A nurse at St Bartholomew’s Hospital is tackling the stigma around menstruation and making period products available to all.
At the start of the pandemic, Sarah Dominguez, a junior sister on a cardiology ward, learnt that many colleagues were bleeding whilst on shift.
Though not a new issue, it was made worse by many of the shops from which people would buy period products being closed or operating reduced hours.
"This only added to the stress, frustration and worry", said Sarah.
In response, Sarah (pictured left) created a period drawer for her ward - 3A - which included tampons and pads.
She has since researched attitudes around menstruating for people working in care and is on a mission to provide help and change attitudes.
A recent survey of ward staff found that 90% of respondents worry about leaking through their clothing whilst at work.
The same number said workload had prevented them from attending to their period.
"Many neglect their own hygiene needs because of the demands of work and putting patients first", said Sarah.
Last week Sarah and her colleague Vicky handed out period boxes to ward managers containing tampons, pads, panty liners and black underwear.
The boxes are kept on the wards rather than in rest rooms so that they can be easily accessed by frontline staff throughout the day.
It also gives our transgender and non-binary colleagues equal access to the supplies.
Sarah said: "The response has been overwhelming."
She plans to issue a new survey in the coming months to see how attitudes and experience have changed.
She is also hoping to secure funding to make the boxes available for the rest of the hospital.
Sarah is keen to stress the green credentials of the products which are plastic and chemical free.
"Not only are they less harmful to the environment, but the products can also be used by staff with more sensitive skin or vaginal health."