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  1. ITV Report

Welsh girls using socks and newspaper as improvised sanitary wear

Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Welsh girls using socks and newspaper as improvised sanitary wear are putting their health at risk.

Nearly half of girls in Wales have used toilet roll because they've struggled to afford period products, a new survey has revealed.

The survey conducted by girls' rights charity Plan International UK found that 43% said they had been forced to use some form of makeshift sanitary wear including socks or newspapers.

45%
have resorted to using toilet roll as improvised sanitary wear.

The survey also found that 22% of girls and young women in Wales said either themselves or their family have had to prioritise expenses such as bills and food over sanitary products because they could not afford to pay for both.

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Sadly, our research shows that the situation for those who menstruate in the UK is not a positive one. We have spoken to girls across the country, along with experts in health and education, who describe a culture of taboo where periods are expected to be discreet, clean and hidden away.

Period poverty is a challenge facing many girls in the UK, and it's devastating to hear that some girls are suffering from health conditions because they can't afford to properly manage their periods.

Handing out free products will only solve part of a very complex problem, what's needed alongside this is education and training for girls, schools and parents to help tackle the stigma and embarrassment around periods as well as the cost - after all this is the root cause of the problem.

– Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK