The NHS in England will offer free tampons and other sanitary products to every hospital patient who needs them.
From this summer, all women and girls being cared for by the NHS will be given, on request, appropriate sanitary products free of charge.
Many already provide them but this will be mandated in the new standard contract with hospitals for 2019-20.
The announcement by NHS England and supported by the BMA, was welcomed by charity Freedom4Girls, which campaigns against period poverty.
Simon Stevens, chief executive for NHS England, said:
“It is absolutely right that everyone has access to the essentials of daily life during their time in hospital, and that should include sanitary products.
“It’s fundamental that we give patients the best experience possible during what can be a stressful time of their life, and by providing sanitary products the NHS can prevent unnecessary embarrassment and leave people to focus on their recovery.”