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Do you menstruate? This Monday, March 4th, sees the start of a pioneering action in menstrual equality in Catalonia. In a campaign known as "My Period, My Rules", anyone who menstruates will be able to obtain their choice of three different reusable menstrual products, simply by ordering them through the Catalan public health system's La Meva Salut app or website and picking them up from a pharmacy. This free distribution of reusable menstrual products is promoted by the Catalan ministry of equality and feminisms with the participation of all departments of the Generalitat de Catalunya, part of a plan that contains 60 measures, which also include the distribution of these reusable products in high schools - which has been operating for over a year already - installation of dispensers of organic menstrual products in public facilities and service centres and the provision for employment leave for public employees with period pain, among other measures.

Which menstrual products can be chosen?

You can choose between a menstrual cup, menstrual panties or a pair of reusable pads that can be collected for free, once only. Immediate pick-up of the product is possible, as long as the pharmacy has stock. 

What are the differences between the three products?

The menstrual cup is a reusable silicone container that is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood. It is safe in terms of pH and flora, designed to avoid irritation and does not affect the flow of blood expelled. Since it creates a vacuum, it prevents possible leaks. It is more hygienic than tampons or pads because it does not retain germs and minimizes infections. In addition, it can last for years and according to the department's estimates, it can mean a saving of almost 100 euros per year per family. The second reusable option, cloth pads are pieces of cloth that attach to your underwear with a button. They have several layers of absorbent cotton and often a waterproof and breathable layer to prevent leaks and staining of underwear. Thirdly, menstrual panties are underwear with different layers of absorbent fabric and others that are waterproof to collect menstrual flow. This prevents leaks and odours without altering the vaginal flora. The sizing is as for any other piece of underwear. There are several models of each product to promote adaptation to the body and satisfy different needs. Sometimes it is necessary to try more than one product or combine different methods to better manage menstrual bleeding.

Why reusable and not single-use products?

One of the main advantages of this campaign is ecological: each year in Catalonia, around 9,000 tons of non-reusable menstrual products are used, with the corresponding problem of pollution and material recycling. Thus, reusable products not only save money but are good for the environment.

Who can ask for the reusable products?

The campaign is aimed at all women and people who menstruate, aged between 10 and 60. The action is also aimed at non-binary people and trans men who menstruate. If you are in this category, the option will be activated for you in the La Meva Salut application, with a QR code that allows you to order the available menstrual product that you want. Girls younger than 10 and people older than 60 who menstruate can also use the service by requesting it. Regarding the number of people who could benefit from it, minister Tània Verge said on the day of the campaign's presentation that access to menstrual products "is a right, and rights are for all menstruating people".

What you have to do

To collect these reusable menstrual products, you need to redeem a personal QR code that can be found, starting this Monday, March 4th, in your personal space in La Meva Salut (the digital health application for Catalonia's public health system). This code does not expire (until the chosen product is collected) and will be available until 2025. It will appear in the 'Novetats: La meva regla, les meves regles'  section of the La Meva Salut space (both via web page or via mobile app). And if you use the mobile phone application, the Generalitat advises that it must be updated, that is, by downloading a new version.

What if I don't see the QR code?

If you have any problem with the QR code (it cannot be read, it gives incorrect information, etc), you should make contact via the ministry's inquiries and contact inbox or the 061 health helpline. Once the incident is resolved, you can return to the pharmacy with the new QR and obtain the product of your choice.

Where can I collect my free menstrual products?

The 3,284 pharmacies in Catalonia are taking part in this campaign, and they can also provide advice to help you choose the product that best suits your needs.



What if the product I want is not available?

If the pharmacy does not have sufficient stock, the desired product can be ordered and will be available within a maximum period of 48 hours. Once the reservation has been made at the pharmacy, your QR code will be temporarily blocked, until collection. The department will monitoring demand and guarantee the stock in the pharmacies, but users are recommended to go to the pharmacies ahead of time in order to get advice on the different products to make the best choice for their personal needs.

How can I find out more?

For any doubts about the campaign, you can call the 061 Salut Respons helpline or access the Generalitat's Inquiries, Complaints and Suggestions Manager.