TSA Can Flag Your Menstrual Products | Help Us Make This Information Public

Is the period product for you?

Find out what product is best for your cycle

Did you know that Transportation Security Administration’s body scanners can flag period products as potential threats, triggering additional searches? If you didn’t, you’re not alone. 90% of travelers we surveyed had no idea either. If you think this is unacceptable, keep reading. 

We first learned about TSA’s potentially invasive menstrual product searches from our private support community, The Uterati. We were in the process of surveying how menstruation can impact travel when a question came: Can a menstrual cup be worn through TSA screenings? What followed were a series of responses, mostly reassuring travelers that they would be totally fine to wear a menstrual cup through security. However, some shared personal experiences about products prompting additional search procedures.

This had us thinking… For most wearable items, you can find information on the TSA’s website about what to do with it and how it will impact your security experience. For example, after an attempted shoe bomb attack was identified, TSA changed their policy to include removal of shoes and then signage was posted at airports with even more information on their new “shoes off” policy and how to find more information on the TSA’s website

Although the TSA’s website lists what to expect with everything from clothing and shoes to medical devices and breast milk, there is no information about period products, despite the TSA’s own admittance that period products can be flagged as potential threats by the screening machines.

This means that travelers are caught completely off guard when their menstrual products are flagged. While most follow-up searches are brief, some extreme searches have spurred headlines about lawsuits in which the TSA has seemingly made some travelers’ journeys feel less safe, not more. 

Curious to know more? We were too. Here’s what we learned: 90% of respondents were unaware that period products could flag the body scanner. What’s more surprising was that 2.5% said their period product has actually prompted an additional search (survey included over  1,000 total respondents.) 2.5% might not seem like much at first glance, but it’s unacceptable considering the impact these searches can have for any menstruator involved. 

We worked with a policy expert who has worked on security issues with the TSA in the recent past and launched a petition on change.org with a list of reasonable demands for change. In the petition, we’re asking the TSA to:

  1. Share period product information on their website and in airport security lines as an expected trigger. We all know what to do with our shoes, belts, toiletries and other common triggers at security – we should be able to be similarly prepared when we have our period.

  2. Invest in advanced training for their staff on how to recognize a period product, and how to properly conduct a respectful search should one be necessary. TSA staffers can only support menstruating travelers if they’re empowered with the tools to do so.

  3. Meet directly with members of the Flex team and our partners to discuss further steps the TSA can take to mitigate this issue. We are asking the TSA to meet with us for a productive conversation about who is being left behind in security lines, and what changes can be made.

Lauren Schulte Wang, our CEO, shared her thoughts on why The Flex Company is taking action: 

“There’s nothing quite like an unexpected full body pat down by a stranger… but that’s exactly what’s happening to some menstruating people who are going through TSA body scans. The scanners are getting set off by period products, which is leading to embarrassing physical checks. This is a completely avoidable problem. I wanted to draw attention to this issue so we can help the TSA and public work better together.” 

ICYMI, here’s the petition link again. We hope you’ll sign and share to create change, and we look forward to keeping the public updated regarding the progress of our efforts.

Is the period product for you?

Find out what product is best for your cycle

  • Your period
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your concerns

Typically, how many days is your period?

How heavy is your flow on your heaviest days?

When did your last period start?

How many weeks do you typically have between periods?

What period product do you use most frequently?

How disruptive can your period be to your life?

What bothers you most about having your period?

What is the one thing you wish you could change about your period?

  • < 2 Days
  • 3 Days
  • 4 Days
  • 5 Days
  • 6 Days
  • 7 Days
  • > 8 Days
LIGHT (1-2 tampons/day)
MEDIUM (3-4 tampons/day)
HEAVY (4-5 tampons/day)
  • < 2 Weeks
  • 3 Weeks
  • 4 Weeks
  • 5 Weeks
  • 6 Weeks
  • 7 Weeks
  • > 8 Weeks
Tampon Tampons
Pad Pads
Menstrual Cup Cup
Menstrual Disc Discs
Period Panties Period Panties
Ellipses Others
Can’t get out of bed
Can’t do certain activities
I mostly feel uncomfortable
Just like any other day
I’m constantly running to the bathroom
I can’t sleep through the night
My work out routine is thrown off
I can’t have sex
I feel uncomfortable
Less cramping
Less odor
Fewer leaks
No risk of TSS
Less waste
If you’re not sure, choose MEDIUM.

All done!

What email would you like your results sent to?

Here is our pick for you!
Flex Box
plan type
Light plan $6.50
4 Discs per cycle per period
frequency
8 Discs every 2 months
Light Flow Starter Kit
Includes 8 discs + our Getting Started Guide

We will automatically ship 8 discs for $13 every two months starting on . We’ll remind you before we process the next order. You can pause or cancel anytime, online.

Flex Box
plan type
Medium plan $12
8 Discs per cycle per period
frequency
16 Discs every 2 months
Medium Flow Starter Kit
Includes 8 discs + our Getting Started Guide

We will automatically ship 16 discs for $24 every one month starting on . We’ll remind you before we process the next order. You can pause or cancel anytime, online.

Flex Box
plan type
Heavy plan $14
Discs per cycle per period
frequency
24 Discs every 2 months
Heavy Flow Starter Kit
Includes 12 discs + our Getting Started Guide

We will automatically ship 24 discs for $28 every one month starting on . We’ll remind you before we process the next order. You can pause or cancel anytime, online.

Try FLEX with some liners at first.

Sometimes you just feel better with a little backup. FLEX plus liners would be a great combination for you while you transition to FLEX to help guard against leaks until you get the hang of positioning FLEX.

Not ready for membership? Try just one FLEX.

Here is our pick for you

Flexcup Discovery Kit
Flexcup Discovery Kit

FLEX Cup

$32.99 71+ Reviews

1 Menstrual Cup

  • + 1 Carrying Pouch
  • + 2 free Menstrual Discs

The FLEX Cup comes with 2 free FLEX Discs for you to try so that you can experience two new and innovative period products for no extra charge.

Free US Shipping

No Image