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Addressing Period Poverty with Lynette Medley

June 25, 2024

Lynette Medley speaking on period poverty and menstrual equity.

Period poverty is a pressing issue affecting millions of menstruators globally. Lynette Medley, the Founder and CEO of No More Secrets, is at the forefront of combating this issue. Her organization, along with The Spot Period, aims to provide menstrual health products and education to those in need. This article delves into the multifaceted nature of period poverty, the impactful work of Lynette Medley, and the future directions in addressing this critical issue.

Key Takeaways

  • Period poverty is a complex issue requiring a multidisciplinary approach.
  • Lynette Medley and her organization, No More Secrets, are pivotal in providing menstrual health resources.
  • The Spot Period serves as a community hub offering various services related to menstrual health.
  • Addressing period poverty involves overcoming financial barriers, stigma, and policy challenges.
  • Collaborative efforts, including nonprofit, corporate, and community partnerships, are essential for sustainable solutions.

Understanding Period Poverty: A Multidisciplinary Issue

Lynette Medley discussing period poverty on stage.

Defining Period Poverty

Period poverty is defined as the inability to afford monthly supplies of menstrual care products due to financial constraints. This issue extends beyond mere access to products and includes the safe management of menstrual waste, such as having access to running water and operable toilets. Period poverty is a socially constructed health disparity that affects a significant portion of the population. It is not limited to those who are economically disadvantaged; even middle-class individuals can struggle to afford menstrual products after covering other essential expenses like rent and utilities.

Global Statistics and Impact

Period poverty is a global issue with far-reaching consequences. According to various studies, millions of individuals worldwide are affected by this problem. The lack of access to menstrual products can lead to missed school days, reduced workplace productivity, and severe health issues. In some regions, cultural and social stigmas further exacerbate the problem, making it difficult for individuals to seek help or discuss their needs openly.

The Role of Socioeconomic Factors

Socioeconomic factors play a crucial role in period poverty. Individuals from low-income households are more likely to experience difficulties in accessing menstrual products. However, it is essential to note that period poverty is not confined to any single economic class. Middle-class individuals may also face challenges in affording these products due to other financial obligations. Addressing period poverty requires a multidisciplinary approach that considers the economic, social, and cultural dimensions of the issue. For instance, providing affordable period underwear can be a practical solution to help bridge the gap in menstrual care.

The Work of Lynette Medley and No More Secrets

Lynette Medley is the founder and CEO of No More Secrets, Mind Body Spirit Inc., a grassroots sexuality awareness and consultative organization based in Philadelphia. The mission of No More Secrets is to decrease disparities in uterine care and menstrual health in underserved communities through the eradication of societal stigmas and dissemination of resources and evidence-based information. Recently, Lynette has been appointed to Governor Shapiro’s Advisory Commission on Women.

Founding No More Secrets

Lynette Medley’s work is a calling. After witnessing firsthand the consequences of period poverty and the lengths people in her community were going to access period products, she decided to do something about it. Her organization, No More Secrets, offers free period products to thousands of people across her community.

Mission and Vision

No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc. is a comprehensive sexuality awareness organization founded by Lynette Medley in 2012 to address health disparities in marginalized communities. No More Secrets MBS Inc.'s mission is to eradicate period poverty and period stigma nationally through a menstrual and social justice framework.

Key Initiatives and Programs

Lynette and her daughter Nya McGlone began fighting period poverty 6 years ago by opening the first menstrual hygiene bank in the tri-state area and delivery services through in-home and national courier services. They then subsequently co-founded and opened The SPOT Period, which is the first menstrual hub and uterine care center in the region. The organization also promotes the use of period underwear to provide sustainable menstrual health solutions.

The Spot Period: A Community Hub for Menstrual Health

The Spot Period, also known as Safety Programming for Optimal Transformation, is the nation's first and only period hub and uterine wellness center. Co-founded by Lynette Medley and her daughter during the national pandemic, this center aims to address uterine health disparities, particularly in communities of color and other vulnerable populations. The Spot Period offers a safe space where individuals can access education, resources, and period care products. The center also provides information on services for those experiencing uterine difficulties.

Services Offered

The Spot Period in Germantown provides a variety of essential services. These include access to clean bathrooms, free menstrual products, educational resources, and a computer room with Wi-Fi. The center also features a safe room named in honor of Breonna Taylor, offering a quiet place for marginalized women to feel secure.

Community Engagement

The Spot Period center has enabled Medley and McGlone to tackle the stigma surrounding menstrual health. Educational programming on menstrual health and hygiene topics, such as fibroids, endometriosis, and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), is regularly conducted. These sessions are crucial as these conditions are often underdiagnosed and disproportionately affect Black women.

Impact on Local Communities

Since its inception, The Spot Period has made a significant impact on local communities. The center distributes about 60,000 period products weekly, collected through donations. Over the past year, it has distributed more than 6 million period products. This initiative has not only provided essential items but also fostered a sense of community and support among those it serves.

Challenges in Addressing Period Poverty

Lynette Medley discussing period poverty challenges and solutions.

Period poverty is a socially constructed health disparity that affects millions globally. It is not limited to those who are traditionally considered poor; even middle-class individuals can struggle to afford period products. This issue is particularly pronounced in areas with high poverty rates, such as Philadelphia, where many residents face economic difficulties that make it challenging to purchase menstrual products. Addressing period poverty requires a multifaceted approach that considers financial barriers, stigma, and policy hurdles.

Collaborative Efforts and Partnerships

Lynette Medley addressing period poverty at community event.

Addressing period poverty requires a multifaceted approach, involving various stakeholders working together. Collaborative efforts are essential to create sustainable solutions and ensure that menstrual health is prioritized globally.

Future Directions in Combating Period Poverty

Lynette Medley discussing period poverty solutions and future plans.

Addressing period poverty requires innovative and multifaceted approaches. Innovative solutions are essential to create an ecosystem of equity and accessibility for our communities. This involves developing sustainable and cost-effective products, such as period underwear, which can be found at etrendix. These products aim to address global period poverty by providing sustainable and cost-effective solutions for females worldwide.

Policy recommendations play a crucial role in mitigating period poverty. Governments and policymakers must prioritize menstrual health by ensuring that period products are accessible and affordable for all. This includes removing taxes on menstrual products and providing free products in public spaces.

Educational campaigns are vital in breaking the stigma surrounding menstruation. Public awareness campaigns can help shift societal perceptions and promote a better understanding of menstrual health. School-based programs should be implemented to educate young individuals about menstrual health from an early age, fostering a more informed and supportive community.

The Importance of Menstrual Health Education

Breaking Taboos

Menstruation is a fundamental part of the physiology of nearly half of the people on Earth. However, it remains a taboo subject, often unspoken and ignored. Period stigma has led to state governments across the country taxing period products as 'luxury' items, failing to recognize them as necessities for low-income menstruators. Addressing these taboos is crucial for achieving menstrual equity and ensuring that everyone has access to the products and education they need.

School-Based Programs

True menstrual hygiene and health integrity can only be achieved when access, awareness, and acceptance are provided in a socially supportive environment. Comprehensive Menstrual/Uterine care educational programs in schools are essential. These programs should include proper waste management resources and access to free and safe menstrual products. By integrating menstrual health education into school curriculums, we can foster a more informed and supportive community.

Public Awareness Campaigns

Public awareness campaigns play a vital role in breaking down the stigma associated with menstruation. These campaigns should focus on educating the public about the importance of menstrual health and the challenges faced by those who menstruate. Equity is often highlighted as affordability, accessibility, and safety of menstrual products. However, menstrual equity expands far beyond just products; it’s also imperative to provide our communities with education, resources, and multiple options to manage their menstrual hygiene and health. For instance, promoting the use of New York Times's Top pick period underwear for women can offer a sustainable and comfortable option for menstrual management.


Addressing period poverty requires a multifaceted approach that goes beyond merely providing menstrual products. Lynette Medley's work with No More Secrets and The Spot in Philadelphia exemplifies the comprehensive strategies needed to tackle this pervasive issue. By distributing free menstrual products and advocating for systemic change, Medley and her organization are making significant strides in alleviating the physical, mental, and emotional challenges associated with period poverty. Their efforts underscore the importance of community engagement, education, and policy reform in creating sustainable solutions. As we move forward, it is imperative to continue supporting such initiatives and to recognize that menstrual equity is a fundamental aspect of health equity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is period poverty?

Period poverty is the inability for persons to purchase monthly supplies of menstrual care products due to financial constraints, in addition to safely accessing waste management services such as running water and operable toilets.

How many people are affected by period poverty globally?

Research shows that period poverty impacts around 500 million menstruators worldwide.

Who is Lynette Medley?

Lynette Medley is the Founder and CEO of No More Secrets Mind Body Spirit Inc. and The Spot Period. She works towards making menstrual health and hygiene products accessible for all.

What is No More Secrets?

No More Secrets is an organization founded by Lynette Medley that aims to address period poverty by providing menstrual health and hygiene products to those in need.

What services does The Spot Period offer?

The Spot Period is a community hub that offers free period products such as tampons, menstrual cups, pads, and underwear to those who lack access due to financial barriers.

How can communities help alleviate period poverty?

Communities can help alleviate period poverty by engaging in educational campaigns, supporting policy changes, and collaborating with organizations like No More Secrets to provide menstrual health products and services.

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