Two out of five hospital trusts and health care boards in the UK do not provide sanitary products to patients who need them, or just in emergency situations, a BMA investigation has revealed.
The Doctors' Association says pads and tampons are a basic necessity and should be available free of charge for inpatients.
But in some trusts, shavers and shaving foam were handed over for free, but there were no sanitary products.
BMA has written to NHS England asking for action.
The BMA generally asked 223 trust and health administrations across the UK for a policy on the supply of sanitary products.
Of the 187 respondents, 104 said they delivered them.
But 25 said they didn't give them at all and 54 said they did, but only in emergency situations or in small quantities.
None of the trusts and health services who responded said they had a policy on delivering sanitary products.
And it was not possible to buy sanitary products anywhere on 27 sites.
The BMA investigation is part of a broader campaign to end the period of poverty-seeking.
Eleanor Wilson, a member of the BMA Medical Students Committee, said: "When patients are in our NHS care, we need to make sure that we feel them as kindly and as carefully as possible.
"Providing them with something that is the key to their health and well-being has a great impact on their self-esteem – we do not really respect that respect.
"Although some hospitals have good facilities, in other cases patients have had to confront embarrassment and hope that relatives can bring them.
"For some, this is not the solution, and it can often become more difficult for young and adolescent children."
She said that sanitary products should be included in the basic package, which includes toilet paper, food, shavers and shaving foam that are available to patients in the hospital.
Combating Time Poverty
The BMA also says that the impact on the patient's well-being far exceeded the relatively low cost of the NHS.
Chairman of BMA Science Council prof. Dame Parveen Kumar said that hospitals should provide clear information on how patients can access sanitary products during the hospital.
"Hospitals have the opportunity to lead the way to eradicating poverty, and this should be a vivid example of the progress that can be made on this important issue."