Period Poverty | St. Louis Public Radio

Period Poverty

The St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies distributes an emergency "covid kit" that includes 18 period supplies.
Laurel Segrist

Last year, a report in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that nearly two-thirds of low-income women in St. Louis can’t always afford pads or tampons — often resorting to rags, diapers or paper towels during their menstrual cycle. Laurel Segrist, program manager for the St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies, said that such “period poverty” is an even bigger issue now because of the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The alliance is an initiative of the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank. The program first began distributing “period kits” of pads, tampons and panty liners in March after a year of raising funds and collaborating with other organizations. 

(Jan. 24, 2019) (L-R) Anne Sebert Kuhlmann, Jessica Adams and Angie Wiseman joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss period poverty in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A report published in the latest issue of the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology surveyed low-income women in St. Louis and found that nearly two-thirds of them can’t always afford pads or tampons – often resorting to rags, diapers or paper towels. This is referred to as “period poverty.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh delved deeper into the issue with Anne Sebert Kuhlmann, associate professor of behavioral science and health education at St. Louis University, who led the study.

“Sixty-four percent were not able to afford needed period products in the past year … And we found that for about 20 percent of those women, this is something that they faced every month,” Kuhlmann said.