Research among 2,030 young people aged 13-17 found one in 25 are struggling more now than before the lockdown to pay for period products. And one in 10 are worried about how they will be able to afford sanitary products even after restrictions are lifted. A quarter of the 331 parents who were also polled are concerned about having the money to pay for these items, with more than a quarter more worried now than they were before the pandemic.
The findings emerged in a study by Always looking into the impact of Covid-19 on teenagers and their experience of periods and education during this time.
More than one in 10 (13 percent) of the pupils polled felt they had learned less about puberty and periods than they would have if they had been at school during the lockdown.
And 24 percent of young people also felt that missing out on after school activities over the last few months has made them feel less confident.
Almost four in 10 (39 percent) even admitted to being less confident now than they were before the pandemic.
Others have felt sad (36 percent) and stressed (27 percent) at not being able to do their usual extra-curricular activities.
Nearly six in 10 (56 percent) even said not being able to socialise due to the lockdown has made them nervous about being in social situations in the future.
And 41 percent of young people weren’t happy with the idea of going back to school.
A spokesperson for Always said: “It’s shocking to see so many unable to afford basic period products, but even more so that young people have missed out on activities and experiences that play a critical role in giving them skills and shaping their futures.
“While the pandemic has clearly had a financial impact on a number of families, the broader impact it has had on everyday life should not be ignored either.”
The research also revealed how periods are still a taboo subject for many UK families.
While four in 10 parents said the pandemic and lockdown made them feel more responsible for educating their children about puberty and periods, nearly one in three felt awkward doing so.
Over the past two and a half years, Always has donated more than 28 million period products to help ensure young people can continue doing the things they love.
It is offering free puberty and period advice to parents and students who have been affected by the pandemic and lockdown via its website.
This autumn, Always is continuing to partner with a network of charities including In Kind Direct, UK Youth, The Bread and Butter Thing and Beauty Banks to distribute more period products directly to young people in need.
A spokesman for Always added: “We want to support young people everywhere to ensure they are confident in themselves and who they are – whether that’s having access to period products or access to education and activities they need to help them learn and grow.”