Reviewed by

Uwe Porters - Mid-wife/Pregnancy & Postpartum Expert


What it Costs to Have Your Period

Reviewed by

Uwe Porters - Mid-wife/Pregnancy & Postpartum Expert

As a woman, you are likely to have your period for about 2,700 days over the course of your life! Yikes! Put that way, it sounds pretty intense. That's why we want to make it as pleasant as possible for you at Guud, because your period doesn’t have to be something you dread. But have you ever stopped to think about the amount of menstrual products you use throughout your life? In this blog post, we will take a closer look at this topic. How much does it cost to have your period? And what can you do to make it cheaper?

Menstrual Products: You Have Options!

Fortunately, as a woman you can choose from all kinds of different menstrual products. The best known are tampons and sanitary pads or towels. But in recent years, two more well-known options have been added: menstrual cups and menstrual underwear. Both are reusable and are becoming increasingly popular.

What are the pros and cons of each menstrual product?


Advantages: Tampons are (mostly!) invisible. Ideal for tight, short clothing, the beach or the pool. They offer freedom of movement and you can easily use them when exercising. Because the blood does not escape when you wear a tampon, it does not smell (read more about the color and smell of menstrual blood here). And, compared to some other menstrual products, tampons create less waste.

Disadvantages: A disadvantage is that when used incorrectly, there is a small risk of something called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a serious, acute bacterial infection. Some women find that a tampon makes their vagina drier and inserting it can be difficult or unpleasant. In addition, many tampons contain chemicals - this is certainly something you can watch out for. Brands like The Yoni Care or Daye are actively working on this. They only use organic cotton.

Sanitary pads

Advantages: Sanitary pads are easy to use. You stick it in your underpants and that's it. Sanitary towels protect well against leakage because you can always see how full the pad is.

Disadvantages: Pads can sometimes be visible under swimwear, for example, and you can also feel them. Some women find this uncomfortable, especially if you wear thicker sanitary pads. Like tampons, disposable sanitary pads are not great for the environment as they create a lot of waste. Pads can also start to smell more quickly as the blood comes into direct contact with the air. In addition, many pads contain perfume - something you would rather not have near your vagina! Anything that does not naturally belong around or in your vagina can disrupt your vaginal microbiome (yes, that really exists!). This can, for example, cause vaginal fungal infections. Read more about fungal infections here.

Menstrual Cups or Menstrual Disk

Advantages: Menstrual cups last a long time and therefore produce less waste and, as a result, they have a lower environmental impact. For many women, a menstrual cup feels more comfortable than a tampon, because it does not 'absorb' anything, but only collects your menstrual blood.

Disadvantages: Insertion may require some practice, and emptying and cleaning can be difficult if you don't have access to a comfortable toilet. Finally, the costs for the first purchase are higher than for disposable products.

Menstrual Underwear

Advantages: Menstrual underwear, like menstrual cups, are reusable and easy to use. Menstrual underwear lasts a long time and therefore produces less waste and therefore has a lower environmental impact.

Disadvantages: The purchase costs are higher and you have to wash and dry the underpants.

Washable tampons and reusable sponges are relatively unknown menstrual products, but we'll mention them anyway. For now, we would not recommend them because not enough research has been done into their effectiveness and safety.

How long do these menstrual products last?

Tampons and sanitary towels last a few hours.

A menstrual cup lasts between five and ten years.

Menstrual underwear lasts between three and five years.

How much do menstrual products cost?

A woman has an average of 2,700 days of menstruation in her lifetime. That's 7.4 years of your life!

The costs of disposable tampons and sanitary towels

On average, a woman uses five disposable menstrual products per day during her period. Depending on how heavy your periods are and which menstrual products you use, tampons and sanitary towels cost between 50 and 100 euros per year . But this is just the average: many women have heavier periods than average - so the costs will be higher.

The cost of menstrual cups and menstrual underwear

A menstrual cup is a larger investment, two cups from, for example, the Beppy Cup, the favorite brand of one of our experts, costs 50 euros.

If you want to buy menstrual underwear, we recommend stocking up on about 5 pairs of underwear. One of our favorite brands, Modi Bodi, costs about 20 euros each. Depending on the brand, five pairs of panties cost around 100 euros. Double the amount of a menstrual cup and they don't last as long. Still, menstrual underwear is an increasingly popular option. For young girls, for example, this option is growing in popularity, especially for girls worried about starting their period while at school.

A handy intermediate option is washable sanitary towels – they are cheaper than menstrual underwear. The disadvantage is that it is thicker than menstrual underwear and can shift (just like normal sanitary pads).

How much does your period cost?

Would you like to calculate how much money you have already spent on your period? Here you will find a handy tool for a personal calculation. We tried it, using tampons as an example. The tool estimates that a woman using tampons might spend more than $3,600 USD in her lifetime on tampons! The costs change depending on the menstrual product you use. Give it a try and see how much you might spend in your lifetime.

The cheapest way to menstruate

The cheapest way to catch your period in the long term is the menstrual cup (or of course to go for free bleeding, but then you have to do a lot of washing, which is not necessarily beneficial for you or the environment.

The menstrual cup lasts between 5 and 10 years. Also, the cost of a menstrual cup does not increase if you have heavy periods - you just empty it more often. We do recommend that you combine a menstrual cup with, for example, menstrual underwear, or a washable panty liner or sanitary towel. Especially in the beginning, when you have not yet fully mastered how much and how long you can use the cup. Not every cup will be the right one for you, so sometimes it takes some searching before you find your leak-proof option.

About period poverty

Although you can have your period 'cheaply', your period can still have a significant impact on your budget. Period poverty is real – many women struggle to purchase their menstrual products every month. Fortunately, menstrual products in Belgium have been subject to the low tax rate since 2018. Some countries go a step further and offer free menstrual products: a good thing if you ask us!

The invisible costs

Because we were only talking about the costs that you immediately feel in your wallet, we would like to mention the invisible costs of menstruation. Think of pain medication, days without work or school, clothes that you have to throw away because of stains. These costs are often overlooked, but they are there.


Women menstruate for about 7.4 years of their lives. This costs quite a bit, whether you use tampons, pads, menstrual cups or menstrual underwear. Depending on how heavy your periods are and what exactly you use, you will spend between 50 and 100 euros per year on disposable products. Menstrual cups and underwear are cheaper, although you do have to make a one-time, larger investment up front. In addition, there are also hidden costs, such as medication for menstrual pain and missed working days.

At Guud, we want to make your cycle as comfortable as possible - you really don't have to suffer. With the right lifestyle and additional supplements you can resolve many of your complaints. Do you have questions about your period, hormones or your general cycle? Chat with us. No judgment. Just love. We’re here for you.