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Millions of girls avoid sports when on period, new study claims

A quarter also skip social situations because they do not have access to sanitary products 

Emma Elsworthy
Wednesday 07 August 2019 16:27 BST

Millions of young girls avoid after-school clubs and sports during their time of the month due to a lack of sanitary products, according to research by sanitary products brand Always.

Experts analysing the behaviour patterns of 500 girls found 26 per cent of those aged 10 to 18 avoid social situations because of period poverty – a lack of access to or ability to afford sanitary products.

One fifth of girls surveyed do not visit friends when on their periods.

One quarter of those asked do not visit the gym or participate in any sports whilst menstruating.

Research revealed that 27 per cent of girls avoid going out altogether once a month, as either they or their parents do not have enough money to buy period products.

Steph Houghton, captain of the England women’s football team, said: “It’s really sad to hear that period poverty is not only affecting girls’ education but it is also stopping them from taking part in the activities that they love.

“It was in after-school clubs that I found football and being part of a squad really helped build my confidence, introduced me to a new group of friends and shaped my future.”

However, the study found 48 per cent of girls who have had some access to free period products while at school believe they have been able to take part in activities such as sports, which would have otherwise not been an option for them.

And six in 10 girls with access to free sanitary protection have at some point used the supply available to them.

In addition to polling girls, a study of 1,500 women was also conducted to find out what impact attending clubs and out-of-school activities had on their life.

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It found more than a fifth of women believe they have been held back due to not always being able to participate in extra-curricular past times.

Half of those polled, via OnePoll for Always, said having more opportunities when younger made them more confident as a person, and 38 per cent still know the friends they made at such groups.


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