What is happening
Some tampon manufacturers have problems with the supply chain, so many products can be difficult to find on store shelves.
Why it is important
Tampons are an important product for millions of people.
Companies say they are working hard to increase accessibility. In the meantime, there are alternatives to tampons and pads that you should know.
If you’ve been shopping recently and can’t find a box of regular branded tampons, or are having trouble finding the right tampons for you, you’re not alone. Tampons, an important product for about 34 million people in the United States, are the latest focus of another obvious product shortage.
Stories of people looking for tampons and coming empty-handed circulated on social media. The most recent major lack of care (the other) Time began to hit the headlines after announcing a buffer shortage was a “supply chain problem that no one talked about.” This is another health condition that primarily affects women.
Estimates vary from comparing tampons to other menstrual products, but up to 70% of menstruating people in the United States use tampons. If you are menstruating, you know best what products are right for you. So, if you have a favorite brand or are considering a different menstrual care line (e.g.), company shortages, buffer alternatives, etc. That’s what they say about.
Why is there a lack of buffers? Which brands are affected?
In a call for savings in April, Procter & Gamble said the purchase and transportation of materials needed for tampons was “expensive and highly volatile”, according to many media reports. According to Bloomberg, the price of tampons has risen by about 10% in one year, and the price of pillows has risen by more than 8%.
“We can assure you that this is a temporary situation and that the Tampax team is producing 24/7 tampons to meet the growing demand for our products,” P&G told CNET. “We are working with our retail partners to significantly increase accessibility over the past few months.”
A spokesman for Kimberly-Clark, the maker of the popular U by Kotex brand, said the company did not face a shortage of products or supplies.
“We are working closely with our retail partners to maintain the shelves,” they said, adding that the company is on track to donate more than 6 million cycles to the Period Supply Alliance, a non-profit organization that distributes period products. can’t afford them.
Edgewell manufactures Playtex and OB pads, as well as Stayfree and Carefree pads and liners. A company spokesman said it was affected by labor problems in two different countries – the first at a US manufacturing plant in late 2021 and the second at the beginning of 2022, with omicron increases affecting Canadian suppliers. inventory.
“We are operating our production facilities around the clock to build inventory and wait for it to return to normal levels in the coming weeks,” the spokesman said.
Small period care companies may also be affected as customers begin to turn to newer bumper brands when the usual brand comes out. A spokeswoman for Cora, which produces tampons along with menstrual cups, menstrual underwear and other menstrual care products, said the company’s products are still in stock, but there is a “significant increase in demand for tampons” and we expect it to be there. There may be stock issues in the coming months.
Which stores have less stock?
Whether or not you get your favorite bumper brand (or any bumper) depends on where you live and what store you often go to.
A CVS spokesman told CNET that in recent weeks there have been cases where bumper suppliers have not been able to fully fulfill orders. “If the local store temporarily does not have special products, we try to fill those products as soon as possible,” the spokesman said.
A Walgreens spokesman said: “Like other retailers, we are experiencing some temporary brand-specific shortcomings in certain geographies.” The spokesman added that although they continue to own the products, it could only be special brands for the duration of the supply cut.
In a statement to CNET, a Walmart spokesman said the retail giant “did not feel short of supplies” and had not run out of supplies of menstrual products, including tampons.
Can you use expired tampons?
Typically, tampons have a shelf life of about five years and should not be used after their expiration date. Many people who experience menstruation are forced to enter your body and stay there for a while, even if they use a pinch, and resisting their intended use can lead you to harmful infections such as toxic shock syndrome.
Tampax notes on its website: “Obviously, tampons won’t deteriorate immediately after five years, but bacteria and small mold particles can find their way into your tampons after their expiration date.”
What about tampon alternatives?
One of your options is to temporarily switch to a disposable menstrual pillow. Currently, there is no supply disruption in menstrual pads, but due to a lack of tampons, all-cycle products are in short supply and more difficult to find.
If you can’t find tampons or pads, or are just interested in switching, here are a few alternatives you should consider.
Menstrual underwear is a durable and ultimately affordable alternative to tampons and pads. While starting a menstrual period underwear can be a bit more expensive than buying a box of tampons, if you buy a few pairs to go through your menstrual period (a good pair of underwear starts at about $ 14), you will save money in the long run. .
There are different brands to choose from and they are made to suit people of all sizes with every flow. Here is a list of the best period underwear for your body, flow and budget.
Menstrual cups or discs are gaining popularity as an alternative to disposable products. These cups (popular brands include Diva, Cora, and Lunette) are reusable, usually rubber or silicone, and seal around the cervix, collecting menstrual blood from the uterus before leaving the body. There is a learning curve on how to place it, but many people who try menstrual cups swear they will never return. You can shop to find the best sized menstrual cup for your body and heavy, medium or light flow. (Note for IUD users: Suction menstrual cups can sometimes cause the spiral to come out – ykes – or move. If you have RIA but want to try a menstrual cup, talk to your doctor about the best cup to use, and how safe it is. can be used.)
While not suitable for everyone, avoid any period products, especially at night or when lying around the house with a lighter stream. Simply put, free bleeding is bleeding without the use of a tampon, pillow, underwear, or other disposable product. People do this for a variety of reasons, and many choose to do it in the last day or two of their period, where they lose so little blood that it will even be difficult to fill a tampon or pad. (Although toxic shock syndrome is rare, using a tampon with a higher absorption capacity than you need may be a risk factor for the development of TSS.) If the spots are bothersome, you can put a towel on the floor or wear old and / or dark underwear. .
Pay attention to “less popular” tampon brands
There are several names that predominate on pharmacy shelves, but you can also buy tampons from newer, smaller, or organic period care companies, mostly sold online. But keep in mind that general demand (and possible panic buying) can also affect the shares of these companies.
August sells care products online for a sustainable period, including tampons. Although the price of a box of tampons is higher than the price you can find on a drugstore shelf, August says its tampons are 100% organic and completely biodegradable.
tampons and period products are also organic and online, although the company said a large increase in demand for them could affect supply in the coming months. (According to the website, L., another organic tampon manufacturer, has run out of storage.)
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care provider if you have any questions regarding your medical condition or health goals.