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sanitary pads price hike: Women to go back the local ways

Written by on August 22, 2022

As technological innovations increased, women became exposed to the dangers inherent in using rags and other local ways for menstruation. They were encouraged to adopt the use of affordable sanitary pads, which prices range between N50 and N100. Having been making use of rags and other local ways for menstruation which had lingered predominantly amongst Nigerian women since 70’s and 80’s. These rags are gotten from fabrics. They were re-usable and served as alternatives to disposable sanitary napkins, which most women saw as uncomfortable.

However, the continuous  increase in the prices of sanitary pads has forced many women with two or three female children, particularly those with low incomes, to return to using rags to collect menstrual fluids during menstruation.

Speaking to Economy & Lifestyle, Mrs. Aderibigbe Adeoye, a mother of four, said: “To be frank with you, the way the cost of things are getting expensive everyday is baffling. A pad that was sold at N150 – N200 has now risen to N500. I have three girls and each uses two packs of pads per month. I use three packs because of my heavy flow.  How do I cope with the act of spending N4,500 every month, just on pads?

“I have to cut out white pieces of clothing to alternate for a pad. We use it during the end of our menstrual cycle where the fluid flows less. At first, my girls complained of the discomfort but later got used to it.”

For Osas Eremosele, a secondary school student, she had to stay at home throughout the week she is on her menstrual cycle causing her to miss some of her classes.

She said:” I used to stay at home the week I saw my menstruation. I live with my aunt and she can only afford to buy me tissue paper because of the rise in the price of the pad. I use two packs of pads which are now N1, 000. But I can get two tissue papers for N500 which will cover my entire menstrual cycle period for the month.

“I stay at home because the tissue paper always makes me have blood stains on my uniform.”

Mrs Dupe Ifaskin, a wholesaler of Sanitary pads and other  disposables in Ikotun market complained about the rising costs of pads.

She revealed that most buyers of pads now buy more tissue papers than pads.

“The price of pads has risen sharply within the space of 7 months. As at January a pack of pad was sold for N300. Now it is N500-N600. Even the new products are not left out. The smaller packs with three pads which was N50-N70 is now sold for N150 to N200.

” Even tissue paper is now expensive. The high quality ones are sold for N700 to N1,000 while the lesser ones are sold for N200 to N300.”

Nigeria’s Misery Index rose to 62.79 in July-2022 compared to 59.4 in December 2021.

The higher the Misery Index, the more economic hardship that folks in an economy are experiencing.

But the fear about the alternatives these women have resorted to, is that it breeds infections.

Gynecologists have warned that use of unsterilized cloth during menstruation makes women susceptible to urinary tract infections and other problems.

Experts in the medical sector have also warned that some  tissue papers are products of waste papers and are unhygienic on the part of women.

This is even when a study of National Centre for Biotechnology Information noted that  girls’ inability to manage their menstrual hygiene in schools results in school absenteeism, poor academic performance, drop-out, and reduced educational attainment.

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