HSA/FSA

Are Feminine Hygiene Products HSA/FSA Eligible?

Learn how to mix flow and finance for a more affordable period.

July 2, 2024
Sam O'Keefe Co-Founder and CEO of Flex
Sam O'Keefe
Co-founder & CEO of Flex
Flex - Are Feminine Hygiene Products HSA/FSA Eligible?
Flex - Are Feminine Hygiene Products HSA/FSA Eligible?

Overview

Overview

Overview

Over 300 million people around the world have their period each day. 

Luckily, for those with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), there is some relief — financially, anyway. 

Read on to learn whether feminine hygiene products are HSA or FSA eligible and how to make your period a little lighter — on your wallet, that is.

What We’ll Cover About Buying Feminine Hygiene Products with Your HSA or FSA

  • What are feminine hygiene products?

  • The difference between “feminine hygiene” and “vaginal health”

  • What are menstrual products?

  • Whether you need to clean the vagina or not

  • What to look for in feminine hygiene products?

  • A quick refresher about HSAs/FSAs, including what are FSA and HSA-eligible items?

  • Are feminine hygiene products HSA/FSA eligible?

  • How Flex can you help you purchase feminine hygiene products with your HSA or FSA

  • Lastly, common questions

What are Feminine Hygiene Products?

Before we discuss whether you can use your HSA or FSA to pay for feminine hygiene products, let’s clarify what we’re talking about.

Typically, "feminine hygiene products" are synonymous with "menstrual products" or “period products” which are designed to absorb or collect menstrual flow, such as pads, tampons, liners, and cups. 

What is “feminine hygiene” and vaginal health?

The term also includes a wide range of products aimed at maintaining vaginal and vulvar health, including cleansing items, odor treatment products, and those addressing dryness or other concerns. In this piece, we’ll primarily focus on menstrual products.

What are menstrual products?

Here are some of the most common products:

  • Sanitary pads: Absorbent materials worn outside the body to collect menstrual blood.

  • Tampons: Absorbent materials inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood internally. They can help prevent or reduce period leaks.

  • Menstrual cups: Reusable, flexible cups inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood.

  • Period panties: Specially-designed underwear with built-in highly absorbent layers. Depending on the design, they can be used on their own or as a supplement to other menstrual products.

  • Panty liners and shields: Thin absorbent pads for lighter menstrual flow or daily discharge.

Other types of hygiene products

Beyond menstrual products, there are other items aimed at maintaining vaginal and vulvar health:

  • Cleaning products: Specially formulated soaps and washes for external use.

  • Odor treatment: Sprays, oils, and wipes designed to reduce odor.

  • Dryness treatments: Products like moisturizers and lubricants to address vaginal dryness.

Regarding vaginal hygiene, we want to address one important question.

Do You Need to Clean the Vagina?

Not really. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, naturally maintaining a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria, known as flora. This flora helps sustain a healthy pH level, typically between 3.8 and 5 in women of reproductive age. However, it is essential to wash the vulva, the external part of the genitalia, daily with mild soap and water.

Harms of washing the vagina/douching

Douching or using internal cleansers can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal flora, potentially leading to infections, irritation, and other health issues. Regular douching has been linked to bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

When might you need to clean?

If you experience recurrent infections or symptoms like lumpy, itchy, green, or particularly smelly discharge, consult your gynecologist. They may recommend specific treatments or diagnostic tests to figure out what is going on.

Products that may be recommended in these cases include:

  • Internal cleansers: Only if prescribed by a healthcare provider.

  • Sprays, oils, or soaps: For external use to manage odor and hygiene.

  • Wipes: For external hygiene maintenance.

  • Probiotics or vitamins: To support vaginal flora health.

  • Microbiome screening: To identify bacterial imbalances.

What to Look for in Feminine Hygiene Products?

There are a lot of options and these products will play an important role each month — so it’s worthwhile to be selective. When choosing your feminine care products, consider what you need the product for, ease of use, comfort, sustainability, and other variables that are important to you. 

Given the sensitivity of the genital area, you may want to consider products that are:

  1. Tested by dermatologists

  2. Recommended by gynecologists

  3. Certified to be hypoallergenic

  4. Fragrance-free

Now, the big question is whether feminine hygiene products are HSA/FSA eligible, but we first have to cover how HSA/FSAs work. This will help you understand why certain items are covered and others are not.

A Quick Refresher About HSAs/FSAs

What are FSA and HSA-eligible items?

FSAs and HSAs are accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medical expenses. These accounts help reduce your taxable income and, as a result, manage out-of-pocket health care costs.

Qualified medical expenses

HSAs and FSAs are designed to be used towards qualified medical expenses which the IRS says “must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness.” 

The link has a comprehensive list of approved items. However, you can also pay for items that aren’t pre-approved if you receive a Letter of Medical Necessity from a healthcare professional.

What is a Letter of Medical Necessity?

Letters of Medical Necessity (LOMN) are essentially doctor's notes that allow HSA/FSA spending on medically necessary items which are not pre-approved by the IRS. This is because some items have a “dual-purpose” which means that while they may address a specific medical condition, they can also be used for general health purposes (the IRS is strict in this distinction).

In order to allow HSA/FSA funds to go towards an item like this, a doctor must specify in the LOMN how the particular product or service will treat or manage a specific condition and why it is medically necessary for a patient.

Are Feminine Hygiene Products HSA/FSA Eligible?

When it comes to menstrual care products, you can use your HSA or FSA thanks to a 2020 IRS update that expanded what is considered a qualified medical expense. This is great news because by using pre-tax dollars, consumers save between 30 to 40% percent on purchases they make with their HSA/FSA.

Eligible items include: 

  1. Tampons

  2. Pads

  3. Liners

  4. Cups

  5. Sponges

  6. Disposable or non-disposable underwear for menstruation

Additionally, products addressing conditions such as vaginal dryness caused by medical conditions, anti-fungal treatments, and itch relief are also eligible.

However, for items such as cleansers, probiotics, massages or items that don’t address a specific medical condition, you should talk with your HSA or FSA administrator first to see if it might qualify.

How Flex Can Help You Purchase Feminine Hygiene Products With Your HSA/FSA

Because menstrual care products are a qualified medical expense, this means you can use your HSA or FSA debit card, or pay for it out-of-pocket and get reimbursed. 

However, not all online retailers can accept HSA or FSA payments. You’ll know if this is the case because your card will be declined. That’s where we come in: if an e-commerce company has partnered with Flex, such as Viv, Date, Momotaro Apotheca, or Jovi below, they can because we allow purchases to be auto-substantiated. What that means for you is the payment will go through so you won’t need to submit for reimbursement!

Want to uncover more HSA and FSA-eligible products? Flex Market offers a wide range of items from our partner brands. Check out how to make the most of your HSA and FSA dollars.

HSA/FSA Eligible Feminine Hygiene Products

Viv: Earth-Friendly Period Care

Viv offers natural feminine hygiene products that are eco-friendly and designed to support sustainable menstruation. Did you know that each traditional pad takes roughly 800 years to break down? That fact is what inspired the company to produce “earth-friendly and toxin-free products” out of natural materials such as organic cotton and bamboo.

Daye: Holistic Vaginal Care

Daye is on a mission to make their products and services as environmentally friendly as possible. You can see this in their tampons, for example: They use organic cotton, applicators made from renewable sugarcane, and ocean-safe, wrappers. For extra pain relief, you can order tampons with a CBD coating which helps to alleviate menstrual discomfort naturally.

Period: Super Loved Period Underwear

Period makes ultra-absorbent underwear that can soak up a full day’s worth of period blood. Their four-layer system combines with leak-proof seams to offer confidence for containment, while the top-wicking layer keeps you dry. You can wear these instead of tampons or pads, or as a comfortable, extra-secure back up. 

Momotaro Apotheca: Plant-Based Vaginal Health

Momotaro Apotheca specializes in plant-based products aimed at maintaining vaginal health, including salves, oils, and other treatments. Their mission is to systematically address common vulvovaginal issues without negatively affecting pH balance, hormones, pheromones, or medication.

Jovi: New Tech for an Age-Old Problem

Jovi offers tech solutions for menstrual pain relief. Their Jovi Patch is designed to work with the natural electric signals sent out by your body, acting as an “antenna” and helping reduce pain and discomfort. It’s an exciting next step in the fight against menstrual pain!

Turn Back the Tide With HSA/FSA Eligible Feminine Hygiene Products

So, there you have it! With a little planning you can leverage your FSA or HSA to make period management a breeze — both practically and financially. Remember, these accounts are valuable tools for managing your health care expenses, and feminine hygiene products are a crucial part of that.

Over 300 million people around the world have their period each day. 

Luckily, for those with a Health Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account (FSA), there is some relief — financially, anyway. 

Read on to learn whether feminine hygiene products are HSA or FSA eligible and how to make your period a little lighter — on your wallet, that is.

What We’ll Cover About Buying Feminine Hygiene Products with Your HSA or FSA

  • What are feminine hygiene products?

  • The difference between “feminine hygiene” and “vaginal health”

  • What are menstrual products?

  • Whether you need to clean the vagina or not

  • What to look for in feminine hygiene products?

  • A quick refresher about HSAs/FSAs, including what are FSA and HSA-eligible items?

  • Are feminine hygiene products HSA/FSA eligible?

  • How Flex can you help you purchase feminine hygiene products with your HSA or FSA

  • Lastly, common questions

What are Feminine Hygiene Products?

Before we discuss whether you can use your HSA or FSA to pay for feminine hygiene products, let’s clarify what we’re talking about.

Typically, "feminine hygiene products" are synonymous with "menstrual products" or “period products” which are designed to absorb or collect menstrual flow, such as pads, tampons, liners, and cups. 

What is “feminine hygiene” and vaginal health?

The term also includes a wide range of products aimed at maintaining vaginal and vulvar health, including cleansing items, odor treatment products, and those addressing dryness or other concerns. In this piece, we’ll primarily focus on menstrual products.

What are menstrual products?

Here are some of the most common products:

  • Sanitary pads: Absorbent materials worn outside the body to collect menstrual blood.

  • Tampons: Absorbent materials inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood internally. They can help prevent or reduce period leaks.

  • Menstrual cups: Reusable, flexible cups inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual blood.

  • Period panties: Specially-designed underwear with built-in highly absorbent layers. Depending on the design, they can be used on their own or as a supplement to other menstrual products.

  • Panty liners and shields: Thin absorbent pads for lighter menstrual flow or daily discharge.

Other types of hygiene products

Beyond menstrual products, there are other items aimed at maintaining vaginal and vulvar health:

  • Cleaning products: Specially formulated soaps and washes for external use.

  • Odor treatment: Sprays, oils, and wipes designed to reduce odor.

  • Dryness treatments: Products like moisturizers and lubricants to address vaginal dryness.

Regarding vaginal hygiene, we want to address one important question.

Do You Need to Clean the Vagina?

Not really. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, naturally maintaining a healthy balance of yeast and bacteria, known as flora. This flora helps sustain a healthy pH level, typically between 3.8 and 5 in women of reproductive age. However, it is essential to wash the vulva, the external part of the genitalia, daily with mild soap and water.

Harms of washing the vagina/douching

Douching or using internal cleansers can disrupt the natural balance of vaginal flora, potentially leading to infections, irritation, and other health issues. Regular douching has been linked to bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, and an increased risk of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

When might you need to clean?

If you experience recurrent infections or symptoms like lumpy, itchy, green, or particularly smelly discharge, consult your gynecologist. They may recommend specific treatments or diagnostic tests to figure out what is going on.

Products that may be recommended in these cases include:

  • Internal cleansers: Only if prescribed by a healthcare provider.

  • Sprays, oils, or soaps: For external use to manage odor and hygiene.

  • Wipes: For external hygiene maintenance.

  • Probiotics or vitamins: To support vaginal flora health.

  • Microbiome screening: To identify bacterial imbalances.

What to Look for in Feminine Hygiene Products?

There are a lot of options and these products will play an important role each month — so it’s worthwhile to be selective. When choosing your feminine care products, consider what you need the product for, ease of use, comfort, sustainability, and other variables that are important to you. 

Given the sensitivity of the genital area, you may want to consider products that are:

  1. Tested by dermatologists

  2. Recommended by gynecologists

  3. Certified to be hypoallergenic

  4. Fragrance-free

Now, the big question is whether feminine hygiene products are HSA/FSA eligible, but we first have to cover how HSA/FSAs work. This will help you understand why certain items are covered and others are not.

A Quick Refresher About HSAs/FSAs

What are FSA and HSA-eligible items?

FSAs and HSAs are accounts that allow you to set aside pre-tax dollars to pay for eligible medical expenses. These accounts help reduce your taxable income and, as a result, manage out-of-pocket health care costs.

Qualified medical expenses

HSAs and FSAs are designed to be used towards qualified medical expenses which the IRS says “must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental disability or illness.” 

The link has a comprehensive list of approved items. However, you can also pay for items that aren’t pre-approved if you receive a Letter of Medical Necessity from a healthcare professional.

What is a Letter of Medical Necessity?

Letters of Medical Necessity (LOMN) are essentially doctor's notes that allow HSA/FSA spending on medically necessary items which are not pre-approved by the IRS. This is because some items have a “dual-purpose” which means that while they may address a specific medical condition, they can also be used for general health purposes (the IRS is strict in this distinction).

In order to allow HSA/FSA funds to go towards an item like this, a doctor must specify in the LOMN how the particular product or service will treat or manage a specific condition and why it is medically necessary for a patient.

Are Feminine Hygiene Products HSA/FSA Eligible?

When it comes to menstrual care products, you can use your HSA or FSA thanks to a 2020 IRS update that expanded what is considered a qualified medical expense. This is great news because by using pre-tax dollars, consumers save between 30 to 40% percent on purchases they make with their HSA/FSA.

Eligible items include: 

  1. Tampons

  2. Pads

  3. Liners

  4. Cups

  5. Sponges

  6. Disposable or non-disposable underwear for menstruation

Additionally, products addressing conditions such as vaginal dryness caused by medical conditions, anti-fungal treatments, and itch relief are also eligible.

However, for items such as cleansers, probiotics, massages or items that don’t address a specific medical condition, you should talk with your HSA or FSA administrator first to see if it might qualify.

How Flex Can Help You Purchase Feminine Hygiene Products With Your HSA/FSA

Because menstrual care products are a qualified medical expense, this means you can use your HSA or FSA debit card, or pay for it out-of-pocket and get reimbursed. 

However, not all online retailers can accept HSA or FSA payments. You’ll know if this is the case because your card will be declined. That’s where we come in: if an e-commerce company has partnered with Flex, such as Viv, Date, Momotaro Apotheca, or Jovi below, they can because we allow purchases to be auto-substantiated. What that means for you is the payment will go through so you won’t need to submit for reimbursement!

Want to uncover more HSA and FSA-eligible products? Flex Market offers a wide range of items from our partner brands. Check out how to make the most of your HSA and FSA dollars.

HSA/FSA Eligible Feminine Hygiene Products

Viv: Earth-Friendly Period Care

Viv offers natural feminine hygiene products that are eco-friendly and designed to support sustainable menstruation. Did you know that each traditional pad takes roughly 800 years to break down? That fact is what inspired the company to produce “earth-friendly and toxin-free products” out of natural materials such as organic cotton and bamboo.

Daye: Holistic Vaginal Care

Daye is on a mission to make their products and services as environmentally friendly as possible. You can see this in their tampons, for example: They use organic cotton, applicators made from renewable sugarcane, and ocean-safe, wrappers. For extra pain relief, you can order tampons with a CBD coating which helps to alleviate menstrual discomfort naturally.

Period: Super Loved Period Underwear

Period makes ultra-absorbent underwear that can soak up a full day’s worth of period blood. Their four-layer system combines with leak-proof seams to offer confidence for containment, while the top-wicking layer keeps you dry. You can wear these instead of tampons or pads, or as a comfortable, extra-secure back up. 

Momotaro Apotheca: Plant-Based Vaginal Health

Momotaro Apotheca specializes in plant-based products aimed at maintaining vaginal health, including salves, oils, and other treatments. Their mission is to systematically address common vulvovaginal issues without negatively affecting pH balance, hormones, pheromones, or medication.

Jovi: New Tech for an Age-Old Problem

Jovi offers tech solutions for menstrual pain relief. Their Jovi Patch is designed to work with the natural electric signals sent out by your body, acting as an “antenna” and helping reduce pain and discomfort. It’s an exciting next step in the fight against menstrual pain!

Turn Back the Tide With HSA/FSA Eligible Feminine Hygiene Products

So, there you have it! With a little planning you can leverage your FSA or HSA to make period management a breeze — both practically and financially. Remember, these accounts are valuable tools for managing your health care expenses, and feminine hygiene products are a crucial part of that.

Common Questions: Which Feminine Hygiene Products Are HSA/FSA Eligible?

Are tampons HSA eligible?

Yes, tampons are HSA eligible. They are classified under menstrual care products, which are considered necessary for managing menstrual health and are therefore reimbursable.

Are sanitary pads HSA eligible?

Yes, sanitary pads are HSA-eligible. Similar to tampons, pads fall under the category of menstrual care products, making them reimbursable through HSAs and FSAs.

Are feminine wash products HSA eligible?

Generally, feminine wash products are not HSA-eligible unless they are prescribed for a specific medical condition. These products are often seen as non-essential for health maintenance.

Are menstrual pads HSA eligible?

Yes, menstrual pads, which include both sanitary pads and liners, are HSA-eligible. These are considered essential items for managing menstrual flow.

Are menstrual cups FSA eligible?

Menstrual cups are also FSA-eligible. They are a reusable option for managing menstrual flow and fall under the same category as tampons and pads.

Can you buy incontinence products With Your HSA or FSA?

Incontinence products are HSA/FSA eligible. These products, used to manage incontinence, are considered necessary for health maintenance and are reimbursable.

Flex is a modern marketplace for consumers to discover and purchase HSA/FSA eligible products. From fitness and nutrition, to sleep and mental health, Flex takes a holistic view of healthcare and enables consumers to use their pre-tax money to do the same.