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Assuming your period started age 13, you might spend £1,472, and £70.10 of that on VAT, on feminine hygiene products in your life.

This is according to a BBC tampon tax calculator, which assumes a flat rate of five per cent on the products, which have been subject to different rates since 1973.

The real figure depends on when you started your period and how old you were.

The calculator also works under a number of preconceptions:

  • That you have 13 periods a year on a 28 day cycle.
  • You use 22 tampons and/or towels a cycle.
  • You go through menopause at age 51.
  • That Tampons and towels cost 13p per unit.

These figures are derived from the NHS, for biology, and from mysupermarket.co.uk for unit prices from three leading retailers. The 22 products per cycle figure comes from the Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers Association and the Women's Environmental Network.

They also don't include pregnancy or other missing periods in the total figure.

In July, Tesco cut prices on 100 products to shoulder the 5 per cent VAT cost, which was announced from 2015 to be donated to women's health and support charities by then-Chancellor George Osborne.


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