Periods already come with a list of stressors — from cramps to insomnia and bloating. Now women who menstruate are facing a new hassle when obtaining the feminine care products they need.
According to CNN, tampons are now the latest consumer goods product to be hit by supply chain shortages, leaving store shelves understocked with essential period products.
There are a number of factors that have caused this nationwide shortage, including limited access to cotton and plastic due to the war in Ukraine. Both Russia and Ukraine are major exporters of the fertilizer that grows cotton. Amid global crisis, the time is ticking for raw materials to be replenished in order for women’s biological needs to be met.
“Getting raw and packed materials to the places we need to get them to continues to be costly and highly volatile,” said Andre Schulten, Procter & Gamble’s chief financial officer to CNN. The brand, which is responsible for making Tampax and Always added, “We understand it is frustrating for consumers when they can’t find what they need. We can assure you this is a temporary situation.”
A recent report by Bloomberg shared that the “average prices rose 8.3% for a package of menstrual pads and 9.8% for tampons” this year. In fact, a new study by Columbia University found that women who have experienced pandemic-related income loss are four times more likely to experience “period poverty,” the inability to afford menstrual products, than those who did not.
While inflation and shortages of feminine care products can be fear-inducing, there’s still hope to obtain alternatives that can support you during that time of the month. See below for a few options in case you can’t find your tampon of choice.