about periods,” she said.

“It also removes the stigma of periods being dirty, or something we need to hide away or not talk about.

“Having very matter of fact period products rather than ‘feminine hygiene’ tells you what it is, with no euphemism to hide behind, and no shame or stigma.”

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