Here comes tampon for men aiming to reduce gender dysphoria
Tampon for Men by Finnish hygiene product brand Vuokkoset aims to alleviate the
distress transgender men feel related to menstruation. The initiative aims to spark a conversation about the gendered nature of menstrual care and inclusivity of the health and wellness industry. The product will be launched 15th of November during international Transgender Awareness Week.
Menstrual pain is not just physical discomfort for transgender men. Research has shown that 93% of transgender men have experienced gender dysphoria related to menstruation. With a tampon designed for men, Vuokkoset aims to change perceptions of menstruation and reduce the distress it causes to transgender men. The tampon is manufactured by Finnish Delipap Oy.
“When I was young, menstruation felt not only strange but somehow wrong. Our culture does not really acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals” says DEI consultant Dakota Robin, who has been through the gender affirming process himself.
Trans men might continue to experience menstrual cycles even while undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Additionally, some trans men choose not to undergo hormone replacement therapy, in which case their menstrual cycle remains unaffected. People who are non-binary can also have periods. This highlights the diversity in experiences related to menstruation among different gender identities.
“Menstrual products – from visuality, advertising to store location – are strongly feminine. The discrimination spans to men’s bathrooms that lack waste bins for menstrual products. It’s time to acknowledge the diversity of menstruating individuals” says Sanna Karhu, CEO of Delipap Oy, the company that manufactures Vuokkoset products.
The Tampon for Men will be available as a limited edition in Finland and wider distribution will begin in early 2024. Total sales proceeds are donated to Trasek ry. Trasek ry is an organization focused on gender diversity and sexual health. A fully gender-neutral tampon product by Vuokkoset is also being considered.
“This is definitely a step in the right direction. By changing attitudes and broadening perspectives, we can also remove discrimination against gender minorities,” concludes Dakota Robin.