Should women in need **really** have access to free hygiene products?

For homeless women it would definitely be difficult or impossible (depending on if they have access to a shelter with adequate bathrooms or not) and disposables would definitely be warranted.

But in general, I do wish there was more awareness of and free or affordable resources for cloth menstrual pads or menstrual cups for low-income women in the US.

(Linking to the most affordable reasonably reputable sources I know that ship to the US, I have no affiliation with the following links/sellers:)

A $28 menstrual cup or as cheap as $20 in cloth pads from China (thru aliexpress) or $34+ from the US, $50 for 10 heavy-flow pads (from Mama Bear Lady Wear) can last years and years. (and if you have sewing skills and time, you can make them for cheaper.)

Considering most women are spending around $60 a year on menstrual products (and sometimes much more if they have a heavy flow), this can result in a savings in just the first year, never mind all the subsequent years. So the issue becomes making users aware of the products, and making the upfront costs accessible. If you look at the more expensive popular products like lunapads which would cost $127 for 8 average length/flow pads (8 is the minimum you'd want to have to start with, IMO, with absorbency adjusted for your flow), it becomes a much bigger upfront cost and basically eats all first and second year savings... and this turns off some users from cloth products because they just can't spend over a hundred dollars all at once. (If you do have more to spend, my favorite Etsy seller is MotherMoonPads. Her products start at $6.50 for an 8 or 10 inch pantyliner, $9.50 for a day pad, to 11.50 for a super-heavy-flow postpartum/overnight pad. They are high quality and have extremely absorbent Zorb fabric in the pads. And despite the very high quality and the perks of Zorb, even a postpartum/very heavy flow stash of 6 heavy and 6 postpartum pads costs $132 compared to lunapad's $263! for 6 long and 6 postpartum pads.)

(and if you wear pantyliners $30 or less (from Emmastar) (depending on how often you wash or if you want to hand wash/hang dry) can get you 5+ years of protection for the cost of ~6 months of daily pantyliners!)

Aside from the comfort and environmental benefits, that's $60+ a year you're left to spend.

/r/TwoXChromosomes Thread Parent