What You Need to Know About the Tampon Shortage and Alternative Products

Tampon Shortage Image

You may have noticed the shelves were almost empty last time you went to buy menstrual period products. At the beginning of June 2022, reports of a tampon shortage started to surface. Let’s answer your tampon shortage questions and give you some alternative options.

Why Is There a Tampon Shortage?

Due to the COVID pandemic, there have been global supply chain issues that are affecting the supplies needed to make tampons. According to the New York Times, companies have had difficulties getting cotton and plastic to make tampons. 2 This is making it difficult to get enough tampons on store shelves.

Why are Tampons More Expensive?

Inflation has been causing the price of tampons to increase. According to Bloomberg, the average price of menstrual pads has increased by 8.3% and the average price of tampons has increased by 9.8%. 1

Are Just Tampons Affected?

No, even though the media is calling it a tampon shortage, it also includes pads that are made using similar materials.

When Will the Tampon Shortage End?

It is uncertain when the tampon shortage will end. When supply chains start to improve, it will help improve the tampon shortage.

Alternative Products

The good news is that there are alternative products other than tampons and pads that are available. Menstrual cups are an environmentally friendly option that is becoming more popular. A menstrual cup is a small cup made out of silicone or rubber. You insert it into the vagina and it collects the blood. They need to be taken out, emptied, and washed every 8 to 12 hours. The downside is that menstrual cups can be difficult for beginners to use. More user-friendly alternative period products to consider are period underwear or reusable pads. Period underwear looks like any other pair of underwear but they are made with absorbent material to hold the period blood. Reusable pads are made from absorbent materials that can be washed and reused. These products can be expensive upfront but they are washable and reusable.

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  1. Sirtori-Cortina , D., & Rockeman, O. (2022, June 9). It’s Getting More Expensive to Have Your Period, Thanks to Inflation. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved July 8, 2022
  2. Pearson, C. (2022, June 13). Why your preferred tampons may be hard to find. The New York Times. Retrieved July 8, 2022

Posted in: Women's Health

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