14 Men Share What It’s Like to Buy Sanitary Pads and Why All Guys Should Do It

When a Quora user asked "would guys buy sanitary pads for their girlfriend if she asked," the community replied with their thoughts, experiences, and insights. Some were shocked to see such a question even being asked, but some sympathised with the confused user. But everyone unanimously agreed that yes, a guy can and should buy sanitary napkins when required. The fact that this is still a question being asked in 2017 shows us how far we have to go and how there is a lack of conversation around menstruation, especially in India. Read the humourous and heartfelt anecdotes from all over the world about guys buying sanitary napkins and pads:

"The first time I did I was 18. The cashier said something designed to embarrass me. I called him a dick and left. 

My girlfriend was at home wrapped up around the bundle of pain that was her personal hell during the first day of her period, and running out of tampons. If I hadn't stepped up to help, due to some testosterone fuelled stereotype idea that men don't buy sanitary products, I'd have been a bigger dick than the cashier. Don't be that guy. You should be secure enough to buy women's stuff if need be. If you're not, then that's something to work on. (sic)"

"Honestly- guys who are embarrassed by buying menstrual supplies remind me of kids terrified of being pushed into the ladies room. Their actions expose them as undisciplined and too selfish to get over their weird discomfort and do an easy kindness for someone they most likely care a lot about. How much do you really care if you don't act?

I’ll add this for these guys: Rather than a badge of shame, buying tampons is actually a pretty good sign that you're getting laid… just probably not tonight.(sic)"

 "I’m 53 and every time I’m in “that aisle” at the store or at the counter I feel a tiny amount of embarrassment. Not so much that I’m willing to force one of the people I care most about in the world to make a special trip. It would be pretty selfish if I inconvenienced someone else just to relieve myself of a relatively small discomfort that I can’t even really explain in the first place. Oddly I think the embarrassment (for lack of a better word) is worse when I’m buying 4 things than when I’m filling a shopping cart but I’ve often introspectively wondered why I feel this way at all. It’s odd both from a personal stand point and also interesting why we as a society have any angst about this in general.(sic) "

"If your (you being “an insecure idiot with issues”) girlfriend† was bleeding out of her nose, I doubt you’d have an issue grabbing a tissue to help. If she cut her finger, that’s fine too. Blood from fingers? Okay.


But blood from a vagina? Yeah. Somehow that makes it gross. Look, Gary Gaggy, blood happens. One half of humanity bleeds (or used to) during menstruation. The only people that have a serious issue with this are men, who then make it an issue for women to pretend to be perfect and bloodless to ensure that boys don’t have emotional breakdowns. (sic)"

 "Yes, I would buy and I recently bought it for my gf. I believe this question is coming from India because there is still a weird stigma associated with Sanitary Pads back in India. The pharmacies will wrap it up in newspapers and then hand it over. I don’t know why people are embarrassed about sanitary napkins/pads but slowly things are changing. I have bought it for my sister when I lived in India but this was in a supermarket instead of a local pharmacy. There is a similar problem with condoms and lubrication products. Sex is still a weird topic in India and even though things are changing slowly but it is still not enough.(sic)"

"How weird do you have to be to NOT buy sanitary pads for your girlfriend if she asked? What’s the message here? 'I love you, but not enough to help you manage your internal bleeding?' (sic)"

"So the only person who could go out was my brother. At that time he probably wasn’t aware of what pads and periods were. He went out to the pharmacy a block or two from the house with the instructions of buying pads. Perhaps I should have been more clear but it hadn’t crossed my mind. 20 minutes later he comes home fuming.

The pharmacist asked him a number of questions:

Pharmacist: “long or short”?

Brother: …. uhh

Pharmacist: “ultra, maxi or regular” ?

Brother: … uhh

Pharmacist: “Wings or no wings”

Brother (apparently fed up by now): what?! are they gonna fly?

Years later he agreed to go buy pads again. This time with a clear description and/or a picture. (sic)"

"Seriously why wouldn’t a guy buy them for his girlfriend? Are you afraid that the clerk is going to think that whilst in the store, a chromosomal miracle has occurred, and you have spawned a vagina which was automatically menstruating?

I mean let’s face it, menses is not fun for anyone. Why be embarrassed? Guys, you are helping her out in her time of need, she will return the favor. She washes your streaked underwear (shut up, it happens, men are not the cleanest of God’s creatures) so suck it up buttercup.(sic)"

"2–3 years ago, my girlfriend and I had planned to meet up for lunch one day. On her way she realised that she had started menstruating, a bit earlier than usual, and she didn’t have her emergency sanitary pads. As she was travelling by local train in Mumbai, she called me up and asked me if it would be okay for me to buy sanitary pads for her and meet her at the station itself. I have to say that she felt very ashamed to ask me this as, supposedly, it is not common for an Indian girl to ask some male to buy sanitary pads.

Personally, I didn’t feel any reason for her or me to be ashamed as it is a natural process and it isn’t a topic one should be afraid of discussing about. On buying sanitary pads at a local medical store, I realised how they wrap everything in opaque paper bags and put it in a black polythene bag, lest someone see what you’re carrying. Not aware of this horrible practice, I realised what women might have to go through on a daily basis!

We are, sadly, ashamed of discussing menstruation and the pain women go through during this period. It is up to us men to do our bit and help them in every way possible on these days.(sic)"

"In a country like India, where people hardly discuss menstruation, a lot many people find it awkward to buy it. This awkwardness is quite natural as we all are deeply rooted with this taboo.

Although a lot many girls also find it awkward but if she is asking you, then there is not any point of thinking it. Go and buy it man. (sic)"

"Of course yes!

I would buy anything she needs and everything that helps her to feel good and comfy, I would also buy chocolates or whatever she loves to eat to overcome the pain they usually had been feeling those days, I would distract her by doing activities she likes, and I would do anything that could help her in every possible way.

How will you feel after helping someone to overcome the pain they had to face every single month It feels great, right?

Obviously, it does feel great when you can something for others and as she is your girlfriend it would give you immense happiness and you will feel the same by helping others as well. It’s not mandatory that you need have some blood relation with someone in order to help them. Do whatever it takes to make you happy and the people around you.(sic)"

"I have bought tampons and pads for several girlfriends and my wife, because I love them.

I didn't die. I didn't turn gay or grow a vagina.

I don't understand what guys are afraid of when it comes to this. It's no different than getting her cold medicine and soup when she's sick. There's something she needs and she might not be feeling that great, so do what a good boyfriend does and help her feel better.(sic)"

"It took me three times, to pick the right one...where every time I land up in the shop I pick I chose something wrong only to get a frustrated look from her when I deliver.

In the previous two attempts I couldn't  discuss that with the shopkeeper as he was pretty occupied besides I felt shy to reach out to him as loudly to get his attention.

The third time I confirmed with shopkeeper as I got rid of my shy feeling, somehow I did remind myself of the stuff like “we are in an advanced century”, “there's nothing wrong in this”, and more to make that bold move. I can't imagine myself how girls could manage such situations when they face for the first time."

"This question would make the whole Indian community insecure because we are not accustomed to discuss topics related to sexuality of a person.

Yesterday me and my girlfriend were discussing whether our parents have discussions on the menstruation cycle. My girlfriend is skeptical about it. I am pretty sure they would have. It is necessary to maintain a healthy sex life.

If you ask this question to my father, he would probably get embarrassed and try to dodge the question.

Like father like son. I never had a proper sex education class. Whatever we read about reproduction from teachers were wrapped around codes. You can’t even ask questions. So, the embarrassment kind to descends to younger generation. However our generation are still more exposed to the internet. So, we can just google and get whatever information we want. Plus we have got more open towards sexual topics. I can discuss anything related to sex with my girlfriend.

The embarrassment has reduced but it is still present. I wouldn't be able to buy sanitary pads by personally going to the store. However, I can still buy them online.(sic)"

In the end, let's all remember that menstruation is normal. And there is no secrecy or hush-hush attitude required around it. If someone needs a sanitary pad, and you can get it for them, whether you are a guy or a girl, you should go get it for them.

Designs by Aroop.





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