The Real Cost of Buying a Lifetime of Menstrual Products

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Even before the recent spikes in inflation and supply chain issues, the cost of menstrual products was already very high. As of 2021, recent studies showed that the average amount we spend on menstrual products during a cycle is $20. For most women, menstruation lasts an average of about 40 years. Using those price points, the average lifetime cost of pads, tampons, and liners for a monthly cycle, would be $9600. That’s a lot of money. That’s vacations, a used car, or 40 years of manicures. But what if the potential loss might be closer to $100,000?

For some, menstrual product costs are even higher

cotton tampons on top of dollar bills against a bright pink background

Those with a heavy flow, often need to double up and/or change their products more often, which could multiply the expected cost. People who live in very rural areas, without access to the discounts of big box stores or brand choices, lose out further when it comes to long term spending. Those with postpartum, peri-menopausal, and other health issues can have an even higher turnover of period products.

What about the surprise costs?

It might be easy to estimate our spending on products during our average cycles, but surprises can happen. Times we start a period at midnight and have to run to the expensive local store for products. Or delightful days, often in hotels or airports, when the needing a pad, or tampon far outweighs paying double the usual price. At the most inconvenient times, even more expenses can arise. Buying new underwear on the fly due to a leak, isn’t uncommon. These things don’t always happen to us in an average cycle, but often enough that it adds up over time.

The true cost of buying menstrual products over a lifetime

a wooden desk with a bright pink piggy bank wearing glasses and a large calculator on top of t

Sometimes, the extra $20 can make or break your daily expenses or grocery budget. Other times, we don’t feel the cost at the time, but there is still a long term opportunity cost. If that $20 per month were invested into an index fund with an average of 10% growth, at the end of 40 years, that investment would be worth over $100,000. Quick online investment calculators show the scary truth of our potential future losses from any monthly spending. Of course there are lots of factors that affect investments and markets, but the averages tell quite a tale, even if we halved the rate of return.

How a menstrual cup can help

woman with short hair in pink t shirt smiling while holding up a tampon in one hand and a menstrual cup in the other hand

Switching to a menstrual cup like CapdCup, can almost eliminate the monthly cost of menstrual products. Whether you’re beginning your journey and can reap the rewards of decades of savings, or just excited to take that monthly cost out of your budget. Any money you don’t have to spend on menstrual products is money that you’re free to use however you wish.

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