Global Review of Sanitation System Trends and Interactions with Menstrual Management Practices, 2012.
Marianne Kjellén, et al. Stockholm Environment Institute
This review of sanitation system trends and interactions with menstrual management practices has been conducted as part of the broader project on Menstrual Management and Sanitation Systems. It starts with a review of trends in the development of urban sanitation systems and then explores the interaction between menstrual management and sanitation systems, mainly relating to the issue of disposal of used menstrual blood absorption materials. Finally, it proposes a framework of interactions by positioning a range of issues of particular relevance for menstrual management into the different parts of the sanitation system.
In the framework (chapter 3), the most important menstrual management and sanitation system interactions from the perspective of the user occur at the toilet, where the facility conveniently serves (or not) the needs of the user, and to some extent conditions the behavior related to the disposal of used menstrual material. Further downstream, in the collection, conveyance and treatment parts of the system, the interactions relate mainly to the way menstrual waste has been disposed of and its potential to cause and contribute to blockages and the filling up of receptacles.
Generally, the appropriate disposal method for used menstrual pads and such material is with solid wastes that are collected separately from feces and urine. Where such arrangements are lacking or not used, menstrual waste may be inappropriately disposed of through sanitation facilities, which may lead to clogging or system failure.