French Language Blog

Buying Feminine Products In French Posted by on Aug 3, 2016 in Vocabulary

There are some things that I rarely think about as un homme (a man). One of those things is very important for les femmes (women) and something that you don’t always find in textbooks or tour guides.

"Day 31: Self Portrait" by Sodanle Chea on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Day 31: Self Portrait” by Sodanle Chea on Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Comment est-ce qu’on parle des produits féminins en français ?
How do you talk about feminine products in French?

I had to deal with this very issue recently and it made me realize how important it is and how often these words aren’t explained or discussed in textbooks. Ma copine (my girlfriend) started having des crampes (cramps) and it was obvious that she was about to commencer ses règles (start her period).

I needed to find une pharmacie to buy les médicaments (the medicine) she needed, but before I left, I needed to think about how to ask for the right médicaments!

I walked into la pharmacie and immediately realized how strange it much looks for un homme avec une barbe (a man with a beard) to ask for the French equivalent of Midol.

– Vous avez les médicaments pour les femmes qui ont les douleurs des règles ?
– Oui… Attendez en moment… Ce sont bien les médicaments pour les douleurs féminines.

Do you have medicine for women who have period pain?
Yes… Wait a moment… This is medicine for feminine pain.

It was an awkward moment, but I knew I had the right médicaments. Cependant (however), on the way home, I realized that there were many words related to l’hygiène féminine (feminine hygiene) that I had no idea how to say!

I immediately made une liste de vocabulaire (a vocabulary list) in case I needed to help ma copine again. That’s one less emergency I need to worry about!

Voici un vocabulaire des produits féminins :

Les règles – Period
Les menstruations – Menstruation
Le tampon – Tampon
Le protège-slip – Pad
La serviette hygiénique – Sanitary napkin
La serviette hygiénique ultra-abosrbante – Maxi pad
Les crampes – Cramps
Le syndrome prémenstruel – PMS
L’hormone – Hormone
La douleur – Pain
L’hygiène féminine – Feminine hygiene

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About the Author: John Bauer

John Bauer is an enthusiast for all things language and travel. He currently lives in France where he's doing his Master's. John came to France four years ago knowing nothing about the language or the country, but through all the mistakes over the years, he's started figuring things out.


  1. sunshine:

    Salut I believe: Hygiene and hormone require L’

    both are silent ‘h’s”
    Thanks for the post!

    • John Bauer:

      @sunshine Salut sunshine ! Merci pour votre commentaire !

      You’re right, the letter h causes me trouble sometimes. It’s fixed now! 😀

  2. Joan Smith:

    And.. How would one ask for the cream for a yeast infection (feminine itching) which often occurs when taking antibiotics? Or even worse, a bladder infection often caused in hot humid conditions?

    • John Bauer:

      @Joan Smith Salut Joan ! Merci pour votre commentaire ! Those are good questions!

      I had to look it up, but une mycose is a yeast infection, but that can be both for your mouth and for your genitals so you can specify with une mycose génitale or une mycose vaginale. Une infection de la vessie is a bladder infection.

      To keep things simple, when you get to une pharmacie, you could say:

      J’ai besoin de médicaments contre une mycose génitale / une infection de la vessie.

  3. Lara:

    Merci. Le vocabularie pui (useful).