The United States is struggling with a tampon shortage, leaving users with fewer menstrual product options as supplies fall across the country, consumers and spokesmen say.
This shortage is precariously time-bound, and comes as the price of menstrual products has recently risen, spokesmen also said.
“I can share that our organization has distributed over 2 million menstrual products during 2021 and access to products has been declining over the past year,” said Laurie Rovin, interim CEO of The Period Project, an organization that delivers menstrual products to people in need. , said in an email. “We have challenges with ordering in bulk, and when we try to order retail, the limit is five boxes per order.”
In August 2021, when Rovin became The Interim Leader of the Period Projects, the organization’s cost per “period package” was $ 5.86. The package, which includes tampons, pads, pads and wet wipes, now costs the organization $ 10 and is “rising fast,” Rovin said.
The tampon deficiency is the second time in several months where many women and other people with uterus failed to find another basic necessity on store shelves: there has also been a lack of infant formula.
In addition, the tampon shortage is about to unfold as many in the country are preparing for limits on access to abortion and a wealth of reproductive health services, if the US Supreme Court reverses Roe v Wade this summer as expected.
It is unclear how the shortage affects smaller and independent dealers. A spokesman for the National Community Pharmacists Association said several member pharmacies had not experienced supply problems or had problems with their distributors.
But Rovin is not the only lawyer who has seen declining supplies.
“We have definitely seen a decline in the number of tampon donations in recent months,” Lysne Tait, CEO of the nonprofit organization Helping Women Period, which offers free menstrual products to those in need, said in an email. “I have heard from people we distribute that they have trouble finding specific brands they are used to using. Especially tampons without applicator as ob “
Elise Joy, CEO and co-founder of Girls Helping Girls. Period., An organization that distributes menstrual products to community organizations such as the food pantry, has also seen the shortage unfold.
“For the first time, I have several organizations that do what I do, who contact me to see if I can help them cover their customers, and I have also got new agencies to contact me to ask for help. because the resources that they had have dried up, ”said Joy. “It’s not uncommon for me to get a new agency to reach out, and it’s not uncommon for other organizations that do what I do to reach out from time to time, but it’s very consistent. [now].
“Several times a week we get calls to help – which is more than normal.”
CVS and Walgreens, two major US pharmacy chains, confirmed that some tampons have been sold out in some stores. Both said they work with suppliers to ensure adequate stock.
“In recent weeks, there have been cases where suppliers have not been able to fulfill all orders,” reads a statement from CVS. “If a local store is temporarily empty of specific products, we work to replenish those items as quickly as possible.”
A statement from Walgreens said that “like other retailers, we are experiencing some temporary brand-specific tampon deficiency in certain geographies”.
The statement added: “Although we will continue to have products on the shelf and online, it may only be in specific brands while navigating the supply disruption.”
Edgewell, a major manufacturer of personal hygiene, said Covid-related staffing challenges in late 2021 and early 2022 contributed to supply problems. But the company also said it was taking steps “to rebuild its inventory”.
“To meet the demand that has existed throughout the pandemic, we have continuously operated the production facility where our feminine care products, including Playtex and ob tampons and Carefree and Stayfree liners and bandages, are produced,” Edgewell said in a statement. «Production, and thus inventory, of these products was [affected] due to extensive labor shortages caused by two separate Omicron rises.
“We have been operating our production facilities around the clock to build up inventory and expect to return to normal levels in the coming weeks.”